A Guide to Getting Started with Composting at Home

If you are a tenant, you may think that you need a lot of space to start composting your organic waste. But actually you don't need much space at all. A small garden is absolutely fine to start composting, and some people even compost waste indoors.

Here is a quick guide to what you need to know to get started with composting at home so you can reduce your waste, do your bit for the environment and improve your gardening.

Why Should You Compost?

When organic waste ends up in landfill sites, there is not enough oxygen for it to biodegrade and break down properly. As a result, it releases methane gas, which is very harmful for the environment. By composting your organic waste, you can prevent this.

But that's just one reason why composting is a great idea. You can also reduce the amount of waste your household produces and, even better, you can use the compost in your garden to help your flowers and vegetables.

What Can You Compost?

In short, anything that is biodegradable can be composted. However, there are a few things that you should not include in your compost heap.

Some of the best things to add are grass after mowing the lawn, fruit and vegetables, tea bags, eggs, sawdust and even shredded paper. But steer clear of wood that has been treated with chemicals, pet and human waste, bones, meat and dairy products, oil and fat, and coloured paper.

How to Get Started

The first thing you will need is a container to put all of your compostable waste. Most people have a small bin that they place in the kitchen.

You will then need a larger container in which to gather the waste on a daily basis. This should be outside, and the type of container you use will often be determined by the amount of space you have. You don't actually need a container, and you can use a heap instead, but only if you have lots of space. Containers are useful because they can help to speed up the process and keep the food scraps hidden.

You can convert any rubbish bin into a compost bin as long as it has a secure lid. Just drill some holes in the sides to allow the oxygen in. Or you can just buy a ready-made bin.

A wormery is a special type of compost bin that uses worms to break down the waste. You will need some special worms rather than earthworms, and the compost they produce will be very fine. However, there is more work involved.

Once you have your bin or your heap in place, all you have to do is add the food and garden waste on a regular basis. The first thing to put in is some twigs and braches, which helps the air to get inside. Then add some water to it, and then add the waste.

Even just adding your scraps and not doing anything else will be fine, but there are some more advanced tactics you can use. For example, you can add a different balance of items to speed up the process. This includes adding more materials that are rich in carbon than materials that are rich in nitrogen. Nitrogen-rich materials include food waste and grass.

Enjoy Using Your Compost

You should be able to use your compost about a year after you start, and then you will be able to enjoy a steady supply as long as you continue to fill it up. Water it regularly to speed up the process, and you can also add a sprinkling of soil from the garden every so often to speed it up some more.

Once it is ready, you can use the compost in your garden, and your plants and vegetables will love it.

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