An Introduction to Home Composting
Updated: Sep 11
Home composting is a great way to recycle organic waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. There are several types of home composting methods, each with its own advantages and considerations. The best method for you depends on factors like the space you have available, the types of materials you'll be composting, and your personal preferences. Here are some common types of home composting:
Traditional Composting Bin: This is the most common method where you create a compost bin to contain your organic waste. You develop a 50/50 mix of green (nitrogen-rich) materials like kitchen scraps and grass clippings with brown (carbon-rich) materials like leaves and paper.
*Regular turning or mixing helps aerate the pile and speed up decomposition.
If you don't want to work your compost by hand, tumbling composters are bins that can be turned to mix the materials inside. However, while they provide better aeration and faster decomposition compared to traditional bins, they are generally smaller and may not handle large amounts of waste.
Vermicomposting, involves using worms (usually red wigglers) to decompose organic waste. Worms consume the waste and their castings (worm poop) create nutrient-rich vermicompost.
*This method is well-suited for indoor or small space composting and works well with kitchen scraps.
If you have a large yard or garden space, you can simply throw your scraps into a pile outside, creating a compost heap.
Though this method requires more space and may take longer to break down, it is a simple and effective method.
Pit Composting: You dig a pit in the ground to support the decomposition of larger waste items like woody materials that may not break down easily in other systems.
Composting in Place: You can bury your organic waste directly in your garden beds. Like you would stack lasagna, organic brown and green matter is laid in layers, one atop the other. This process adds nutrients to the soil as the waste breaks down.
Traditional bins or piles work well for most households and yards, as they are flexible and effective. The "best" method, however, depends on your specific circumstances and goals. If you have limited space, vermiculture or a compact tumbling composter might be ideal. If you want a versatile option that can handle a wider variety of waste, bokashi composting might suit you.
*Remember that successful composting involves a balance between green and brown materials, proper aeration, moisture control, and occasional turning or mixing to speed up the process. It's a good idea to research the specific requirements of the method you choose and adapt it to your situation.