Simplify Your Compost in 5 Easy Steps

Go forth and make compost. And with these tips, make it with little effort at all.

by Lisa Munniksma

Composting is a giant science experiment that yields an urban farmer’s best friend: awesome fertilizer. There are a lot of complicated chemical processes that go on behind the scenes as organic matter decompose, but your role in composting is relatively simple.

Here are five ways to make your job even easier:

  1. Make it moist. Instead of running a hose, water your compost pile with water you used to boil pasta for dinner last night or collected while waiting for your shower to warm up this morning.
  2. Create the right compost bin. You’re more likely to improve your composting if you and your bin get along. See how other urban farmers have modeled their bins to find a setup you like.
  3. Put a can in the kitchen. Any container with a lid can hold your decomposable kitchen waste until you have a chance to take it to the backyard.
  4. Keep carbon on hand. A stack of newspapers under cover or a pile of fallen leaves next to the compost bin provide valuable carbon-rich “brown” materials so you can maintain your carbon-nitrogen balance year-round.
  5. Print a compost cheat-sheet. UF’s list of green and brown materials will help you make sure you get the right ratio for perfect compost cooking.

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