Composting: The Very Basic Basics

Posted 04-27-2010 at 10:26 AM by DiaperShops Sarah

Are you ready to give composting a try? It’s a great way to turn kitchen food scraps and organic household disposables like leaves and grass clippings into a nutrient-rich organic material that will enrich your garden soil. Composting used to mean a big pen in the backyard. You can still compost this way, but now there are compost containers that allow you to create your compost anywhere – including right in the kitchen where your food scraps originate.

Composting bins come in all shapes and sizes, with capacities from 5 gallons to several hundred gallons. Crate and Barrel even makes a one gallon stainless steel designer composting pail that would be an attractive addition to any kitchen counter. Food scraps can be collected in the kitchen and then added to a larger compost bin or pile in the yard. A replaceable charcoal filter helps keep odors from decaying food from escaping into the house.

Here are some tips for getting started with composting.

• Aim for a mixture of 2 to 3 parts carbon-rich material to 1 part nitrogen-rich material. Carbon-rich, or “brown” material, includes dried leaves, shredded newspaper, twigs, saw dust and wood chips. Nitrogen-rich, or “green” material, includes pesticide-free grass clippings and leftover fruits and vegetables. Coffee grounds and eggshells can also be included. Note that meat scraps should not be used for composting.

• Start your compost pile with a brown layer, and then alternate layers of green and brown. If you’re not using a compost bin, always place a brown layer over green to avoid attracting insects to decaying food.

• Add enough water to the compost pile to keep it moist. Turning it occasionally with a pitchfork or compost aerator will speed up the decomposition process. With regular turning, in about 3 months you will have rich mixture, ready to add to potted plants or flower beds.

About the Author: Sarah is a Communications Manager for, one of the largest cloth diapering boutiques online. She writes for about how families can become more green and save money!

Filed Under: General


4 Responses to “Composting: The Very Basic Basics”

  1. whitneywalters on April 27th, 2010 5:45 pm

    Great post!

  2. bella stella baby on May 4th, 2010 3:38 am

    Nice post! I’m just finally starting with a worm bin with…mixed results. I just feel so stupid throwing out table scraps only to BUY compost later. So silly!

  3. bluemoonbutterfly on May 7th, 2010 10:09 pm

    Google composting in a garabage can and click on videos. It will give you ways to use a garbage can as a composter.

  4. 2queens1princenmyhouse on May 11th, 2010 7:16 pm

    I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now. Maybe this is the push I need to finally get started.

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