Composting at Home for Beginnners

What is compost & why is it important?

Compost is made up of organic materials that can be mixed in with soil to help plants grow. About 30% of what we throw away is food scraps and yard waste, which if composted, could be used to help your garden grow! Making compost is so good for the environment too. Composting can help keep these wastes out of landfills where they are known to release methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Compost for your garden

Composting requires 3 basic ingredients:

  • Browns: materials such as dead leaves, branches or twigs
  • Greens: materials such as grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps or coffee grounds
  • Water: including the perfect amount of water, greens & browns is important in the development of your compost!

Be sure that your compost mixture has an equal amount of browns and greens! When making your compost, you should alternate layers of organic materials of different-sized particles. The brown materials provide carbon, green materials provide nitrogen and water provides moisture that will help break down organic matter.

Some benefits of composting are:

  • Enriches soil which helps retain moisture & suppress plant disease/pests
  • Reduces the need to use chemical fertilizers
  • Encourages production of beneficial bacteria & fungi that help break down organic matter to create humus, a nutrient rich material
  • Reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint.

Things to add to your compost bin

Composting at home:
There are many different ways that you can compost, indoors and outdoors. Some tools that you may find helpful are square-point shovels, pitchfork & a watering hose with a spray head. Regular mixing or turning the compost and adding water will help to maintain the compost! 

Backyard composting

  • Select a dry, shady spot near a water source to keep your compost pile or bin
  • Add your brown & green materials, making sure your larger pieces are chopped or shredded
  • Make sure to also add moisture as you add new materials
  • Once you have established your compost pile, mix in your greens & bee sure to bury fruit & veggie waste under 10 inches of your other compost materials. 
  • It is optional to cover the top of your compost bin with a covering to help keep the moisture in. When the material at the bottom is dark & rich in color, your compost is ready to use. This can take anywhere from about 2 months to about 2 years. 

Composting inside

Indoor composting can be a little quicker. You can compost indoors if you do not have enough space outdoors  for a compost pile but you will need a special type of bin made for composting. Always remember to tend to your pile and try to keep track of what materials you are adding in. A properly managed compost bin will not attract pests or rodents and will not smell bad. Your compost should be ready in 2 to 5 week. 

compost bin materials

Visit us at our garden center -get directions here or give us a call at (636) 798-2555! Find us on social media @frisellanursery & subscribe to our YouTube channel for new garden videos every week!


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