DIY Composting

By Megan Vick


Composting is great to do at home, but it can be a tricky, nasty, smelly, and unproductive business if you don’t start it correctly. After some epic fails at my home, here are some “Do’s” and “Don’ts.”


–          Compost if you have yard space for a bin, tumbler, or giant trash can (must be circular)

–          Toss in produce, crushed eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags & leaves, shredded mail, animal bedding (hamsters, guinea pigs, etc), sawdust, hair (from your hairbrush), nail clippings, natural fibers like 100% wool or cotton (in small pieces)

–          Turn or tumble your heap weekly to mix up the material and spread the decomposition process evenly

–          Add manure from a horse or cow (any herbivore)

–          Add a compost starter or accelerator

–          Be patient!


–          Don’t try to compost if you live in a small place. It’s too much work, too much mess, and little to no reward.  If you’re in an apartment, try starting a community compost area for all the residents!

–          Don’t compost ashes, cat feces or litter, dog feces, colored paper, lime, meat/bones/fat/grease/oils, toxic materials, etc.

–          Don’t leave your compost in an open pile as it could attract pests and rodents.

–          Don’t add seeds- they just might sprout!

–          Don’t use compost as soil- use it in addition to the soil

There are other methods of composting like vermiculture (or vermicompost), hot composting, or toilet composting (yes, it’s true). For starters, I recommend you stick with regular composting and work your way to one of the other trickier options. You’ll get the same outcome- beautiful, rich, dark compost that was well worth the wait!


Have you tried composting at home? What did you do and how did it turn out?


One thought on “DIY Composting

  1. Pingback: Composting Business Provides Pickup Service For Residences

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