Composting – Getting Started

Composting scraps and other garden debris is a great way to relieve pressure on public land fills and make your garden soil healthy and full of nutrients in a cost-effective way. Compost contains good bacteria needed for plant growth and improves soil texture. A well composted pile of waste is called hummus, something every gardener wants for his garden.

CompostingComposting can be done in composters bought in the market or in hand built compost stacks. They can be plain, using a stack of old tires or chicken wire and lumber, or fancy, using molded plastic or metal barrels with their own lids and tumblers for easy turning. There are plenty of composter reviews in the internet that discuss each compost bins features and their pros and cons.

To start a compost pile, select a site that’s out of the way but easily seen. It should have good drainage and be in full sunlight. Don’t lay out ground mats as it is preferable to have the compost sitting directly on the soil surface. Cut of chop garden clippings into pieces of different sizes. A grinder is preferable, but not necessary. Pruning shears work as well.

Given time, everything will turn into compost, but we want to speed up the composting process. In order to do this, you need a combination of green and dry materials. If there are no dry leaves, shredded newspaper will work. Keep the compost damp and mix the pile often to incorporate oxygen. The more often you mix the compost, the sooner you will have finished compost to use in the garden.

A working compost pile heats up as the materials decompose. Avoid using unfinished or hot compost in the garden. The material will cool down once the decomposition is complete. You will notice the debris breaking down and turning black. The black stuff is the compost. You can sift the pile to get the compost or just use whatever you find on the bottom of the pile.

There are other different methods of composting and a lot of products in the market that can help you get started. Articles on the internet abound, so just find out what works well for you and your situation and you are well on your way to getting your own compost. Every gardener will have their own favorite method and learned techniques when composting.


When you learn about composting, you find that it is basically speeding up and intensifying an object’s natural decaying process. It probably all started when primitive men saw the area in the forest floor where leaves fell, turn dark, and gradually disappear to transform into the dark, fertile soil modern gardeners now call “humus.” They must have realized that given time, many things will rot whether we try to do anything about it or not. If you leave everything to Mother Nature, eventually the conditions that encourage decay will establish themselves.

However, allowing nature to take its course will take more time than a person has. The modern practice of composting is little more than speeding up and intensifying natural processes and that’s it. Finished compost is just “treated” or “rotted” organic matter, which normally has undergone a natural heating process and is a valuable component you should incorporate into your garden’s soil.

Compost bins or composters come in all styles and sizes. Some come plain or fancy. Something as simple as a stack of old tires can be put to use as a composter. You should get a composter that will meet your needs. In order to make an informed decision, you should find out everything you need to know about composters. Read composter reviews online and asks avid gardeners who do their own composting.

Composters also come in many materials and features. You can even use an old rubber tire to hold your compost. Some composters are stainless steel or plastic so it is very long lasting. Compost should be turned often and kept moist and covered in order to speed up the composting time. It can even be left alone and compost will happen anyway. Some composters come with slots for putting in water or added dry material. Some are designed like horizontal drums that even have their own turning mechanism to make it easy to mix the compost without getting out your shovel.

Composting is a great way to turn your gardening debris back into soil and will benefit your garden enormously. The compost has good bacteria needed for plant growth, improve the soil’s texture and give necessary nutrients for a healthier garden. It also reduces the amount of garbage that go into the public landfills.

Read more: