How to Create Your Own Compost


Creating your own gardening compost is an excellent way of recycling, while providing your plants with much-needed nutrients. Composting speeds up the decay of organic matter, which can then be used to fertilize the garden. Items that can be successfully composted include, kitchen waste, leaves, grass clippings, pine needles, twigs and even dryer lint.

Step 1

Choose an area to place your compost pile. It should be located in a warm area of the garden yet protected from wind.

Step 2

Build an enclosure for the compost pile. The enclosure should measure 4 feet by 4 feet by 4 feet and have an opening large enough to allow you to turn the pile. Pounding stakes into the soil and fastening chicken wire around them is one of the easiest methods, according to experts at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in Pennsylvania.

Step 3

Create the compost pile by placing a 4-inch layer of shredded leaves on the bottom of the enclosure. Add 2 inches of grass clippings. Continue to layer the shredded leaves and the grass clippings until the pile is 4 feet high. Add kitchen scraps that you have ground in a food processor or a blender.

Step 4

Use the pitchfork to slice into the pile, vertically, and mix all the ingredients. Add water until the pile is moist, not soggy, and cover it with a garbage bag.

Step 5

Turn the pile again the next day, again on the fourth day and then every three days until it is ready for use. This should occur in two weeks.

Tips and Warnings

  • The Pennsylvania DEP cautions against using the following in your compost pile: fish, meat, poultry, foods containing animal fats, dairy products, human/pet feces, weeds with seed heads and plants infected with diseases, such as roses and peonies.

Things You'll Need

  • Stakes
  • Chicken wire
  • Shredded leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Kitchen scraps
  • Blender or food processor
  • Black plastic garbage bag
  • Pitchfork


  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection: How To Make Compost
  • ‭"‬California Master Gardener Handbook";‭ ‬Dennis R.‭ ‬Pittenger‭; ‬2002
Keywords: make compost, build compost pile, create compost

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.