Composting is an easy and effective way to reduce your environmental impact while creating an excellent soil amendment for your garden and houseplants. Whether you’re new to composting or looking for ways to improve the process, these tips and tricks can help you get the most out of it. From understanding what materials are compostable to maximizing your output, you’ll find information you need for composting at home here.

Turn the Compost Regularly

Regularly turning the compost pile introduces oxygen, which expedites the decomposition process by providing air to the organisms that break down the organic matter. Use a garden fork or pitchfork every week or two to mix the ingredients and aerate the compost properly.

Composting at Home: Add a Variety of Materials

Incorporating a variety of materials into your compost bin adds beneficial bacteria and organisms, which speed up the decomposition process. Aim for a balance of “green” materials, such as grass clippings and kitchen scraps, with “brown” materials, such as dry leaves and shredded newspaper.

Manage Moisture Levels

Exposure to air is important for the composting process, but too much or too little water can slow it down. The contents of your compost bin should be damp like a wrung-out sponge, but if they’re too wet, the pile will go stagnant and start smelling. If the pile is too dry, the breakdown process will slow down or stop completely.

Don’t Add These Materials

Not all organic materials are suitable for composting. Never add pet waste, oil, dairy products, or meat scraps to your compost bin, as these can attract pests and create unpleasant odors. In addition, weeds that have gone to seed should not be added to the compost pile as they may germinate in the new environment.

Find the Right Space for Composting at Home

Composting is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Ideally, you should place your compost bin in an area that gets a mix of direct sunlight and shade to help regulate the temperature of the pile, and there should be exposure to air and water. If space is limited, look for smaller bins or make a compost tumbler to fit your area.

Composting at home is an easy and rewarding way to reduce your environmental impact and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. With these helpful tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating rich compost in your backyard.

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