Composting is the method of using kitchen and yard waste to create compost, a dark crumbly organic soil conditioner that is packed with essential nutrients. Although compost is easily available in any local nursery or garden supply center, creating it yourself encourages you to recycle household scrap, reducing the amount of space it takes in landfills. Depending on the scale of operation, compost can take anywhere between six months to two years to prepare before it can be used in the garden.
Select a suitable method of composting. You can create it in an open heap, or pile scrap in an enclosed composting bin. A heap can get quite laborious and cause back strain since you have to turn it occasionally with a stick or pitchfork. It is also susceptible to scavengers who can make a mess and spread the scrap throughout the yard. However, spreading tarp over a compost pile can retain moisture and tackle pest problems.
Select a suitable place in your garden or backyard to create your heap or place your bin. The site has to be shaded, sheltered from strong winds and have well-drained soil. It should also be close to a water source so you can easily wet the contents. Put your compost pile or bin close to your house so you can easily access it even during inclement weather to add scraps.
Collect "green" and "brown" waste in two separate buckets to add into your bin or heap. Greens provide nitrogen and include grass and leaf clippings, manure and leftover food scraps, while browns provide carbon and include shredded brown paper bags, cardboard, stems and branches, sawdust, coffee filters and wood chips.
Add alternating layers of greens and browns into your bin or pile, ensuring each layer is at least 4 to 6 inches thick.
Moisten the contents of the bin or heap with a garden hose. Do not douse them with water, but add enough so they are evenly moist. A handful of scrap should drain out some water when squeezed.
Add wood chips to your bin or heap if you accidentally wet it too much, as they can absorb excess water.
Turn your bin or heap with a pitchfork so the contents mix thoroughly, ensuring all the pile from the sides and center blend with each other.