How to Make a Garden Compost
Save money and the environment with these simple steps for creating a natural fertilizer.
- compost bin
- mix of brown and green materials
- large garden fork
Step 1: Choose Compost Spot
Choose a compost bin to suit your needs, and position it in the garden where it can be easily accessed and tended.
Step 2: Collect Materials
Add uncooked kitchen waste as well as healthy plant materials and grass clippings to your heap. Do not add animal waste, meat, cooked food, diseased plants, or fresh perennial weeds. Pick out any perennial weeds or diseased plants.
Step 3: Layer Waste
Build up your heap in layers of green and brown material to blend the materials and give the finished compost a good structure and texture. Green waste includes lawn clippings, annual weeds, plant trimmings, and other soft material that rots down quickly, bringing nitrogen and moisture to the mix. Shredded cardboard and dead leaves are good brown-waste materials—they are dry, rich in carbon, and give compost structure. Green materials rot to a smelly sludge, but brown materials balance out the compost to produce a rich, crumbly texture.
Step 4: Turn Heap
Turn the heap periodically with a garden fork to mix up all the rotting materials and aerate the heap; this also helps the mixture compost more thoroughly.