How to Compost

How to Compost

How to Compost

Excerpt from the Organic Book of Compost, 2nd Edition by Pauline Pears

Composting makes the world go round. It recycles the nutrients that make plants (and animals) grow, feeds the bugs that keep the soil healthy and is a sustainable, low-cost way of dealing with “rubbish that rots.” And it can be fun too.

It is possible to make your own compost bin from a number of materials. Inside the  Organic Book of Compost, you will find several detailed suggestions. Perhaps the easiest to make is the large plastic dustbin composter – simply cut off the bottom of a large dustbin, turn it upside down and use the lid as a cover for your composter.

If you ask five people for advice on the “right” or “best” way to make compost, you are likely to get five different answers. There are many ways of making compost. The best one for you is the method that suits your lifestyle, the time you want to spend on composting, how quickly you want to produce compost, and, most importantly, what sorts of materials you have available from which to make your compost. The flow chart below aims to help you make these decisions, starting from the ingredients that you want to compost.


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Grow beautiful garden plants with rich soil you produce yourself! Written in clear and simple terms, understand everything you need to know about compost, how it works, and how you can make it and use it! Whether you have a large backyard, a small garden space, or only a balcony, composting can be customized to fit you and your lifestyle. 

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What to Compost

What you regard as kitchen and garden “waste” is considered a good meal by the creatures that make compost. Tender young materials, such as grass clippings, kitchen waste and young weeds provide nitrogen and speed the process along. These are known as “greens” in compost-speak. At the other end of the scale are “browns” – tougher items such as older plant material and cardboard. Slower to decompose, these give the heap structure, maintain air pockets, and give body to the end product, compost. Many things you compost will be somewhere between the two, known as “green/browns.” If you fill your compost bin with roughly equal amounts of “green” and “brown” materials, all should be well and the result should be good-quality compost. Inside the Organic Book of Compost, you can find a full list of materials that can be composted. 


WHAT IS NEEDED for effective composting

Wood Carving a Fish - Step 01

Raw Materials
Tender young materials, such as grass clippings, kitchen waste, and young weeds provide nitrogen and speed the process along.

Wood Carving a Fish - Step 03

Composting creatures need moisture to live and work, but not too much of it.

Wood Carving a Fish - Step 03

The composting creatures, large and small, need air to live of it.

Wood Carving a Fish - Step 04

Composting activity is also affected by the temperature outside. In warm weather, the process will
speed up.

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Author Kim Roman to Speak at Maryland Home & Garden Show Author Kim Roman is set to take the stage this Saturday, March 2nd at the Maryland Home & Garden + Craft Show! She will be speaking about her upcoming book, Growing Herbs for Health, Wellness, Cooking,...

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