how to make composting at home

Compost is a murky, natural-smelling substance made from decaying grass clippings, leaves, and diverse organic substances. This decaying procedure occurs without the involvement of humans. That’s because earth creatures and microorganisms do the task of decaying animal resides and plants.

The composting technique permits you to accelerate the biological procedure of making a regular compost stock. Compost is very good and healthy for your landscape and soil structure.

Completed compost is made up of both primary and secondary nutrients that are needed for the improvement of plants and soil structure.

Benefits of Composting

Benefits of Composting
  • Compost aids in curtailing the number of substances getting into the soil.
  • Compost saves costs for gardeners, it does this by providing the soil with natural nutrients instead of purchasing fertilizers, vermiculite, etc.
  • It also helps to enhance the condition of the soil.
  • It also aids in decreasing compression, boosting the growth of plants’ roots and allowing for water to penetrate well.
  • Compost also helps to resist soil-borne decays.

Components of Compost

The components of your compost will greatly determine the type of composter and result your garden will have. However, some rules apply.

All compostable materials are either carbon or nitrogen-based, to varying degrees. To get a healthy compost, you must balance these two elements.

The Secret to a Healthy Compost Pile: Carbon/Nitrogen Ratio


Carbon-rich matter gives compost its light, fluffy body. They include branches, stems, dried leaves, peels, bits of wood, bark dust or sawdust pellets, shredded brown paper bags, corn stalks, coffee filters, coffee grounds, conifer needles, egg shells, straw, peat moss, and wood ash


These are protein-rich matter. They include manures, food scraps, green lawn clippings, kitchen waste, and green leaves. They also provide raw materials for making enzymes.

A healthy compost pile should have much more carbon than nitrogen. Experts advise using one-third green and two-thirds brown materials. The brown material inputs a sort of to the compost, giving room for oxygen to enter and nourish the organisms.

Too much nitrogen creates a dense, smelly, slowly decomposing anaerobic mass. Good composting hygiene means covering fresh nitrogen-rich material with the ability to release odors when exposed to open air, alongside carbon-rich material, which often exudes a fresh smell.

Types of Composting and How To Make Them

1. Active Composting

Active Composting

Active composting is a composting technique that generates compost in the fastest period. However, this procedure needs extra critical scrutiny and systematic tasks. Making active compost requires a heap or bin.

You are to occasionally fill up this heap or bin with the essential components. These essential components could be wastes from your kitchen or other debris.

2. Passive composting

Passive composting

This type of composting does not require intensive labor. Rather, what it requires is patience. This technique is accomplished by a thin expanse of microbes generated in the airy weather.

These microorganisms are comprehensive and yield great compost, but they take a lot of time for the process to be finished. It could take about a year to obtain it.    

When you continually put raw substances into your heap, the substances on the exterior part of the heap will be in the initial phases of breakdown while the ones at the ground will be prepared for use.

You are to extract the substances on the exterior part of the heap and then remove the ones on the bottom part; this is to be done every year.

Note, do not allow your heap to be more than 5ft high, else the pressure and quantity will compress the garbage and restrict the free movement of air. This can also result in an odorous and anaerobic breakdown.

To generate an even output and fasten, the method does well to turn the heap at least once or twice a year.   

This enables fresh air to circulate the waste and break down well. The perfect size of your bin should not be less than 27 cubic feet. A good compost should have a murky brown color and should not look anything like the original substance.

3. Sheet composting

Sheet composting

This is another method of planting a new bed in the overdue summer.

To make a sheet composting, position overlapping compartments of corrugated cardboard or newspaper all over the whole locale.

Then dissipate a 3-5 inch sheet of compost followed by a 5-9 inch sheet of shredded leaves. You may also want to spread some lawn clippings after that.

During the spring, you will freely cultivate into the soil without having to till the soil again. If leaves have not been crushed completely, they should be removed and utilized as mulch.

Sheet composting does not need too much work and turning. Rather it makes use of a huge quantity of locally accessible natural substances.

4. Trench Composting

Trench Composting

Trench composting gives a vegetable farmer a chance to boost the ground continually.

To make a trench composting, poke a hole in a land bed, the hole should be about 9-13 inches deep.

After that, bury the wastes from your kitchen, such as fruit peels, coffee grounds etc. Then, cover the substance with either chopped leaves or sand.

Those kitchen wastes will now feast on microbes and earth animals to boost soil fertility. Trench composting functions better in gardens that are fenced.

Is There Anything I Definitely Shouldn’t Put in My Compost?

Do not compost meat, bones, or fish scraps, as they attract pests. However, if you are using a composter designed specifically for this purpose, you can do so.

  • Avoid composting perennial weeds or diseased plants. That’s because they can spread disease when using your compost.
  • Don’t include pet manures in compost that will be used on food crops.
  • Avoid composting black walnut leaves.
  • When using compost, do not mix in or scatter stardust on it to avoid clumping.

Keep banana peel, orange rinds, and peach peel out of compost as they may contain pesticide residue.

How To Manage The Condition Of A Compost

The condition of compost should always be regulated and managed well. And it can be done in diverse ways, like:

  1. Using compost thermometers
  2. Use your hand to check the condition of the compost.

You can use your hand to check the condition of the compost when you do not have access to a compost thermometer.

When you put your hand in the heap, and it feels cool, the heap is due to be turned out. On the other hand, if the heap feels hot, like boiled water, then it’s okay.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. What Materials Can I Compost At Home?

You can compost various materials at home, including fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea leaves, eggshells, yard waste (such as grass clippings and leaves), shredded paper, cardboard, and even small amounts of wood ash. However, it’s important to avoid composting meat, dairy products, oily foods, and pet waste, as these can attract pests and take longer to break down.

2. Do I Need A Special Container Or Bin For Composting?

While having a designated compost bin or container can make the process more organized, it is not essential. You can create a compost pile directly on the ground in a sunny area of your backyard.

However, a container can help contain the compost, provide better aeration, and retain heat, speeding up the decomposition process. Options include commercially available compost bins, homemade wooden bins, or even repurposed plastic containers.

3. How Long Does It Take For Compost To Be Ready To Use?

The time it takes for compost to be ready varies depending on factors such as the materials used, the size and moisture level of the compost pile, and the weather conditions. In general, it can take anywhere from a few months to a year for compost to be fully decomposed and ready for use.

To speed up the process, ensure you have a balanced mix of green and brown materials, maintain the right moisture level (damp but not overly wet), and turn the compost pile regularly to provide oxygen.

4. Can I Compost In An Apartment Or Small Living Space?

You can compost in an apartment or small living space with limited outdoor access. One option is vermicomposting, which involves using worms to decompose organic waste in a controlled environment. You can purchase a small worm bin or create one using a plastic container.

5. How Can I Prevent Odors And Pests In My Compost?

To prevent odors and pests in your compost, it’s important to maintain and manage your compost pile properly. Avoid adding meat, dairy, oily foods, and pet waste, as these can attract pests. Ensure a good balance of green (nitrogen-rich) and brown (carbon-rich) materials to prevent odors. Regularly turn the compost pile to provide oxygen and help with decomposition.

Wrap up!

We believe this article has provided you with healthy ways to make your desired compost at home. Ensure to find out which of the methods suits your soil and plants so you can know which to adapt. We will love to hear from you how your experience was. Happy Composting!

About the Author

Virginia E. Hayes is a gardening enthusiast who loves to write about gardening tools, safety issues, and ways to keep gardens clean and safe. With her vast experience in gardening, she provides valuable insights and tips to help fellow gardening enthusiasts to enhance their gardening experience. Her passion for gardening and writing has made her a sought-after author in the gardening community.

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