Composting 101: The Simplified Guide to Composting

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When spring rolls around, and the weather warms up again… so many of us look forward to spending time outside in our gardens and prettying up the landscaping! And no matter whether you love tending to your flower beds or your vegetable gardens, this post will be of interest to you!! We started composting about a year ago, and it’s been a fun little project for the family. The kids especially love spinning our big compost bin! Plus its a great way to offer some extra nutrition to your plants, and it’s good for the environment. So today on the blog I thought I’d share a few tips and things we’ve learned along the way for a composting 101 lesson! Composting can seem pretty complicated, so this post will just highlight the important stuff, the stuff you need to know, and my take on all the rest too.

composting 101: the simple guide
white enamel kitchen composting bin

Things You Can Compost

The main thing you need to know in order to get started composting is what can actually be composted. This list is not exhaustive, but gives you a good idea of the types of things you can add to your compost pile.

  • fruits and vegetable scraps
  • egg shells
  • nut shells
  • coffee grounds
  • tea bags
  • cardboard tubes from paper towels / toilet paper
  • clean paper
  • newspaper
  • dryer lint
  • grass clippings
  • leaves
  • hay/straw
kitchen compost pail with compostable bag

Things You Shouldn’t Compost

The next thing you need to know is what you shouldn’t add to your compost. This list also isn’t exhaustive but will get you started in the right direction.

  • animal products (meat, fat, bones, and dairy)
  • citrus (in small amounts its fine, but can make your compost very acidic if you add too much)
  • onions / garlic (chop before adding to the compost so they do not resprout)

Our Favorite Composting Supplies

Having the right supplies is one thing that allows me to be consistent with composting here at the farmhouse! Our kitchen countertop bin is always readily available for me to add kitchen scraps when I’m cooking, and because it blends in well with my decor I don’t mind it sitting out on the counters. The carbon filters it comes with are great at neutralizing any odor, and I haven’t had any issues with smell whatsoever. You can also purchase compostable bags which make it very easy when you need to empty the bin. You do want to make sure you empty the bin and swap out the bags pretty regularly. Because the bags are compostable, they can break down if you wait too long but this hasn’t been an issue for us. And when it has happened, I just rinsed and cleaned out the bin. Good as new!

white farmhouse kitchen with countertop compost pail
white farmhouse kitchen with countertop compost pail

And that leads us to our outdoor compost bin. We purchased this bin from Amazon, and it was fairly easy to assemble. I think I had it put together in around an hour. We are able to alternate between the two composting compartments that way when one side gets full, you can add items to the second compartment while the first pile does its thing and breaks down. We’ve owned this bin for a little over a year and have had no issues with animals in the pile! And it’s not budged during heavy storms. It’s been a great fit for our needs and expectations! And in my opinion this composter was well worth the investment! To sum it up, here are the things I love about it: pretty easy assembly, durability and sturdiness, animal proof, double composting chambers.

best outdoor composter

Now here’s where people make this composting thing complicated. Some people will tell you to add in your greens and browns in a specific ratio for optimal conditions for your compost pile. But we honestly just add in our household food scraps at whatever rate they accumulate and don’t stress the ratio. It’ll all break down eventually and I haven’t noticed that it’s really impacted anything that significantly. I’m no composting / soil expert but I would feel pretty safe in saying that there’s still a ton of benefits to composting whether you’re strict about your ratios or whether you wing it like we do!

This post might not be my typical home decor and DIY content, but I like to include a little bit of home life and farm life here on the blog when I can! So I hope this mini composting 101 less was helpful to anyone looking to get started composting! Thanks for stopping by to visit the blog today, and as always, thanks for following along…

Love, Brittany
composting 101

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