|Making your own compost has many advantages. It helps to cut down on what you send to the landfill, it’s great for the environment and it keeps your vegetable and flower garden healthy and looking terrific; plus it saves money that you would spend on unnecessary fertilizers.
If it will rot, you can use it to make compost. Young weeds and cuttings from your lawn rot quickly. They are “hot rotters,” and a great way to get a compost heap started.
Tougher material and older weeds don’t rot as quickly, but do give compost body. These will make up the bulk of your compost heap.
Wood rots very slowly. Before you add tree limbs or shrub cuttings to the compost pile, either chop them finely or put them through a shredder. For best results, be sure to add a variety of things to your compost heap or bin.
Hot rotters turn into contest quickly. Here is a list of hot rotters to add to your compost heap or bin.
- Young weeds
- Grass cuttings
- Pigeon manure
- Comfrey leaves
- Chicken manure
- Paper towels
- Paper bags
- Toilet tissue and paper towel rolls and other tubes
- Egg cartons
- Wood ashes from a wood stove or fireplace
- Tea bags
- Scraps from fruit and vegetables
- Dead flowers
- Straw and hay
- Coffee grounds
- Annuals and bedding plant remains
- Vegetable garden remains
- Soft weeds, prunings and hedge clippings
- Wood shavings and prunings
- Fall leaves
- Tough hedge clippings
- Cooked food
- Fish and meat
How to Make Contest
- Coal ashes
- Cat or dog feces
- Human feces or baby’s disposable diapers
- Glossy magazines
You are able to make compost easily by adding items which are compostable to your compost pile. It will all rot in time. However, the end result may not be pleasant, as it may look and smell terrible.
If you want to make compost in a short period of time and feel like putting a little more effort into it, follow these tips:
Using the “hot compost” method will provide you with your own compost in six to eight weeks. Your garden will be healthier and look better than with chemical fertilizers. Happy gardening.
- Purchase a compost bin
- If using a plastic compost bin, place a layer of twigs and branches on the bottom so the compost can breathe and air can circulate.
- Gather enough compost materials to make a one foot (30 cm) layer on top of the twigs and branches.
- Add lawn cuttings, soft weeds and kitchen and vegetable scraps.
- Add ingredients to the bin. Be sure it extends to the edges and gently press it down. Alternate between soft and tough layers, or you can mix them together. Water the bin down after adding 12 to 24 inches of material to the bin.
- If most of the items you add to the compost bin are kitchen scrapes, mix them with egg cartons, toilet tissue or paper towel tubes or other cardboard items. This will give your compost a good balance.
- When the compost bin is full, or when you stop adding to it, leave it to compost naturally.
- When you need compost, remove everything from the bin. You will find compost at the bottom.
- Replace all material that hasn’t composted and wet down well if it is dry. If it is soggy, be sure to add some dry ingredients such as egg cartons or cardboard. Continue as before.