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A Beginner's Guide to Composting

by Christine Metros Natale 01/10/2022

Composting is the act of taking food scraps and yard waste in order to feed the soil and create a more nutritious blend for any plants that you are growing in your home. It's a concept that has many benefits. Not only does composting help you to grow a healthy and nutritious garden, but it also helps reduce the amount of waste that you send to the landfill each week.

More and more households are looking to start composting in order to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their commitment a sustainable lifestyle. If you want to try your hand at this simple practice, here's what you need to know:

Every Compost Pile Consists of Three Elements: Browns, Greens and Water

In order to create an effective compost pile, you need equal parts of brown materials and green materials. Brown materials include dead leaves, sticks and branches from trees. Green materials are not always the color green. They are essentially natural waste products, such as lawn clippings, fruit scraps or vegetable peelings. You can even add coffee grounds to your compost pile.

Still have questions about what you can and cannot compost? Here are a few examples of what you can safely add to your compost bin:

      • Nutshells
    • Eggshells
    • Wood chips
    • Hair and pet fur
    • Houseplants
    • Shredded newspaper
    • Fruit peels
    • Vegetable waste

    Here are a few things that you should keep out of your compost pile:

    • Dairy products
    • Meat scraps
    • Pet waste

    You Only Need a Few Supplies to Start Composting

    Some people avoid composting because they think they are going to need a lot of supplies and intricate set up in order to compost effectively. However, you only need a few basic supplies in order to get started. These include:

    • A scrap pail that is located in your kitchen.
    • A designated compost bin.
    • A place in your yard to put the compost.

    Composting Is Easy and Everybody Can Join In

    Once you have your supplies ready, you can easily create a composting process in your own home. Here are some steps to take when you begin composting:

    • Leave your pail out in a prominent spot to remind everyone in the house to put compost materials there. Regularly add products to the pail throughout the day.
    • Every day, take your pail to the compost bin and dump it out.
    • Once per month, turn your compost bin so that the materials mix up with one another and continue to decompose.
    • Monitor the material at the bottom of the pile. When it appears as rich soil without any scraps, it is ready to be added to your garden. You will usually have ready-made soil at least once every six months.

    Composting Has Endless Benefits

    Not only is composting easy, but it's incredibly beneficial. Here are a few of the benefits that you will uncover when you start composting:

    • You will have easy access to rich soil that provides you with incredible results. In addition, you will have less of a need for pesticides or chemical fertilizer. This will save you time and money in your gardening.
    • You will keep unnecessary items out of landfills, which helps to reduce methane emissions and create a greener environment.

    Whether you are going to pursue backyard composting or indoor composting, you will find that it's easy to get hooked on this process that helps reduce waste and improves the soil. As you are pulling up bright, ripe vegetables from your garden later this summer, you will see just how beneficial your compost pile can be.

About the Author

Christine Metros Natale

Christine Metros Natale
Broker and Owner

Christine Metros Natale has been one of New England’s top real estate brokers for the past 38 years.  In fact, before forming Homes by Christine, Christine was one of the top 25 agents for RE/MAX and Century 21.