Composting isn’t as hard (or as messy) as it’s often believed to be. In fact, composting at home can be simple, fun and rewarding. This article will show you how to make compost at home – from choosing the right bin through to feeding your garden.
Composting is the natural recycling of organic waste. It breaks down anything that was recently living (like leaves, food scraps or twigs) and turns it into nutrient-rich fertiliser to improve the quality of your soil and plants.
There are a few steps involved when starting composting – including choosing a method, knowing what to compost and compost bin maintenance.
Let’s dig in.
You should choose a home composting method that suits you best.
As the name suggests, this method uses a traditional compost bin or container in your backyard. This method will create a natural decomposition process, breaking down your food and garden waste.
A Backyard Compost Is Good For
Vermicomposting (Worm Farm)
This method uses specific worms to break down organic matter and produce valuable worm excrete castings. Just place your organic waste in the vermicompost bin and watch your worms eat their way through it!
A Vermicompost Is Good For:
A popular compost option for apartments, bokashi is a Japanese word meaning ‘fermented organic matter.’ Food waste is sealed and fermented with a special mix of bacteria and yeast (often called bokashi bran), which breaks down the organic matter.
A Bokashi Compost Is Good For:
A type of vermicomposting, the Subpod is an in-ground compost bin that can create a self-fertilising garden bed!
A Subpod Compost Is Good For:
To work out the most suitable composting method for your needs (backyard, vermicompost or bokashi) you can consider the following factors.
Your compost bin should be a healthy balance of ‘greens’ (nitrogen-rich materials like fruit, vegetables, coffee grounds and grass clippings) with ‘browns’ (carbon-rich materials like leaves, twigs and shredded paper). Aim for two parts brown and one part green.
*Animal and meat products can be composted, but it’s not always recommended as it may attract pests.
Learn more: What Goes in a Compost Bin?
Your compost is ready when it’s a dark, rich brown colour and crumbles easily. The time to create compost will depend on the type of composting method you use.
Add it to your garden to bring vital nutrients and moisture to your soil and plants – watch your garden thrive.
How long does compost take to make?
The time it takes to make compost depends on the method you use. A backyard compost can take anywhere between 2 – 6 months, a vermicompost can take 6 – 8 weeks to produce nutrient-rich worm castings, and a bokashi compost can take as little as 2 weeks.
How much space do you need to make compost?
One great thing about composting is that there are different options depending on how much space you have. If you live in an apartment or townhouse, a bokashi compost can be small enough to fit in your kitchen, or you can place a Subpod in a balcony garden bed! If you have a lot of space, you can choose a backyard tumbler.
How long for worms to make compost?
If you’re using the vermicompost method, it usually takes between 6 – 8 weeks to produce nutrient-rich worm castings.
How to make a mini compost?
If you’re interested in making a mini compost, the bokashi or Subpod method is for you. In the bokashi method, food waste is sealed and fermented with a special mix of bacteria and yeast (often called bokashi bran), which breaks down the organic matter. The Subpod compost bin method is an in-ground compost bin, so your garden bed can self-fertilise!