The Benefits of Composting at Home (Composting for Beginners)

Composting is the natural process of separating organic matter into a rich soil amendment.

Composting at home can be a great way to reduce your waste and help improve the health of your garden.

In addition, composting at home allows you to save money on fertilizer and improve the quality of your soil.

What Is Composting, and What Are the Benefits of Doing It at Home?

Composting is a great place to start if you’re interested in reducing your household’s waste and becoming more environmentally friendly.

Composting is breaking down organic matter, such as food scraps and yard waste, into a nutrient-rich soil amendment that can be used to improve the health of your garden or lawn.

There are many benefits to composting at home, including reducing methane emissions from landfills, saving water by using less fertilizer and reducing your need for chemical pesticides and herbicides.

Composting also helps reduce the amount of garbage going to landfills yearly.

If you’re new to composting, you should know a few things before getting started. So let’s discuss that in the next section.

How to Start Composting at Home – a Step-By-Step Guide

As you probably know, composting is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment.

And it’s not just for commercial operations or farms – composting can be done right in your own backyard!

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In this article, we’ll show you how to start composting at home, step-by-step. We’ll also give you tips on what to compost and how to ensure your compost bin is working correctly.

Choose a location for your compost bin.

The first step in starting your home composting operation is to choose a location for your bin. You’ll want to pick a spot close to your house or garden, so it’s easy to access.

It’s also essential to choose a spot that has good drainage. You don’t want your bin to be in a puddle of water, as this can cause problems with the composting process.

Choose a bin.

There are many different types of bins available for home composting. You can purchase one or build your own out of recycled materials.

If you decide to purchase a bin, make sure to choose one that’s made out of durable materials and has good ventilation.

This will help ensure that your compost bin will last for years.

Add some organic material to your bin.

Now it’s time to start adding organic material to your bin. This includes leaves, grass clippings, and fruit and vegetable scraps.

Don’t add meat or dairy products to your bin, as these can attract pests and cause odors.

close-up photo of dried leaf

Add a layer of brown material.

After adding a layer of organic material to your bin, it’s time to add a layer of “brown” material. This can include things like straw, sawdust, or shredded paper.

The brown material helps to aerate the compost and keeps it from getting too wet or too dry.

Add water to your bin.

Your compost bin needs to be moist for the composting process to occur. Add enough water to moisten the material, but don’t add so much that it’s soggy.

Turn your bin regularly.

You’ll need to turn it regularly for your compost to break down properly. This aerates the compost and helps to speed up the decomposition process.

Use your compost!

After a few months, your compost should be ready to use. You can add it to your garden or use it as mulch around your plants.

Composting is a great way to reduce your environmental impact and save money on fertilizer costs. So why not give it a try!

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What Can Be Composted and What Can’t?

The first thing you need to do when beginning to compost is to understand what can and cannot be composted.

Many people make the mistake of thinking anything organic can go into the compost, but that’s not the case. Here is a list of some common items that can and cannot be composted:

Can Be Composted:

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Eggshells
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Paper towels and napkins (avoid those with chemical cleaners)
  • Pizza boxes (the cardboard, not the greasy part)
  • Yard waste

Can’t Be Composted:

  • Animal products (meat, bones, dairy, etc.)
  • Cooking oil
  • Diseased plants
  • Disposable diapers
  • Livestock manure
  • Permanent markers
  • Pressure-treated wood
  • Synthetic materials (plastics, polyester, etc.)

As you can see, there are quite a few things people commonly try to compost that cannot be added to the pile.

It’s important to only add items to your compost that will break down quickly and turn into rich plant nutrients.

green plant on white and purple floral ceramic pot

The Different Types of Composting Bins that Are Available to Homeowners

There are three main composting bins available to homeowners: in-ground, tumbler, and worm.

Each type has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

In-ground bins are the most affordable option and can be made from various materials, such as wood, concrete, or plastic.

They’re also the easiest to set up and require no special equipment. However, they can attract pests and animals, and they may not be able to break down larger pieces of organic material.

Tumbler bins are more expensive than in-ground bins but are also more effective.

They’re made from durable materials, such as plastic or steel, and they have a rotating barrel that aerates the compost and speeds up the decomposition process.

Tumbler bins are also less likely to attract pests and animals, but they may not be able to break down larger pieces of organic material.

Worm bins are the most expensive option but also the most effective.

They’re made from durable materials, such as plastic or steel, and they have a series of compartments that house worms.

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The worms eat the organic material and convert it into compost. Worm bins are also less likely to attract pests and animals, but they may not be able to break down larger pieces of organic material.

kerson fruit on grass

How to Use Compost in Your Garden to Improve Soil Health and Plant Growth

Now that you know how to make your own compost at home, you may be wondering how to use it in your garden. Compost can be used in a variety of ways to improve soil health and plant growth.

Here are a few ideas for using compost in your garden:

  • Mix compost into the soil before planting. This will help provide nutrients and improve drainage.
  • Add a layer of compost to your flower bed each spring. This will give plants a boost of nutrients as they start to grow.
  • Spread your compost around the base of your trees and shrubs. This will help the roots stay healthy and absorb more water and nutrients from the soil.
  • Use compost as mulch. Spread a layer of compost around plants, trees, and shrubs. This will help keep the soil moist and suppress weeds.
  • Make a compost tea. Steep compost in water for a few days, then use the liquid to water your plants. This will give them a shot of nutrients.

As you can see, there are many ways to use compost in your garden. So get started and see the difference it can make!

Composting FAQs

Q: What is the difference between compost and fertilizer?

A: Compost is made from organic matter that has broken down, while fertilizer is made from inorganic materials. Compost provides nutrients for plants, while fertilizer simply boosts energy.

Q: What are the benefits of composting?

A: Composting helps improve soil health, suppresses weeds, and helps conserve water. It also reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills.

Q: How long does it take for compost to break down?

A: It depends on the type of compost bin you’re using. In-ground bins can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, while tumbler bins can take as little as 2 weeks. Worm bins are the fastest, with compost being ready in as little as 2 weeks.

Q: What can I put in my compost bin?

A: You can put any organic material in your compost bin, such as leaves, grass clippings, and fruit and vegetable scraps. You should avoid putting meat, dairy, or oil in your bin, as these can attract pests.


Composting is a great way to recycle organic materials and improve soil health. It’s also an easy way to reduce the amount of waste you produce.

This article has answered some of the most common questions about composting.

We’ve also provided tips for using compost in your garden to improve soil health and plant growth.

So start composting today and see the difference it can make!