Start Composting for Lawn and Garden

Edited by Robbi, Lynn, Eng, Christine Cruz

Compost pit.jpg

How to Start Composting for Your Garden and Lawn

Composting is a great way to make sure that you have lots of homemade fertilizer for your plants. It's more natural and more readily available and it saves the earth by adding a lot less chemical fertilizer to your garden. In addition, it is healthier for you. It is also a big part of green living since it keeps so much "garbage" out of landfills.

The best part of composting is that it isn't difficult to get started. It does take a little effort, but how much effort you have to put into it is determined by what kind of equipment you get. You can buy a lot of high tech composting materials or you can simply begin a small compost pile in your back yard that you move daily with a shovel or pitchfork.


Steps to Creating a Compost Pile

  1. 1
    Determine where you are going to put your composter or your compost heap
    You need to figure this out first so that you will be able to determine the type and size of composter that you will be able to get or to determine a place where it won't be disturbed.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  2. 2
    Next, figure out how much money you have to spend on your composting bin
    Simple styles that you build yourself can cost next to nothing, but you can also spend hundreds of dollars on some of the biggest and most durable composters. You can also simply dig a small pit in your yard. The worms are going to be very valuable tools to help you compost.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  3. 3
    That being said, once you know how much space and money you have available, you will need to figure out the style of composter that will suit you and your yard best
    Probably the most basic type of composter that you can get is a wooden frame surrounded by chicken wire. This sits on the ground and you have to turn the compost with a shovel. You can also choose barrel-style composters that you can turn with a crank.
    1424558 91457933.jpg
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  4. 4
    Get your composter set up on your property, and make sure that it is ready to be used.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  5. 5
    Now you can start collecting organic materials to compost
    Lawn clippings, leaves, kitchen scraps, and other similar items are perfect.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  6. 6
    Put your composting materials into your bin
    If you have a tumbling bin, it doesn't matter how you put stuff in it. If you have a bin you must turn by hand, then you may want to layer kitchen scraps in with lawn clippings so that everything heats up at the same rate.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  7. 7
    Add a little water so everything can break down, but not so much that everything is soaked
    The contents of your composting bin should be damp.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  8. 8
    Now you need to let the materials break down
    How long it takes for everything to break down is dependent on what you put in the bin, as well as the type of bin you have, and how hot the center of the compost pile gets.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  9. 9
    Once the plant materials have broken down, you will have nice, brown soil
    If you're putting the compost in your garden, it doesn't matter if it has some small chunks in it, since these will continue to break down. If you're putting it on your lawn, you may have to wait until everything is completely broken down.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help


  • Most cities do allow composting on your property, but just to make sure there are no problems down the road, you should check into your local laws and ordinances.
  • Make sure you look into some of the things that you should not compost. *Weeds that have seeds on them should not be composted, since the seeds can survive the process.
  • Don't try to compost meat or dairy products, since these will likely smell bad.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Gardening

Recent edits by: Eng, Lynn, Robbi

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 877 times.


Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

Would you like to give back to the community by fixing a spelling mistake? Yes | No