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10 Fun Composting Facts & Tips

Who doesn't love composting?  It's free soil, it cuts down on waste, and it's great for your garden.

compost heap

Here are 10 fun composting facts and tips: 

1.   There are A LOT of things you can compost -- and not just fruit and veggie scraps.  Tea bags, newspaper, lint...read a more extensive list on what you should and should not compost.  Suddenly your trash can will be less and less full by the end of the week!  

2.  You can buy a compost bin or if you're handy, you can make one.   StopWaste.org has all sorts of instructions on different types of compost bins.

3.  Composting is incredibly low maintenance.  One thing you should do is check the moisture (it should be about as moist as a damp sponge) and add some water if it seems too dry.  If it seems too moist, add some dead leaves.   You can also aerate your compost.  Aerating the pile means introducing air to the pile.  You can do this by turning the pile with a shovel, garden fork, or a tool made especially for aerating compost.  It's not necessary, but lots of people swear by it.  

4.  You can compost in the winter!  (Even if you live somewhere with harsh winters!)  Earth911 has an excellent guide to winter composting.  

5.  Keep a container in your kitchen so you don't have to run outside too frequently.  We love our container from Gaim.  It even has a carbon filter to cut down on any potential stinkiness.  

6.  If you live in an apartment building or lack the space for a compost bin in your yard, never fear, you can still compost! Worm composting, or vermicomposting, can be done inside.  Here's a great resource on vermicomposting.  

7.  Some diapers can be composted.  Broody Chick's compostable diapers are currently breaking down in our compost bin.  gDiapers liners with pee on them can also be composed.  However, keep in mind that you can ONLY compost the pee diapers, not the poop ones.  Human feces should not be composted.  

8.  Composting can suppress plant diseases.  It will also usually eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers.  Don't forget what Joe Lamp'l told us about gardening back in December:  "You don't need synthetic fertilizer or pesticides.  You need compost and mulch.  Compost is the magic bullet for many things."

9.  Composting can clean contaminated soil.  "Composting absorbs odors and treats both volatile and semi volatile organic compounds. It also stops heavy metals from entering waterways or being absorbed into plants by binding them," says Environment911.org.  

10.  You can make composting easier by just throwing anything compost-safe into your bin.  You may have read that a good compost heap needs "two parts brown (e.g. dry materials such as dead plants and leaves) to one part green (e.g. wet items such as kitchen waste.)"  You can do this, but it's not necessary.  Just throw whatever is compostable in there and it will turn into compost no matter what the ratios are.

  • For more tips and ideas about composting, Mother Earth News has a fantastic article with all you need to know.