There’s a simple way to make your soil more productive. Start composting and you can evolve the quality of what you can grow and eat in your life. The composting benefits will become clear immediately, and will change the way you interact with nature and the world!
“Composting is one of the most rewarding things you can do,” said Kevin at the popular Epic Gardening YouTube site in his guide to composting. “It feels like you’re an alchemist. You bring in your food scraps and your garden trimmings and leaves and such, and then magically turn them into something that then grows more for you.”
5 Hot Composting Mistakes To Avoid
Composting is the process of turning food scraps into soil. It helps keep food out of the landfill, and it’s a great way to participate in a no-waste circular food system. There are several different kinds of composting, including pit, closed container, open container, tumbler, and vermicomposting.
You don’t need a big yard to start composting. Composting can be done in small spaces like apartments, with the right tools. You will need a container and some starting materials described below. Once you realize the composting benefits, you will want to get started immediately.
Composting in an Apartment:
If you live in an apartment and want an indoor compost container, here’s how to get started. Figure out where you want to keep the compost and then select a suitable container. For instance, if you want to keep it underneath the kitchen sink then look for a small metal or plastic container that fits. Remember to choose somewhere that pets and children won’t disturb.
Next, drill a few holes in the container to allow for air circulation. Then, sprinkle some shredded newspaper in the bottom, followed by a few inches of soil, and topped off with a bit more newspaper. You don’t need worms to compost, but read this if you are interested in worm composting. Place a small spade nearby and voila! It’s ready to use. Mix in your compost with a new scoop of soil each week. Use it to grow plants indoors or offer it to your neighbors.
CalKim has shared advice for years about this topic. Watch her small-space composting video for a visual introduction for composting in a simple five-gallon container!
This lady is amazing. More of this, great video. She even has a business set up. There are the people we need to bring to terra.
The process is mostly the same if you plan to start composting outdoors.
First, you’ll need to choose a location in your yard that receives a reasonable amount of sun. The heat will help raise the temperature of the compost pile and speed the decomposition of the food scraps. If you live in a very hot environment, make sure it’s a slightly shaded spot so it doesn’t evaporate all the moisture.
If you have a garden, consider locating your compost pile directly beside the garden. This reduces the wheelbarrow trips you’ll take with yard waste for the pile.
The off-grid experts at Pure Living for Life have a practical introduction to creating an outdoor compost pile. Following their advice, you can make a bin or a pile, depending on your size constraints.
More Composting Resources
Kevin at Epic Gardening shared a few more methods of composting, if you are looking for additional solutions.
Always double-check the laws around outdoor composting where you live.
The U.S. Composting Council has a state-by-state compost regulations reference guide you can check to find out what regulations you have to follow (if any).
You can keep researching composting benefits and methods for years! But, as that video reminds us, just get started. Your compost will help you live a more sustainable lifestyle and change your gardening forever.
“While we do try to do research and understand what we’re getting ourselves into, ultimately, we don’t want to suffer from analysis paralysis. So, while there’s probably a
lot we could be doing differently in the end, this is working out pretty well for us and we do have usable compost that’s ready to go in the garden.”