Written by: Annie Muggia, intern at Blueland
April 25, 2022
Compost is decomposed organic material that offers important nutrients to your lawn or garden. These essential nutrients are frequently used as a fertilizer. There are countless benefits to composting, so why not try it at home?
What are the Benefits of Composting?
A few composting benefits include soil replenishment, reducing kitchen and yard waste, good for the environment, and reducing landfill waste. According to Earth Easy, compost is the “single most important supplement you can give your garden.” Composting is an effective alternative to chemical fertilizers that would otherwise be used in lawns and gardens. Furthermore, composting vastly reduces landfill waste. One-third of landfill waste is compostable, which means individuals could divert this waste by composting at home.
What Should I Compost?
A few factors differ on what can be composted, but there are a few basic principles. First, a crucial component of composting is the carbon to nitrogen ratio. A compost pile should have more carbon than nitrogen. Materials rich in carbon like branches, peels, paper bags, and coffee filters are great materials to compost. Materials rich in nitrogen include tea leaves, seaweed, lawn and garden weeds, and flowers. While these materials are great to put in your compost, certain materials should not be in compost. Unless you use a composter designed to include meat, it is best not to include meat, fish scraps, and bones as it will attract pests.
What Composter Should I Use?
When choosing a composter, consider where you live and what you will be composting. Do you live in an urban area? Maybe New York City? Assuming you have limited to no outdoor space, you should use a worm bin (vermicomposting). If you live in a rural area with a yard, it is better to use an enclosed bin or compost tumbler. There are great composting options no matter where you live!
What Are the Steps to Composting at Home?
There are different ways to approach composting at home, but you can start by simply creating a compost pile on the ground. This will inherently attract worms and other organisms. Second, lay twigs a few inches deep and add compost materials in layers. Next, add manure (buckwheat, grass clippings, etc) or any other nitrogen source. Now, all you need to do is maintain it! You can accomplish this by keeping the compost watered and covering it with anything you have to retain moisture and heat. You can turn the pile and mix it around to aerate the materials every few weeks.