Seeing, or rather smelling, a gross compost heap can deter a lot of people from creating their own. After all, when we think of rotting material, we usually think of a rank and detestable odour, right?
In fact, a home compost is not only easy to make but it’s largely odourless when done correctly. That’s great news for your nostrils!
Why is composting beneficial?
Besides keeping extra refuse out of landfills, composting is super beneficial for your own backyard. Those degrading organic materials infuse rich nutrients and moisture back into the soil which works to improve the health of your lawn, garden – even your houseplants!
Follow along for some tips and tricks on how to make a great compost in your own backyard.
Whether you want to make your own bin, buy a simple one, or create a fancy tumbler-style one, acquiring a bin is the first step to creating your own compost.
Once you’ve made your decision on which bin to build or buy, you need to find the perfect place for your new bin. The biggest question to ask yourself in this stage: Where will my compost be most convenient for me? You want to be sure that your bin is in an easy-to-access area so that you’ll actually use it.
Keep in mind that the bottom of the bin should be placed directly on soil so worms and other organisms can get inside and help to break down materials. And remember – the warmer the area, the faster the biodegradation process!
If you’re struggling to find a bin, the City of Lethbridge offers a variety composting tools to help get you started with your compost.
When starting a compost, it’s helpful to think of it like layering a cake, or building a parfait – it’s all about having the right ingredients and layering them just so. With this “compost parfait” there are four main ingredients: Browns, Greens, Water and Air.
The first layer of your parfait should be coarse twigs. Then add in a layer of browns which can be:
- hay & straw
- paper & cardboard
- woody prunings
- tea bags
After the first layer of browns, add in the greens which can be:
- vegetable peelings
- fruit peelings
- grass clippings
- coffee grounds
- fresh manure
- green plant cuttings
- annual weeds
- young hedge trimmings
Continue to alternate between browns and greens, creating layers until your compost is full. Garden soil can also be added as a third layer to give it an extra biodegrading boost.
Water and Air
Southern Alberta gets a lot of hot dry air, so it’s important to keep these last two ingredients in balance. If your compost seems to be getting too dry, lightly water the materials, taking care not to overwater and drown the organisms living inside.
*Be sure to give your compost a good mix every now and then to keep the mixture biodegrading evenly.
Ingredients to avoid in your compost
Just like a good parfait, there are some ingredients that will ruin a compost, including:
- meat & bones
- poultry & fish
- fatty food waste
- whole eggs
- dairy products
- human & pet feces
- pernicious weeds
- treated wood
Feel good about green (and brown) composting
Composting is a great step towards a better future, for both you – and the environment. You can feel good about the step you’re making, as well as reap the benefits of nutrient-rich soil.
For more friendly, knowledgeable help with your backyard, call Infinity Property Care. From trees to grass, and everything in between, we make sure your yard is green!