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How to start composting: The ultimate guide

Composting can seem like a daunting task for the average homemaker. It requires preparation, specific materials and a little bit of science to get a good compost heap going. The good news, however, is that composting is really easy and anyone can do it!

There are so many benefits to composting: it helps reduce waste, it recycles nutrients back into your soil, and it is great for the environment. Think of all the food scraps that you throw away week after week. You could be using these offcuts to build a compost pile for the benefit of you and your family! Composting is easy to incorporate into your daily routine regardless of whether you have a big backyard or live in a small apartment.

We’re here to tell you how to get started today.

So what is composting anyway?

Composting is a process during which natural matter is broken down and provides nutrients back into the soil allowing for better productivity in terms of plant growth and longevity.

What can you compost?

It is important to look at a full list of items for things that you should and shouldn’t compost before getting started. Citrus rinds, for example, are bad for your compost pile, as are fats, ash, and anything containing dairy. Stick to composting fresh food scraps for the best success.

Once you have the right scraps, there are two main types of composting you can do:

Aerobic composting

Aerobic composting is the most popular way to get a compost pile started in your backyard and requires only carbon, nitrogen, air and water. The nitrogen is provided from your food scraps or green garden trimmings. You can add carbon to your pile in the form of shredded paper or brown garden clippings. Air will look after itself, and you can water your compost heap to make sure it is well hydrated.

The most important thing in an aerobic compost pile is keeping all elements balanced by creating a layered pile. Find a dry, shaded spot in your yard and lay the foundations. Turn the layers occasionally to ensure proper aeration. If you don’t have a yard but still want to have an aerobic compost pile, you can do this with the help of worms! Vermicomposting is growing in popularity in cities and suburban areas and is a great way to keep an aerobic compost pile in a confined space.

Anaerobic composting

The opposite of aerobic composting is anaerobic composting because this type of compost pile doesn’t require oxygen. This is a much easier way to compost for those without a yard. In this system, you can simply add your scraps to a compost bin and wait a few weeks for them to decompose. Specially made compost bins can be bought at a variety of retailers and offer an odourless, easy way to compost right in your kitchen.

Whatever method you decide to use, composting is a great and simple way to improve your soil health, lower your carbon footprint and recycle your waste. Why not get started today?

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