Ways of Composting

Composting turns household and yard waste into nutrient-dense fertilizer. You can use finished compost as a soil amendment, nutritious mulch or fertilizer. Almost any green organic matter can be composted, from vegetable peelings and egg shells to grass clippings and dead plants. Don't add diseased plants, animal fats or animal waste to your compost pile. Turning the composting frequently adds air to speed decomposition, but all organic matter will eventually break down if left long enough, no matter the composting method.


Compost bins are plastic, metal or wooden containers which homeowners fill with compost. You can turn or roll some bins to mix the compost. Bins make it easier to move the compost from one part of the yard to the other, since you can relocate the whole bin.


Heaps are simply piles of compost in a corner of the yard. Heaps are easy to turn with a garden fork. Heaps make it easier to add large quantities of yard waste at a time.


Burying organic wastes in holes is known as pit composting. You can dig a large trench and use it until full, then cover it with dirt and dig a new hole, or dig many small holes, each containing a few days' worth of kitchen scraps or yard trimmings. Pit composting eliminates the work of other methods of composting, but also makes the compost less accessible for use in specific areas of the garden.

Sheet Composting

Sheet composting does away with the compost pile altogether and lets waste decompose right in the garden bed. In sheet composting, the layers of decomposing material can function as both mulch and fertilizer. Chopping up the material before adding it to the garden speeds decomposition.


Vermiculture uses red worms to turn kitchen waste into compost. The worms are kept in a box or bin in a house or garage to digest food scraps, transforming them into worm castings, a rich fertilizer. Vermiculture works best for small quantities of kitchen wastes.

Keywords: ways of composting, composting methods, vermiculture

About this Author

Cynthia James is the author of more than 40 novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from Modern Bride to Popular Mechanics. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she has a degree in economics. Before turning to freelancing full time, James worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager.