New to composting? Here are 7 easy backyard composting tips for your garden. Learn how to compost today!
Hi there! Chantal here. Thanks for visiting my site and thanks for reading my backyard composting tips!
If you couldn’t tell from the get-go, I absolutely LOVE gardening. Backyard gardening, cottage gardening, vegetable gardening – any type of gardening!
I enjoy spending my days putting things in the dirt and watching them grow!
Whether that feeling of satisfaction and contentment is something that you can resonate with already or are only discovering now, I’m happy that you’re gardening either way.
But like any hobby or skill, learning how to garden takes time. It requires a lot of learning and troubleshooting. But I believe that the best things always do!
If you’ve been gardening for even a minute, you probably know that growing a great garden is a bit like having a healthy body.
Both require nutrients and care for good health!
Moreover, it takes some time and intention to learn about how to care for a garden. (Same with a human body, right?)
So. What’s an easy, frugal, and natural way to provide nutrients to your garden?
In this post I want to share my easy composting tips and tricks with you.
Composting is seriously such a great way to give your plants a wide variety of nutrients – and it’s cheap! Win-win!
You could, of course buy fertilizers and organic materials to feed your plants. There are certainly benefits to doing that. However, there are cons as well.
Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of composting before we look at my backyard composting tips.
Benefits of Composting
- It helps to minimize food waste & reduce your personal carbon footprint
- It can be done for little to no cost
- Composting is earth-friendly as it demands no packaging or synthetic materials and means less garbage in landfills
- It is the most natural way to dispose of food and other organic materials
Drawbacks to Composting
- It takes time to get rich compost
- It requires space
- You may still need to add fertilizer or soil ammendments depending on the variety and amount of organic material you have
- It requires time and attention
All of these things considered, I still love to have a good compost pile going and take pride in what it does for the earth.
If you have similar sentiments, let’s get to the composting tips you came for!
7 Easy Backyard Composting Tips For Your Garden
Composting doesn’t have to be a hard thing. Use these simple composting tips to get started composting today. Once you learn how to compost, you’ll be ever-glad you did! (And so will your plants!)
1. Learn what should and shouldn’t be composted
There are some things that simply don’t decompose well. There are others that add too much of a good thing to your soil. (Acidity, vitamins & minerals, etc.) In addition, there are other things that just won’t contribute a lot of value to your compost pile.
While fresh grass clippings, food scraps, wood chips, and coffee grounds may be added to your compost bins, there are some things you may want to add in moderation or skip altogether.
Find out the basics of what organic materials, foods, and other additives you should compost for best results before you get started. Here is a fabulous visual about composting dos and don’ts for beginners.
P.S. Learning these things take time! Keep your backyard composting strategy simple as you’re getting started. Before you know it, it will be second-nature.
2. Invest in a countertop compost bin
The countertop compost bin is the best thing you can buy for yourself when you’re serious about composting. This makes it SO easy to collect kitchen scraps.
(Before I had one, I almost always forgot to put my stuff outside in the compost pile.)
Seeing it there on the counter every day is a constant reminder not to throw my kitchen scraps in the garbage.
Plus, having a mini compost bin in my home makes it so that I don’t have to make daily trips out to the garden. I collect scraps daily, and only need to go outside when my compost bin is full.
The kitchen scraps will begin to decompose on their own. By the time they make it to the outdoor compost pile, they are already nice and juicy!
Get yourself a cute & affordable countertop compost bin to help you jump into composting. A composting bucket works too!
Just make sure to get yourself a countertop compost bin that has a filter – things will get smelly if you don’t.
3. Have a dedicated composting area in your garden
Composting is most effective when all of the good stuff is collected in one place. You need moisture, air flow, and time!
You will be amazed at how quickly your pile can grow.
For best results, do NOT just dump kitchen scraps here and there in your garden. While it will deliver some nutrients to your plants, you’re really going to miss out on the full amount of nutrients if you do it that way.
Your compost pile will grow a lot over time, so be sure to pick a spot you don’t mind getting taken over by rotting food scraps and yard debris.
If you want things nice and tidy, consider a tumbling compost bin or some other composting container rather than a heaping pile. That brings me to my next point.
4. Decide on which composting method you will use
Some people have nice compost bins that they can roll and flip easily. (They can be purchased online or at your local garden center.)
Others just have piles in the corner of their yard. People have created DIY composting piles with mesh, pallets, or any number of other materials.
There are even plastic rectangular composting containers that just have a large lid and simply require you to pile things inside.
Decide what works for you. Either way, you will need to spend some time periodically flipping your piles or turning the compost.
If you need ideas on the best composting pile types or methods, there’s always Pinterest. 🙂
5. Tailor your composting methods to your garden needs
Are you growing vegetables or perennials? Tomatoes or peppers? What you’re growing matters!
For example, tomatoes require a lot of calcium in order to combat blossom end-rot. As such, you might want to double down on composting egg shells for added calcium. (At least before tomato season.) It works!
While it’s a bit of an art to learn how to tailor your composting efforts to your garden, it can be beneficial to your plants.
Still, just remember that there are no hard-and-fast rules to composting. You can accidentally attempt to compost something that doesn’t really belong, and it’s not the end of the world.
Mistakes will be made and that’s okay!
If you really want to create the best possible compost for your garden, it’s as simple as reading about what different plants require more or less of in terms of nutrients.
A quick Google search will help you figure out which kitchen scraps or other organic materials will contribute various nutrients.
There are also several books about this very topic out there – but just do your best!
6. Recruit your friends and family to build your compost
You don’t have to have a compost turning party where everyone comes over to check your steaming pile of rotting items.
What I mean by, “recruit your friends and family” is that you can get your friends on board with saving their kitchen scraps. If not for themselves, they can save some scraps for you!
Tell everyone you live with that you want them to put their kitchen scraps in the compost bin. You can do this when you have friends over, too.
If you want, you can go as far as to ask extended family and friends to save kitchen scraps and other organic materials such as raked leaves for you.
Do this and your compost pile will grow more quickly and you’ll be able to contribute more to your garden!
You might even get some friends and family into composting for their own gardens. 🙂
7. Compost year-round
Really rich and beautiful “black gold” compost takes serious time to make. Even if you’re only a seasonal vegetable gardener, consider composting year-round.
Just because it’s not summer doesn’t mean that you can’t keep adding to your compost pile. Not only can all of your plants could use the extra love, it is beneficial to have compost at all times!
If for some reason you end up with too much compost, consider gifting some to a friend who is just getting started gardening. 🙂
Well – there you have it friends!
My best beginner backyard composting tips to help you get started.
If you have any more backyard composting ideas you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to comment! I love learning from other gardeners!
Until next time,