Want a great way to give back to the earth in your own backyard? Why not start your own home compost! Not only will it enrich your garden with nutrient-packed soil, it will also make you feel good.
Creating your own home compost is an environmentally friendly addition to your backyard and is surprisingly easy to make. To get started, all you really need is a few kitchen and garden scraps and a little bit of patience.
A healthy compost relies on a good balance of carbon-containing ingredients (often referred to as ‘brown’) and nitrogen-containing ingredients (also known as ‘green’). Brown ingredients include leaves, shredded newspapers, wet pizza boxes, cardboard and egg cartons. Green ingredients are things like grass and garden clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, tea bags and coffee grindings.
Tip: To avoid a smelly compost, steer clear of meat scraps and dairy products.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, all you need to remember are the three elements of a healthy compost: water, oxygen and warmth. Together, these feed microorganisms which speed up the process of decay. Follow this simple four step approach to creating a home compost the right way.
- Combine your materials – Set aside your compostable dinner scraps and garden offcuts until you have enough for a small pile. Make sure you have a good balance of green and brown items.
- Keep the heap warm and moist – Position your compost pile in a sunny spot in the yard. (You can also opt to use a composting bin; however, you’ll need to find some shade for it, otherwise it may overheat in the sun.) You’re aiming to keep the pile consistently warm, as that will ensure your materials decompose properly. You can monitor the temperature of your pile with either a thermometer or with your hand. Your compost should also be kept moist. If it’s too wet or dry, simply add more green or brown ingredients, or even a little bit of water to achieve a spongey consistency.
- Stir it up – Provide the pile with oxygen by regularly turning it (about once a week) with a garden fork. This will help it ‘cook’ faster and prevents materials from becoming matted down and starting to smell.
- Distribute the compost. You’ll know your compost is ready when it looks and smells like rich, crumbly dark earth. At this point, it’s ready to feed to your garden and distribute to your flower beds and pots.
There you have it; a home compost as easy as 1, 2, 3…4. Learn which Because We Care Australia products can be added to your home compost.