The No Nonsense Composting at Home or Apartment
Updated: Mar 29
One of the best and easiest things to do for a home gardening setup is to include the composting step. It's a great way to recycle the waste from kitchen while providing wonderful nutrients to your plants in the garden. When you think of composting, the first thought that may come to your mind is the stinky smell or a much more complicated setup that looks like it's bursting with fumes in a large yard. That's not necessarily the case for the simple process of composting that anyone can get started with. So my goal in this article is to share the process of composting right at your home or apartment without any of that stinky-ness or complicated setup.
In this process, we are targeting simplicity as opposed quickness - meaning you are not going to get the compost in real hurry, however your process of making the composting is less messy. With that out of our way, here are my step-by-step instructions for small families.
It's a fairly easy process to get your equipment setup for the composting at home. The three things you need are
Outdoor bins with lockable lids (we bought these 12 gallon ones from Target)
Kitchen compost bin (we got this compost bin from Amazon)
You are going to need minimum of 2 outdoor bins to keep both filling and resting cycle covered. Your requirements may vary as in you may need the 3rd bin depending on the family size but for our case we were totally fine with 2 bins.
Now that you have the items, drill holes into the bottom of the outdoor bins. Once that is finished, drill more holes in either on the top or top-side of the bin. I prefer top-side as seen in the photos below to eliminate any unwanted waters getting inside from rains etc. (It rains a lot in Florida).
And that's it, you are almost all set. Now fill the bottom of the main bin with either the shredded paper like we do or with the brown-leaves. And then add a small layer of previous batch compost (to speed up the process). If you are just getting started and don't have the previous batch compost, just add bit of soil.
You are all set with the pre work and now it's time for the daily activities.
Collect your kitchen scraps (egg shells, veggies scraps, banana peels etc.) on the indoor bin as you cook or as you get them. Once a day empty the indoor bin and add the scraps to your outdoor bin. As you start accumulating enough waste in your outdoor bin to form a layer or as in when you feel its time, add a layer of brown material (be in brown leaves or cardboard or shredded paper).
Repeat this cycle until the outdoor bin is full. Once in a while try to mix it up to see if things are not too wet or dry. Add in water or brown material as needed. Once the outdoor bin is full repeat this cycle from the beginning with a new outdoor bin while the old outdoor bin rests and composting process does it's magic.
It usually takes a month or two initially before you are ready to use the compost for your garden. However once this cycle get's into the rhythm, you would have constant supply of it while the process of collecting happens in parallel.
Here are some of the tips that can enhance your composting process. These are definitely not the complete set but the things I have learned as I work this through. I look forward to hearing more from you in the comments below.
Generally most of the issues are caused by an imbalance of brown and green materials. So just make sure that you are keeping an eye of balance of these materials for successful process.
You can also add items like drier lint, inner part of toilet paper rolls, used ground coffee (keep it limited), tea bags etc. into the process.
Definitely have the outdoor bin with a lid to keep those trash pandas out of it.
That's all from me and hope this was helpful to you. Peace !!!
On a side note, if you have any other ideas or suggestion please leave them in the comments below for helping other readers. I will add the best ones to the article in future.