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Composting - How to Get Started

Updated on January 28, 2010

Why Gardening and Composting are made for Each Other

Compost and Your Garden

Gardening and Composting make a great couple, composting has many advantages and hardly any disadvantages that it is in fact the sensible way of gardening.

Your win is even more then nutrient enriched garden, compost or humus has a great effect on the structure of the soil and the bio-organisms that call it home. Moreover, all this is done by natural means, with as little intervention from you as possible.

A compost rich soil will :

  • solve or prevent many problems with the root systems of your plants and
  • will be beneficial to the overall drainage of your garden.
  • ¬†you will cut down on your own household waste and
  • ¬†protect the environment around you from potentially, harmful chemical based fertilizers.
  • composting will save you some money!

The Basics behind Compost

Composting is in fact a very simple process nature invented long before we even thought about fertilizers and other chemicals, what we call composting today is in fact nothing more or less than using natures recycling system to our advantage. It's working with instead of working against nature. So how to get started?

Humes the Reward

In its basic form, you just to take your organic waste and spread it around your garden. More often then not this is an unwanted situation. You will attract a bit too basic a lot of unwanted visitors and your garden can produce a nasty odor.

This is completely avoidable, so if you want to start your humus producing composting process you will need some preparation. These following three steps should help you get started.

Get yourself educated and get acquainted with the most popular ways of composting.

Make sure you compost various waste products, the microorganisms doing the job in your compost heap need different materials to feed on. You will hear a lot about C:N ratio's but don't worry about them too much for now.

Remember, not only grass clippings but also fiber rich materials like woody waste, like pruning clippings to the heap. Often overlooked but a simple and effective way to improve the compost process is to add waste paper. And one thing every normal compost heap needs is air. A lot of air, because composting is an aerobic process. Composting can be done without oxygen, anaerobic composting but this has some downsides and complicates the process. Worms are the key here, the worms are eating their way through your heap or bin win ensure that enough air can enter the composter.

To recap,

  • make sure you create a divers heap,
  • add waste paper and
  • make sure there is enough air available.

In theory, anything that ever was alive can be composted, but leave out meat, fish, dairy products or cat and dog litter. These products attract rats so leave them out.

Worms are a key factor;
they help you keep the compost process aerobic.

To start the composting process and even to maintain it consider using compost activators.

Instead of an open heap, you can use a compost bin. Using a good compost bin or composter makes the process faster and produces better quality humus. The temperatures in a composter will rise to a level that makes it uncomfortable for seeds to survive, and an open heap gives the rain a change to wash our wanted nutrients away.

Compost Bins

You should therefore get some type of container for your composting needs. These containers typically end up partially buried in your land. They will then have a lid so that biodegradable organic waste can be added to the heap, and then sealed up to keep things cleaner. Bins can be inexpensive but they can also cost a lot of money. Do your research carefully to make sure you choose the right one for your own needs.

Composting will not happen if you don't get your organic waste out to your garden. You don't want to take a dozen trips out there a day though, and so you will need a separate container in your kitchen to throw away the remains of things like fruits and vegetables. Make sure the system you create is simple enough that you won't get discouraged by the extra work and clean enough so that you won't end up attracting insects into your home.

Composting is a fascinating and rewarding way to keep your garden healthy and have it produce most anything you like without taking its toll on the environment.

Worms are the Key to Composting


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    • videotoweb profile image

      videotoweb 6 years ago

      Here in our place buffalo and cow dungs are also used as a compost. However, it is not advisable for the dung to be used in vegetable plants. Thanks for the hub!

    • New_Information profile image

      New_Information 6 years ago from Washington

      Where I live, a ton of used wine barrels hit the market each year, and we've used these to compost in. They work as well as the plastic ones, but you can get them for $10 each. I also like the fact I'm recycling the wine barrels, instead of buying plastic.

    • Philuc profile image

      Philuc 6 years ago from Quito, Ecuador

      Hi, one of our New Year´s resolutions was wotking in our garden (incredibly we are still going strong). We have what started as a small worm hatchery type of thing and it is incredible how fast they reproduce - and the excellent quality of our earth.

    • profile image

      douglas39 6 years ago from Bedford

      Gardening is one of my passion I like to do now I am getting some more info by this hub thanks for sharing the information.

    • profile image

      douglaskim97 6 years ago from Alaska

      Thumbs up for the Hub I love gardening its a pleasurable hobby of mine

    • ViktoriaGrace profile image

      ViktoriaGrace 7 years ago from Atlanta

      Sweet hub. Lot's of great information and I like that it's just one more way we can be more environmentally responsible. :)

    • profile image

      davidrichter 7 years ago from Germany

      Those who are planning to start a composting system can refer this hub page.what are the areas to be concentrated has been clearly described here.

    • entozub profile image

      entozub 7 years ago from Playa del Carmen, Mexico

      Thank you very much for this great hub. Several basic ideas that are helping me to start my own composting system.

    • profile image

      stefan_wagner 7 years ago

      From this article we are getting ideas about how we can do composting.It includes almost all details about composting

    • profile image

      kevinzac 7 years ago

      really wonderful hub.very much relevant in today's world as everybody's discusion is about the green world .thanks for sharing :)