Composting is an excellent way to give back to the earth that continues to allow us to live and breathe. For those who don’t know, composting is a process in which organic matter, such as food waste, is recycled to turn into fertilizer for plant growth. The process is relatively simple, and you can do it easily at home as well as in other places.
If you plan to start composting at home, there are a few things you should know so that you do it correctly. Here are the dos and don’ts of at-home composting. Thus, this article will help guide you in making the right decisions to get the most out of this process.
Why Should You Compost at Home?
If you’re still unclear on the benefits of composting at home, allow us to explain. Composting at home allows you to create a fertilizer that’s mild, which typically won’t burn certain plants like it may happen chemical fertilizers. Adding compost to the soil in your backyard or simply in potted plants can significantly improve the soil’s texture.
In turn, the soil will be able to retain and drain more effectively than usual. Therefore, in the long term, you’re both giving back to the planet, and you’re helping improve the condition of the plants growing on your property.
The Dos and Don’ts of At-Home Composting
Of course, there are some practices with composting at home. For example, watering it appropriately or avoiding mixing certain types of food scraps, etc. With that said, here are some dos and don’ts of at-home composting.
Dos of At-Home Composting
We’ll begin with the positives. Here’s what you should know.
Do Add Garden and Yard Residues to Your Compost
Add garden and yard residues and other organic materials to your compost. Examples of organic materials include the following.
- Grass clippings
- Hay and straw
- Shred or finely chopped shrub and tree prunings
Do Add a Combination of Brown and Green Plant Material to the Compost
It’s best to add a combination of brown and green plant material to your compost. Brown plant material adds carbon to the compost, while the green material offers nitrogen. Both carbon and nitrogen are required for microbes to break down organic material.
Do Cut Large Pieces before Adding the Compost
It may be tempting to simply add large items directly into the compost. However, larger pieces take longer to decompose than smaller items. Therefore, it’s best to cut items such as twigs, branches, or newspapers into smaller pieces before you add them to your compost. Your compost will be more effective when the items decompose faster.
Do Place Food Scraps underneath Other Items in Your Compost Pile
Food scraps are a great resource for your compost. That said, you should be sure to place it underneath other items in your compost pile. If you leave it at the top, you risk rodents going through it in search of leftover food.
Do Add the Right Amount of Water
At-home composting requires frequent watering. However, it’s important that you add only enough water that the mixture is damp and not soggy.
Do Produce Items’ Scraps
With at-home composting, it’s best to add produce items scraps as well. Produce items include but are not limited to the following.
- Banana peels
- Apple cores
- Orange peels
- Melon rinds
You can also add eggshells and coffee grounds to the compost pile.
Do Turn Over the Compost Pile
Occasionally turn over the compost pile so that the bottom is at the top. You could also shift it into another compost bin to mix it. The purpose of this practice is to aerate the material to speed up the decomposition process.
Don’ts of At-Home Composting
Now that you know the dos of at-home composting, here’s what you should not do.
Don’t Add Certain Foods
There are some foods such as the following that you must avoid adding to your compost at all costs.
- Meat scraps
- Dairy products
- Whole eggs
These products can cause odors, decompose slowly, and attract rodents.
Don’t Make Your Compost Pile Too Small or Large
Don’t make your compost pile too small or large. For an enclosed backyard compost pile, you should make one with dimensions that are about 3 ft. or 5 ft. in height, width, and length.
Don’t Add Kitty Litter or Pet Feces to the Compost
It’s best not to add kitty litter or pet feces to the compost. While they may help with breaking down the compost, they have germs, bacteria, parasites, and viruses.
Don’t Add Diseased Plants
It’s never a good idea to add diseased plants to your compost pile. In addition to that, you shouldn’t add plants that are toxic to other plants. Moreover, don’t add weeds that produce many seeds because the weeds may not die during the composting process.
Don’t Add Certain Types of Paper
Don’t add coated or glossy paper to your compost pile. In addition to that, avoid sticky labels found on fruits. These types of paper are not biodegradable.
Last Few Words
In addition to knowing the dos and don’ts of at-home composting, it’s important to understand that compost is not an alternative to fertilizer in your home garden. Instead, it’s a supplement that helps overall plant growth. Compost releases nutrients necessary for plant growth at a relatively low rate. Thus, it’s not sufficient to sustain plant growth on its own. That said, composting at home is a relatively straightforward process that doesn’t require much investment.
At TP Green, we believe that no effort to become environment-friendly is wasted. We need to play our role and move closer to a cleaner and greener environment. We offer products that aim to make the world a better place in the future. If you are looking for compostable disposables or sustainable reusables, please visit us.