Sustainability

How to make compost at home

Love gardening and want to know how to make creative things from waste material at home? Check out our guide on making compost at home.

Everyone who enjoys gardening is aware of the importance of knowing how to make a compost. Compost can be described as a soil conditioner: it allows you to introduce essential nutrients to your plants like carbon and nitrogen and stimulates water retention and plant growth. Moreover, it’s a great natural alternative to chemical fertilizers and allows you to recycle your household waste and put it to good use.

 

If you want to learn more about how to make creative things from waste material at home, read our guide on how to make a compost below.

 

How to make a compost at home: what you’ll need

 

The key to making compost at home is to balance what’s called the green ingredients with the brown ingredients.

 

  • Green ingredients include fresh produce that is a source of nitrogen to the heap. This includes fruit and vegetables, food scraps such as coffee beans, egg shells and tea leaves, and garden waste such as grass clippings and leaves.
  • Brown ingredients includes dry produce that is a source of carbon to the heap. This includes dried leaves, shredded paper and cupboard, and wood chips.

 

When making compost at home, you need to balance the two groups of ingredients at a ratio of 1 part green ingredients and 3 parts brown ingredients are a source of carbon.

 

When thinking about how to make compost from kitchen waste, bear in mind that certain items should never be used for making compost. These include any fruit pills that might’ve been exposed to pesticides; meat, bones or fish scraps; black walnut leaves; perennial weeds and diseased plants.

 

Process of making compost at home: what to do

 

Once you have all the ingredients, making a compost at home is incredibly straightforward – largely because, under the right conditions, the microbes practically do all the job for you.

 

Ideally, you should build your compost on bare ground, so that worms and other organisms will be able to help speed up the process by introducing oxygen to the pile.

 

Here’s how you should do it:

 

  1. Take a simple tall roll of welded wire and form it into a circle. This will hold your compost together to avoid it falling all over the place.
  2. Lay twigs or straws first to create a solid foundation for your compost.
  3. Start layering your brown and green ingredients, making sure you have a balanced ratio of nitrogen to carbon. As a rule of thumb, use of ratio of 1 to 3 of greens and browns.
  4. You should add as many ingredients as possible in order for your pile to reach sufficient size. The pressure from the weight of the pile will allow the decomposing process to start naturally.
  5. Water your compost occasionally to maintain its level of moisture, unless you live in the rainy area. In this case, additional watering is redundant.
  6. Don’t forget to cover compost with anything you have at your disposal, like a board of wood or a plastic sheet. This will allow the compost to stay moist and warm. Make sure it never becomes too wet or soggy.
  7. In order for compost to develop, you have to allow it to aerate. To introduce oxygen, turn the compost around every few weeks. However, if you have enough coarse materials like straw, the compost will aerate naturally, without any turning required on your side. If you’re using this method, keep adding new materials to the top of the pile and use the bottom of the pile for fresh compost.

 

Follow these steps, and you’ll soon become an expert on how to make compost at home!

Key Steps

  • Collect all the brown and green ingredients, to ensure that your compost has a sufficient 1 to 3 nitrogen to carbon ratio.
  • Layer all the ingredients in a circular bottomless container, placed on bare earth.
  • Cover the compost and water occasionally if needed.
  • Turn the compost around every few weeks unless you have a lot of straw to add to the pile.

Top Tip:


Two of the most common problems with making compost at home are the fruit flies it attracts, and the unpleasant smell. Solve these problems easily by adding lime and calcium to the pile to eliminate the odour and discourage insects.