There are a lot of materials in a household that go to waste simply because we can’t find a use for them. We run into leftovers at home that go into the trash, old newspapers we’ve already read, and even some dry leaves and plants from cleaning up the yard. While it’s always an option to throw these things out, many homeowners are looking for alternatives to get more use out of the waste they produce. Learning how to compost allows homeowners to convert the waste they produce into compost that brings more life to their lawn and garden.
There are 5 main ingredients to composting effectively: a compost tumbler, green and brown materials, oxygen, heat, and water. This list only scratches the surface, and how you mix these ingredients together will determine the quality of your compost. At Lifetime, we provide rotating compost bins that make the composting processes easier than ever before. Here is an in-depth look at how you can take everyday scraps and turn them into rich compost you can use to feed the plant life around your home.
What is Compost?
You may be wondering, what is compost? How is it different from fertilizer? Why is it worth making and putting in my garden? Luckily, there are answers for all of those questions. Literally, compost is decomposed organic matter. That organic matter can be made up of food scraps and dry plant life from around your home and yard. The items that go into compost are natural materials that can decompose into rich soil full of nutrients that promote microbes that aid in the growth process.
In straight forward terms, compost is soil that can be used to promote growth in your lawn and garden. That sounds like fertilizer, you say? Well, fundamentally, compost differs from fertilizer because it feeds the soil while fertilizer feeds the plants. Compost is used to enrich the soil around your plants, which will, in turn, create a healthy food supply for your plants. The other difference is how you get compost versus how you get fertilizer. Most homeowners have the materials needed to make compost.
How To Make Compost
As we mentioned, there are 6 basic ingredients you will need to make your compost. You need:
- a compost bin to place materials into
- brown and green materials
- and water
There are several styles of compost bins, but rotating bins offer an easy solution to composting. You can place the bin outside in your backyard to start the process. As you create different forms of waste, these products can be added to the bin. Waste falls into two categories, brown and green. Your browns are dry leaves and greenery around your yard. Green waste includes leftover food scraps from your kitchen. There should be a ratio of 20 brown materials to 1 green material. Note that we will go more in depth on what to put into your bin in the next section.
Once the materials are in your bin, you will need to provide oxygen, heat, and water. With a rotating composter, this step is easy. A rotating composter allows you to easily mix your compost to allow for more oxygen. The more oxygen you use, the faster the process goes. The bin will also naturally provide the heat necessary for the composting process to occur. Finally, you want to make sure the level of moisture in your bin is correct. Too much water and the process can be smelly, too little water and the process will go slow. Be sure the contents look moist but not wet. Add more brown materials to dry the mixture, or add more green materials or water to moisten it.
What to Compost
Compost is made by using decomposable materials. If the materials you put in your bin don’t decompose, they shouldn’t be there. It is also important that you get the correct ratio of materials in your bin. The proper ratio is 20 brown to 1 green. The majority of your mix should be brown, carbon-rich items. If mixed incorrectly, the process can give off a foul smell. Mix the right ingredients and you’ll get rich compost for your yard and garden. Here is a list of brown and green materials that you can use in your composter. We’ll also provide a list of items to avoid.
- Dead, Dry Leaves
- Woody materials (Brush, Twings, Shavings)
- Dried Weeds
- Straw and Hay
- Paper Products (Newspapers, Paper Towels)
- Grass Clippings
- Garden Remains (Flowers, Vegetables)
- Livestock Manure (No Household Pet Waste)
- Kitchen Scraps (Fruit/Vegetable Remains, Egg Shells, Coffee Grounds)
Do Not Compost:
- Meat and Bones, Animal Scraps
- Dairy Products
- Greases (Cooking Oil, Peanut Butter)
- Household Pet or Human Waste
- Plywood or Pressure-Treated Wood
- Weeds or Anything Treated with Pesticides
- Black Walnut and Oak Leaves
- Pine Needles
- Anything that does not Biodegrade·
How to Use a Composter
Composters serve as the containers to hold all the materials you are converting to compost. They are also designed to control the environment within the bin to provide the right climate for decomposition. When you have a composter, all you have to do is fill it and mix. The bin must have a lid that can be opened and closed. Open the bin to fill it with your green and brown materials. Make sure you have the right ratio of green and brown. Add water if the mix is too dry. Finally, rotate and mix the compost to allow for oxygen flow.
Advantages to Using a Rotating Composter
The rotating composters, or compost tumblers, from Lifetime are designed to ease composting and make it an efficient process. It can be difficult to get the right amount of oxygen, heat, and water in your composter. This composter’s rotating design allows you to easily mix your compost and allow for more oxygen to flow. The materials of the compost bin are made to naturally absorb and retain the heat needed for composting. Finally, the design allows you to open your bin and make sure it has the right amounts of water and materials.
There is a lot less work that is needed on your end to compost. The entire bin is made with the composting process in mind. Instead of finding a way to rotate your compost, you can simply unlock the composter and give the compost a spin. This provides the space for oxygen that is needed in decomposition. You can then lock the bin and let it handle the temperature inside. Meanwhile, the bin has a door so you get easy access to the contents. You can get some compost going and keep adding to the bin overtime.
Start Composting with a Lifetime Rotating Composter Today!
If you are ready to make use of your kitchen scraps and yard waste, Lifetime offers the perfect compost tumblers to easily make your own rich compost. You can take a look on lifetime.com to find great deals on our selection of Lifetime Composters.