Do you want to learn how to compost? Are you looking for the best way to make your own compost? Do you want your vegetable garden to be as healthy as possible? Then you definitely need to check out these 15 DIY ways to make your own compost!
How To Compost
What is Compost?
Compost is like black gold for plants!
It is full of so many different nutrients that plants need and is some of the best fertilizer that you can give your plants!
But what is it exactly?
Compost is basically decomposed organic matter.
It is a combination of all of the veggie scraps from your kitchen, the trimmings from your yard, and some additional organic items, that have decayed and broken down into soil. Soil that is full of nutrients!
All of those rich, nutrient dense items are now in the form of dark black dirt that will nourish your plants and make some of the juiciest, most flavorful veggies that you can grow!
What can be composted?
Before we get into how to compost, let’s talk about what can be composted.
There are two types of items that should be added to your compost.
Brown (carbon items) and Green (nitrogen items). You want a good variety of carbon and nitrogen items added to your pile to make it as healthy as possible.
Here is a list of brown (carbon) items that can be composted:
dried grass clippings
unwaxed cardboard and paper
dried cut flowers
stale bread and chips
Here is a list of green (nitrogen) items that can be composted:
fresh grass clippings
fruit and vegetable scraps
manure from goats, cows, horses & sheep
What NOT to add to your compost:
meat of any kind
glossy coated papers & cardboard (no wax)
dog or cat poop
Now, if there is an item that you aren’t sure about that is not on any of these lists, be sure to look them up before adding them to your pile. I’m sure that there are additional items that can be composted that I have not included here.
When in doubt, its always better to not add an item.
It is also important to have the correct ratio of carbon to nitrogen items.
Add too many nitrogen items and your compost will be smelly and too dense.
So what is the best ratio?
A pretty easy to follow ratio is 2/3 brown (carbon) items to 1/3 green (nitrogen) items.
So be sure to add some from each category!
How To Compost
Also, be sure to turn your compost weekly using a pitch fork or shovel. Turning your pile will help to speed up the composting by supplying it with much needed oxygen. The bacteria in your compost pile need oxygen to keep decomposing your organic matter.
You also want your compost pile to maintain a heat of 120-160 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is ideal for the bacteria living in your pile.
Anything below that temp and the bacteria won’t be active enough to compost. Anything above that and the bacteria will start to die.
DIY Compost Bin
Now that we have covered the basics of composting, let’s look at the different methods that can be used to compost!
Believe it or not there are actually lots of different ways to compost. You just need to find the method that works best for you.
Are you looking for a free method? Are you looking for the easiest method? You are sure the find the perfect way to compost here!
The Rubbermaid compost bin is a great method to use!
Try composting using an item that you probably already have on hand.
Learn more about composting using a rubbermaid tote at Just Call Me Homegirl.
This method is so incredibly easy and requires nothing more than a shovel!
This truly is the composting method for the busy gardener!
Learn more about composting using this method at Our Stoney Acres.
If you are going to use a compost bin, a tumbling bin will definitely make your life easier!
Find out how to use a tumbling compost bin at DIY Danielle.
Garbage cans are another excellent container to use to create a homemade compost bin.
Find out exactly how to use a garbage can for composting at The Reid Homestead.
Pallets are another great item to use for composting! Pallet projects are really big right now, and pallets are usually something found laying around the homestead.
So pull out the pallets and head on over to The Cape Coop to find out how to make a pallet composting bin.
Composing with worms makes an incredibly healthy compost!
Watch your garden flourish with castings made by your very own worms:)
Find out more about worm composting at Back Yard Garden Lover.
What I love about the 3 bin compost system is that when one bin is complete, you already have another bin started!
That way you never run out of black gold!
Find out how to use the 3 bin composting system at The Homesteading Hippy.
Another easy DIY compost bin is a 5 gallon bucket, an item that every homesteader has on hand!
Find out how to turn those extra 5 gallon buckets into compost bins at Faithful Farm Wife.
This is the easiest composting method ever! It does take longer for composting to complete, but if time is what’s keeping you from composting, try this method!
Find out how at Growing Wild Roots.
Don’t have a lid for your bin? No problem!
Find out how composting with an open bin works at DIY Danielle.
How To Make Compost
Now that we’ve covered lots of different composting bins, let’s go over some composting tips.
The following ideas will help to keep your composting pile happy:)
Composting weeds can be hard sometimes! Those pesky weeds like to grow in the composting matter instead of breaking down;)
Learn more about composting weeds at Backyard Garden Lover.
If you live in a cold climate you definitely need to read this!
What do you do with your composting pile during the winter? Does it stop composting?
Find out everything that you need to do to keep it going at Learning and Yearning.
Did you know that composting can be done in an apartment?!
If you live in a small space but still like to container garden, then check out how to make nutritious compost in an apartment at Ever Change Productions.
Scraps have to come from somewhere! Collecting scraps in your kitchen doesn’t have to be stinky!
Find out great tips to keep things clean and stink free in your kitchen compost bin at Farming My Backyard.
Do you have a hard time sifting through your outdoor brown items? Use a compost sifter to pick out the pieces to add to your composting pile.
Find instructions to make your own DIY compost sifter at Chicken Scratch NY.
And that is 15 ways to make your own compost!
Now you know what compost is, what can be composted, how to do it and the best tools to use!
Which method will you choose?
Leave me a comment below and let me know!
For more garden soil tips check out: