Many people make composting much too complicated but it doesn’t need to be. Here are some easy ideas and the basics you need to know to get started!
How to Compost
I have to say that there are 3 things that are my passion, compost, making lye soap and saving money. Don’t ask me why but I just LOVE compost! I know, it doesn’t take much to give me a thrill!
I keep an old ice cream bucket with a lid for trimmings from my kitchen to put in the compost pile. All tea bags, coffee grinds and filters, eggshells, paper towel, veggie scraps (you can use them to make vegetable broth first), newspaper without colored inks. You could also keep a plastic bag or container, like a large ice cream bucket in the freezer.
Dump it in a pile and let it rot.
Really it’s basically that simple. Don’t use meat scraps. Only vegetable scraps, garden clippings, grass, leaves etc. I just put mine in a big pile and let it rot for a year and then use it. I have had in the past 2 piles that I contained with wood pallets. I just made a little fence with the pallets. I would turn the pile every couple of months with a pitch fork from the 1st pile into the second. That just let air in to get it rotting faster.
You can also stick a piece of PVC pipe with holes drilled in it in the middle of your pile. This lets in air and you can stick the hose down the center of it to give it some water if it’s really dry out. It rots faster with moisture.
You can also contain your pile in a trashcan or something like that. Basically just dump it in and let it rot. You can drill holes all over the sides. Then just dump in your scraps. Every week or so, snap on the lid and roll around, it mixes it and then you will have wonderful compost in a few weeks to a few months.
Ask local farmers or chicken farms for manure. Be sure to compost it before using to get all the weed seeds killed.
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I read a lot about adding eggshells to your compost, but they do not break down like the other “ingredients”. I guess they keep the compost from becoming too solid…not sure. I do keep my eggshells to use under the soil when planting, for drainage (because they don’t decompose)
Moms, there are also recipes for making eggshell sidewalk chalk.
They take a little longer but I haven’t found it to be to big of a deal. You can crush them if you want before you add to the compost. I don’t worry over my compost that much. I just toss things in. Usually by the time I have dug around in it or stepped in it things get mushed up pretty good. I know many worry about how many layers they have of this or that and stir it and everything but like many things we have started making things way more complicated and worrisome then they really need to be.
Rather than have a compost pile that needs turning and tending, I bury in a hole about twice the size of the amount of veg scraps, cover loosely with soil, in an area of my garden in which the soil could use a nutritional boost. The waste products break down completely within six months, and as I live in a moderate climate, I do this year round. Easier than any “pile” method.