Home Composting Tips

For many gardeners, composting is the most enjoyable part of gardening. There's something therapeutic about watching your kitchen waste turn into black gold. Composting enthusiasts save money, because they don't have to spend it on soil amendments at home and garden centers. They are also more than happy to share composting tips with novice gardeners and fellow composters.

Choose a Convenient Site

Composting can be done right outside the kitchen door. Although hard for a beginning composter to believe, the compost pile doesn't smell or attract flies. Place the compost outside the kitchen door to make it convenient to toss vegetable peelings and egg shells on the pile as you're cooking.

Compost Bins

There's no need to buy an expensive compost bin like the ones advertised in catalogs. There are many ways to make a compost bin. Some people use cinder block to create walls for their bins. Cinder blocks are cheap, and they can be stacked on top of each other without cement, making the bin portable. A compost bin made with gardening lattice for the sides and gate is probably the most inexpensive. Composting can also be done right in the garden after the gardening season is over. When gardening season comes around again, all you have to do is till the compost into the ground.

Chicken Manure

Chicken manure is a excellent fertilizer and can be added to the compost pile. Chicken manure used alone would be too hot a fertilizer for the garden. However, mixing it with the other compost materials turns it into a rich additive.

Coffee and Tea

Most gardeners know that coffee grounds and tea leaves can go in the compost pile, but they probably don't think of pouring the leftover pot of coffee or tea over the compost. The coffee and tea are as good as gold, so pour them over the compost and not down the drain. However, don't throw coffee or tea in the compost pile if it has any dairy products in it. Dairy products other than eggshells cannot go in the compost.


Ashes tend to pile up in the fireplace. You can throw them in the compost pile, but make sure they have thoroughly cooled off before you do, or the contents could catch fire.

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About this Author

Brenda Reeves started writing in 1979. Specializing in gardening topics, her articles appear on numerous Web sites, including eHow. Reeves has a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from California State University, Northridge.