Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Compost 101

I've mentioned on OLM before how I have a strange love for compost. Not only is it great for the environment, but it's incredible for your garden's soil. I only started doing it this year, and it's easy peasy, I swear anyone can do it. You can get a fancy compost bin or simply make your own (like we did). The question most people ask me is "What can and can't you toss in the compost bin?" I hope this inspires you to start a compost of your own. 

What to Compost:
There are two classes Greens, which are high in Nitrogen and provide protein. While the Browns, which are high in carbon provide energy. The ideal compost would have four parts brown to one part greens. 


  • shredded cardboard, this means pizza boxes!
  • dried leaves
  • bark and sawdust, in moderation
  • straw
  • corn stalks


  • grass clippings
  • leaves
  • kitchen scrapes (fruits, veggies, coffee grounds, tea bags)
  • fruits

What NOT to Compost:

  • pet droppings 
  • ashes
  • colored paper
  • meat
  • bones
  • dairy
  • chemicals

I just toss everything in the compost bin and let it cook, I turn it often with a pitch fork. A healthy compost pile will have worms, but not flies. If I missed anything, please add it to the comments! 


*Crystal* said...

Thanks for explaining this. I want to start my own compost bin as well. Just have to buy a container I guess.

Natalie said...

I read in Gorgeously Green that you can throw your lint in there from your dryer's lint trap. Newspaper and junk mail too. I love to compost too :)

One Love Mama said...

Thanks Natalie!

~Melody @ 6 Feet Over~ said...

My brother composts and you should see his garden! Holy cow! He lives on 4.5 acres and we live on a tiny lot...and I don't have a garden. I so want to do this.


bbcd mama said...

This is one thing we have not undertaken yet. I need to remember this post for future reference.

VKT said...

Wow...this was a very informative post. I am going to try to make one. Your directions make it seem simpler than I imagined it would be. Thanks!!

The Mayor! said...

Nice! We compost at the cottage all summer, but after Earth Day last week, the kids asked again about doing it at home...I just don't have much of a yard & no garden here, so I never bothered...maybe I will now!

Tracy said...

We have to compost here in Nova Scotia by law. It's not too bad. the only problem is in the summer.....but you have to do our part for mother nature! thanks for sharing :O)

Heather @ Gerber Days said...

Interesting! I have never thought of doing this, but you have sparked the possibility!


erin said...

Oh, junk mail and lint. I had no idea. I've actually just started to research this. How long does it take for it to become usable soil?

flmom said...

I have a couple of bins we made out of lidded trash cans, but I never remember to tumble them! Eventually it all breaks down, but it would be so much faster if I gave it the attention it needs.

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