When Is The Best Time To Begin Composting?

Composting at home is a great, sustainable way to reduce waste at home and the landfill. Compost provides your garden with extra nutrients, fights off weeds, amends soil, and so much more!

Up Next: Topdressing With Compost Organically Reinvigorates Your Lawn

Here is a quick guide to start composting at home:

Compost Can Be Started Any Time Of The Year

begin compostingIf you want to begin composting, the great news is that you can begin at any time! All you need is a little bit of time, enough space, and the right tools. The essential tools you need to begin composting you probably already have at home. If not, they are easy to obtain:

  • Compost tumbler or bin
  • Shovel
  • Aerator
  • Pitchfork
  • Pruning shears
  • Compost thermometer

Remember to also have a tight-sealing compost bin for the kitchen to store food scraps before transferring to the compost bin or heap. You can either purchase a bin online or use a tight-sealing plastic or glass container at home.

Know What Method You Will Use

There are several ways you can compost, but the main five methods are:

  • Holding units, static units that hold composting material. Requires manual turning with a pitchfork or shovel.
  • Turning units, rotating, wheel-like units that hold composting material that can be easily turned.
  • Compost heaps, the traditional method of composting. Requires manual turning with a pitchfork or shovel.
  • Soil incorporation, or composting through burying food scraps in the ground to promote natural composting.
  • Vermicomposting, or “worm composting.” Worms are added to the soil to digest and promote aerobic decomposition.

Each method has its benefits and knowing your space restraints and materials. For example, vermicomposting is space-efficient and can be easily created with a plastic storage bin.

Good compost needs a healthy balance of “greens and browns” or, in other words, carbon- and nitrogen-rich matter. Good compost should not smell bad; rather, it should have a clean, earthy smell.

Avoid Composting These Materials

Do not compost the following materials:

  • Meat, fish, dairy, fat, or oil
  • Pet feces
  • Human waste
  • Diseased plants
  • Weeds that have seeded
  • Charcoal or coal ash

Meat should not be composted at home because it smells, attracts scavengers, and could spread disease—especially if the compost is not hot enough to kill off pathogens.

Compost-Safe Materials To Add

Rather, compost materials such as:

  • Disease-free garden plants
  • Fruit and vegetable scraps free from cooking fats and oils
  • Crushed eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Shredded paper, cardboard

This list is not comprehensive, and many more organic materials can be composted.

Prefer To Purchase? Hansen’s Tree Service Has Got You Covered!

If you prefer to purchase your compost instead, we have you covered! Hansen’s Tree Service is happy to provide you with 100% organic compost certified by the U.S. Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance Program. With the Magic Bean, you can prevent excess thatch, amend the soil, and more.

Do yourself and your lawn a favor by applying organic compost to create a healthier environment!

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