Tutorial: How to Make your Own Compost

J. James

In Bloom
Five steps to turn organic waste to compost:

1. What is composting?


Composting is the biological decomposition of organic wastes by bacteria, fungi, worms and other organisms under controlled conditions where oxygen is available.

Decomposers are not much different than people in terms of their basic needs, so be sure to provide your microbes with all of the basics:
  • Food: Carbon and Nitrogen (Browns & Greens)
  • Water: Moist, not soggy
  • Air: Oxygen
  • Volume: 3' long x 3' high x 3' deep or 3-5 foot diameter by 3 feet high
  • Particle Size: Less than 2-3 inches
2. What can I compost?

Anything that was a plant. All plant materials contain nitrogen and carbon. Materials high in nitrogen are called "greens", e.g. grass clippings, manure, and kitchen scraps. Materials high in carbon are called "browns", e.g. leaves, sawdust, and wood chips. Before adding materials to the compost bin, chip or shred items so they are no more than 2-3 inches long.

3. Where do I compost?

Most people compost in a bin, which may be located in the shade or partial sun. A bin is not necessary but helps keep the materials contained and neat. Your bin can be cubed, approximately 3' x 3' x 3', or a 5' diameter hoop of hardware wire. Place equal volumes of greens and browns in the compost bin. You can layer the materials in the bin by alternating 3-4" layer of greens and 3-4" layer of browns. Or you may mix up greens and browns and place them in layers in the bin. Water the compost as you build the bin.

4. After I build the compost pile, then what?

The compost may heat up due to biological activity and will certainly settle as the materials decompose. To speed up the process turn the compost bin periodically. Turning means taking everything out of the bin and then putting it back. Try to move the materials from the outer sides to the center.

You may add more materials at any time. Bury food wastes in the center of the pile or cover with brown materials such as leaves. You can also start a new bin for handling additional materials.

5. When is compost ready to use?

The compost is finished composting and ready to use when it has a uniform look (like soil), dark color, small particle size, and "earthy" odor. Most of the materials you put in will no longer be recognizable. Use finished compost as a mulch, soil amendment, or potting soil.

Now Let's Get to Composting!



**SOURCE MATERIAL**

 
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Burned Haze

In Bloom
Just started my very first outdoor compost pile last week been adding all these stupid weeds and junk from my garden and then a bagged mix of compost and my own urine to jump start the pile!

Love all these composting topics Organics FTW!!!

be careful of adding weeds to compost

reason = if you have the plant seeds and they don’t die out - you’ll get weeds in your garden or grow in the compost and then the cycle goes again . I suggested making a second “ weed or non usable “ for weeds and big stem based stuff.

my suggestions and what I was taught
 

coste

In Bloom
This is good content, and reminded me that I need to put the cover back on my bin.

The biggest take away -- this was earned from personal experience for sure -- make sure to break shit up. I made the mistake of putting a bunch of blackberry vines in the bin, and that turned into an absolute impossible situation to turn it over. Don't do that. Cut pieces down before they go in the bin.

Also, make sure to turn it. You don't want your bin going anaerobic. That's bad bacteria that will cause problems in your garden if you use it as such. It stinks -- smells like sweet rot, if you know what that smells like.
 

Highsince76

In Bloom
I've got some great looking compost
that's been in the works for the last couple summers.
Mainly grass/dandelion clippings and leaves with some veggie garden leftovers. After checking it out this week, I have at least thirty gallons of really nice looking rich compost that I think is ready to go.
I'd sure love to work some into my super soil mix for my inside garden, but am hesitant to do so because of possibly introducing unwanted pests.
I've researched it a bit online and apparently some people will "pasteurize" it.
This involves heating the compost up to 180 degrees for 30 minutes to kill insects, plant bacteria, and plant viruses.
Seems to me like a lot of work, time consuming, not to mention stinky.
I guess if you had some type of outside oven/stove it wouldn't be to bad, but I don't.

My question is how many of you make compost, bring it inside to use, with no issues or problems?
Mites, aphids and the likes being my main concern.
 

Willie

In Bloom
I've got some great looking compost
that's been in the works for the last couple summers.
Mainly grass/dandelion clippings and leaves with some veggie garden leftovers. After checking it out this week, I have at least thirty gallons of really nice looking rich compost that I think is ready to go.
I'd sure love to work some into my super soil mix for my inside garden, but am hesitant to do so because of possibly introducing unwanted pests.
I've researched it a bit online and apparently some people will "pasteurize" it.
This involves heating the compost up to 180 degrees for 30 minutes to kill insects, plant bacteria, and plant viruses.
Seems to me like a lot of work, time consuming, not to mention stinky.
I guess if you had some type of outside oven/stove it wouldn't be to bad, but I don't.

My question is how many of you make compost, bring it inside to use, with no issues or problems?
Mites, aphids and the likes being my main concern.
You can solarize it outdoors.

You can read more on that here.
 
I've got some great looking compost
that's been in the works for the last couple summers.
Mainly grass/dandelion clippings and leaves with some veggie garden leftovers. After checking it out this week, I have at least thirty gallons of really nice looking rich compost that I think is ready to go.
I'd sure love to work some into my super soil mix for my inside garden, but am hesitant to do so because of possibly introducing unwanted pests.
I've researched it a bit online and apparently some people will "pasteurize" it.
This involves heating the compost up to 180 degrees for 30 minutes to kill insects, plant bacteria, and plant viruses.
Seems to me like a lot of work, time consuming, not to mention stinky.
I guess if you had some type of outside oven/stove it wouldn't be to bad, but I don't.

My question is how many of you make compost, bring it inside to use, with no issues or problems?
Mites, aphids and the likes being my main concern.
I have been wondering this as well. I have a pretty nice compost pile outside. All the soil and clippings from my grow room, rotted veggies from the garden and yard waste. It’s nice and black and I’m sure my plants would thrive in it, but worried about bring pests inside. Unfortunately I’m already fighting that issue that stemmed from a clone.......that ended up being a hermaphrodite :headwall:

I think my first attempt at a compost pile for the room will be done in a tote in the basement. I don’t like the pests!
 
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