Composting is picking up steam as a trend, and it’s great for the environment! In its most simple definition, composting is decaying organic matter to produce a nutrient-rich soil and fertilizer that you can use to help your garden grow bigger and better.
Composting is easy, free, and creates the best soil amendment for your garden, beds, and lawn. Best of all? You reduce waste going into the landfill. Start composting today by following our guide!
How to Get Started:
The first step is to make your own compost bin or purchase a pre-made bin. All you need is 4 pallets secured upright to make a nice 3ft x 3ft bin, or you can buy one on rollers.
What Goes In:
Food scraps, lawn clippings and leaves are just the beginning. We separate them into two categories: Greens and Browns.
Greens are your grass clippings, food scraps, leftovers, old produce, old floral cuttings, and weeds (as long as they have not gone to seed). All food waste is a “go” except for meat and dairy.
Browns are your brown leaves, paper products (like paper towels, tissue paper, brown paper bags, and newspapers), sawdust, straw, coffee grounds, and cotton (Q-Tips, cotton balls, etc.).
1 Part Greens – 3 Parts Browns
For your Browns, make sure you add shredded papers or straw for a bulking agent and not just leaves alone.
Tip: Keep a compost bucket lined with a paper bag under the sink of your kitchen! Then, instead of putting food down the garbage disposal, clean your plates into the compost pail. When the pail is half full, simply dump it in the compost pile and add 1.5 buckets of Browns like leaves, straw, and paper towels.
Mix it around in your composting bin with a shovel, and that’s it! Repeat this process until you get a nice 24” pile going.
Then, once a week (or more if you are ambitious), stir it all around with a pitchfork or a shovel to allow oxygen to get in and sprinkle it with water. The more you stir the faster you will make compost!
An initial pile of 24” x 24” x 24” and temps above 40 are generally needed to start the compost process. Compost will generate its own heat! The ideal size is 3’ x ’3’ x ’3. The more you stir, the hotter it gets, and the faster you compost!
Q) Does it smell?
Not if you follow the recipe. An odor means not enough “Browns.” Add more Browns and stir.
Q) How long does it take?
If you have the minimum size and temps and follow the recipe, anywhere from 6 to 24 weeks. The process goes faster if you stir frequently and make sure the pieces you are adding are small.
Get a Composting Tumbler!
If you are a Jensen Gardens customer, mention this blog and save $20 on our compost tumbler ($159), pictured below! The tumbler speeds up the composting process, simply give it a turn 2-3 times a week for fast compost production! Don’t forget to add water.