How to make garden compost at home

People often ask about how to make garden compost at home with kitchen and garden waste and they have a misperception that making garden compost at home is difficult and a lengthy task which is actually not difficult. Today, we will help you to make an ‘Organic Garden Compost’ at home with the help of house waste, animal waste, plants and tree waste.

Types of Composting

Before making compost at home first we need to understand the types of composting. There are two types of composting: cold composting and hot composting.

What is cold composting? 

Cold composting consists of yard waste, home waste or organic materials such as fruit and vegetable peels, eggshells, coffee grounds and filters. All these materials are submitted in a bin for a long period of 6 to 9 months or more.

What is hot composting

Home compost making – In this type of composting, you need to be more active in comparison to cold composting but at the same time, it will produce results much quicker than cold composting. You can prepare your compost in one to three months during warm weather. Nitrogen carbon air and water are required for or preparing hot compost quickly, these items are the good feed of microorganisms which speed up the process. 

Spin spring season is often chosen for preparing hot compost due to the enough or plentiful garden waste. Always try to prepare two batches of compost while cooking one the other one gets ready, keep rotating this cycle throughout the year.

What is vermicomposting

Vermicomposting is made by worms. When worms eat food scrap they used it to release castings that are rich in nitrogen. In simple words, we can say that waste produced by worms falls in the category of organic vermicomposting. Remember using any old worm does not result in vermicomposting you need to pick the specific red worms (Red Wigglers) to prepare vermicomposting.

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What to compost list

What to compost at home – While starting composting at home you should start from the kitchen and you can use 2 to 3 days old food which you might throw in the dustbin rather than throwing it you should use it for making composting. If you are confused about what to compost in the kitchen then open your refrigerator and collect all the old food that is not in use.

What to compost for garden – The next important point which people often miss is while cleaning the house they used to sweep soil outside the gate of their house. Instead of doing this you should always sweep the soil towards your garden or collect it for making compost. In India, a lady more than 70 years old is running an optimistic project of “Garbage to Gardens” to make people aware of the importance of home garbage that can be used for making organic garden compost at home. 

What to compost chart list

  • Dry leaves
  • Food scraps
  • Vegetable scraps
  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Grass and plant clippings
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Straw
  • Sawdust from untreated wood
  • Chopped wood and bark chips

Keeping a container in your kitchen is a good idea if you have enough space. By adding a container or compost bucket to your kitchen you can easily add the food waste directly to the container. You might also store them in the freezer until you are ready to add them to your garden container.

How to make hot compost complete guide

The green and brown compost ratio is crucial for better results in order to help you out we have given some examples of green and brown compost items in the below paragraph.

Green and brown compost materials for organic gardening at home

To make your own compost heap first you need to collect a good amount of heap that can be dug at least 3 feet in a garden. For making hot compost you should mix wet green items with dry brown materials. 

Green materials for compost contain kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, animal manures (cow dung, urine), plant and grass trimmings (for nitrogen). You should mostly use cow dung and urine while collecting animal manures for best results and avoid dogs and cats. Brown material for compost contain fallen leaves, shredded branches of a tree, cardboard, newspaper, dried plant materials, hay and straw, wood shaving (for carbon)

Mixing green and brown materials for compost – For best results, you should mix 1 part of the green and 3 parts of brown materials. It is advised to add more green items and water when your composition looks dry and more brownish. If your compost pile smells and looks too wet then add more brown materials.

Water your pile (heap) properly and regularly

Water heap – Water Your pile in a regular manner overwatering may result in waterlogging and microorganisms of the pile will be drowned so always provide sufficient water, not over water. Water sprinkling is good for creating a damp sponge, always monitor the pile temperature with a compost thermometer that you can buy at the price of $15. While putting your hands in the middle of the pile you should feel it warm.

Pile Composting methods

Pile stir up is necessary once a week for fresh oxygen. You can use a garden fork for pile adjustment. Use a compost thermometer and if the reading is between 130 and 150° F it means this is the best time to turn the compost.  You can also get an idea of the temperature by putting your hands in the centre of the pile and if you feel warm you may turn it but using a pile thermometer gives you a better idea. Stirring up the pile are necessary steps that should be practised in a regular manner because stirring up the pile helps it cook faster and prevents material from becoming matted.

Feed your garden

When the compost becomes dry brown, crumby and no longer gives heat it means your garden compost is perfectly cooked and ready to feed your garden. At the beginning add 4 to 5 inches of compost to your plant flower beds and in your pots. If you are a beginner and want to explore more on organic gardening then you should definitely read ‘organic gardening for beginners‘ written step by step for garden beginners and unique but valuable organic gardening tips were also shared.

Tip – Regularly chop and shred raw ingredients into tiny sizes to speed the composting process.

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