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How to Compost Using a Small Space - A Decorative Approach

Updated on January 23, 2012
My decorative compost garden complete with rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, catnip and mint.
My decorative compost garden complete with rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, catnip and mint.

Items You Will Need

An area approximately 3 1/2' x 3 1/2', preferably against a wall

6 Cinder blocks

12 Herbs or other plants

1 large bag of potting soil


Wet materials such as vegetable scraps, used coffee grinds, used coffee filters, used tea bags

Dry materials such as shredded paper, brown leaves, egg shells

Getting Your Compost Started

  1. Start by digging and turning the existing soil.
  2. Mix in a good amount of potting soil. If you have good quality soil where you live, you may be able to skip this step.
  3. Use cinder blocks to create a border, placing them with the holes facing up. The center of this area will be used for composting.
  4. Fill holes in cinder blocks halfway with potting soil. Arrange herbs and/or plants in holes. Fill remainder of hole with potting soil, patting down around plants.
  5. Water plants.

Maintaining Your Compost

  • Deposit scraps as they become available instead of placing them in the trash.
  • Turn your compost pile every 2 weeks, burying scraps and bringing up the soil.
  • Chop large pieces of vegetable scraps; the smaller the scraps, the faster the compost will break down.
  • Do not compost meat or pet feces.
  • If your compost is close to your house you will also want to avoid fruits. Fruits tend to cause more odor when they break down and may encourage pests such as flies and rodents.
  • If you are using tea bags, make sure the bags are made from paper and there are no staples in them.


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    • Sharon McConnell profile image

      Sharon McConnell 6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      InTune, thanks for reading. I had an area that was doing nothing too and voila, decorative compost!

    • InTuneWithCooking profile image

      InTuneWithCooking 6 years ago from Australia

      Great ideas! I have an area that is doing nothing and this would work very well. Voted up