Easiest Way to Make a Compost


Although you can buy compost--a rich and soil-improving garden amendment--from nurseries and garden stores, it's much more economical to make your own compost at home. Using a compost holding unit comprises one of the easiest methods of making compost, according to the University of Illinois. All you need to do is toss your organic waste into the bin, and let it rot into a dark mixture that will feed your plants and condition your soil.

Step 1

Choose a compost holding unit from a garden store or nursery. Compost bin construction material can be plastic, wood or any other material.

Step 2

Construct your own compost holding unit as an alternative to buying a commercially prepared bin. Texas A&M University recommends pounding metal stakes into the ground in a square-shaped pattern with each post spaced apart by 3 feet. Insert a 5-foot stake 2 feet into the ground for proper strength. Tie wire mesh vertically around the outside of the stakes. Leave the top end open.

Step 3

Pour 6 to 10 inches of coarse dried organic matter, like leaves and dried grass, into the bottom of the compost bin. Sprinkle water on the dried matter to moisten it.

Step 4

Add 3 to 4 inches of wet organic matter, like vegetable scraps or trimmings from your garden.

Step 5

Pour an inch of soil on top of the organic waste, then repeat the layering of dried matter, wet matter and soil until the compost bin is full.

Step 6

Allow the material to sit in the bin and decompose. If you don't turn it, it can take up to 24 months for the material to decompose into usable compost, according to the University of Illinois. For faster processing, Texas A&M University recommends mixing up the contents of the bin with a pitchfork or spade every 14 days for usable compost within two months.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost bin
  • Vegetation
  • 5-foot stakes
  • Mallet or hammer
  • Wire mesh
  • Garden twine, rope or wire


  • "The Complete Compost Gardening Guide"; Barbara Pleasant and Deborah Martin; 2008
  • University of Illinois: Composting Methods
  • Texas A&M University: Easy Composting
Keywords: easy composting method, making compost, homemade compost

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.