Are you composting those kitchen scraps from vegetables and fruits that your household consumes? Have you thought about it but just haven’t started yet? This composting for beginners post is for you!
We are not the greenest family I know, but things such as reusing rain water with rain barrels, recycling, and composting have become a regular part of our household routine.
What do you need to get started in composting? You’ll need greens and browns.
Greens are the kitchen scraps from vegetables and fruits that your household is consuming, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, or grass clippings. Greens are rich in nitrogen. Browns are things like leaves, wood chips, or straw. Browns are rich in carbon. The ratio that we have been using is roughly 4:1 – 4 parts brown to 1 part green.Looking to start #composting? Here's how to get started. #gardening Click To Tweet
Materials you need to start composting
- something to gather vegetable and fruit scraps inside your kitchen
- something to mix your greens and browns in outside
We personally just use an old plastic pretzel container for our compost pail in our kitchen. It isn’t pretty, but it does the job! This compost pail is highly rated and cute! I wouldn’t mind it being on my kitchen countertop.
We have two different kinds of compost bins similar to this locking lid composter and this tumbler. We got both free so don’t be deterred by price. The first one we received after attending a free workshop on composting in the city. Try searching for “free compost bins” plus your city. Another good place to search are sites like Freecycle or Craigslist for unused compost bins. The other one we got from a family member.
You can also make your own out of sturdy wire or pallet boards. Some friends of ours have a round garbage bin with a top that locks on. They drilled holes into that and use it for their compost bin. It’s ingenious – they just put it on its side and roll it around to mix the compost – no pitchfork needed!
Composting for beginners: The Process
- Every few days we bring our compost pail “our greens” out to the compost bins.
- We dump “our browns” on top of the greens.
- We mix it up with our pitchfork.
- Add water if the compost looks too dry. You want it moist but not soggy wet.
For a list of “Do’s and Don’t’s” regarding what to compost, feel free to download this free printable.Here are the do's and don'ts of what to #compost. Free printable. #gardening Click To Tweet
We keep several bags of brown leaves next to our compost bins that we’ve collected from our neighbors. We’ve learned to pick up several bags in the Fall to give us enough browns to last us until the following Fall for our compost.
Full disclosure, we have yet to actually use our home compost in our gardens. We keep adding to our pile without letting it “cook” all the way down. Since we have free compost available to us through the city, we don’t feel the need to use our own compost in our gardens. We just feel great that we’re keeping things out of the landfills!
Do you compost? If so, any other tips for beginners?
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