Composting: Things to Consider

When undertaking a composting project there are a few things to consider.

Composting requires a little bit of space, and is normally something you’ll want to keep away from neighbors. There’s no bad smells associated with a compost pile, but your neighbors might not find it the beautiful masterpiece you’ll no doubt come to love. Compost piles also require time and energy. The payoff for having a steaming heap of compost and a finished product come gardening time can’t be undervalued, but like all good things it takes planning and effort to make it happen.

It’s also important to note that there are items that are biodegradable, meaning they will “someday” compost, but not everything that is biodegradable belongs in your compost pile. Compostable materials are materials that break down quick and easy and will provide you with good compost from season to season. Try to avoid things like cardboard boxes, papers, and plastics in your compost pile – they won’t break down quick enough and you’ll end up having to pick them out!

Composting requires 4 main ingredients:

  • Air – you must always have good airflow to your pile.
  • Heat – your compost must “ignite” and the microbes must be fed and kept happy.
  • Greens/Wets – Green or recently living organic matter.
  • Browns/Drys – Straw, dry leaves etc.

It’s also important to keep your compost pile sufficiently damp. If you’re able to manage this delicate balance you’ll be able to reach the magic temperature which is 130-180 degrees Fahrenheit!

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