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How to Compost Food Scraps for the Beginner

Renee Valdes
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Kitchen scraps for composting

Learn how to compost and get tips on how to start using scraps from your table and garden to create nutrient-rich soil. Composting is an environmentally-friendly way to reuse scraps as you do your part to reduce waste in landfills.

The best part comes when your compost bin begins producing black gold for your plants. Your garden will love the nutrients from the compost when you add it to the soil.

Compost bin and rain barrel in one.

1. Start with the right composter

For a low-maintenance solution, try a compost bin that tumbles. Just add things like banana, apple, orange and other fruit peels, vegetable scraps, egg shells and other kitchen scraps and non-diseased garden debris to your composter. Then, turn the bin every few days. A compost bin rain barrel (pictured above) let’s you collect and reuse rainwater in your garden while composting.

If you’re in a smaller space, try the compost sack. It’s quick, easy and portable. 

Worms in compost bin.

2. Let earthworms work their magic

Let earthworms and their castings do the work for you. When you add earthworms to your compost pile it helps speed-up the process of breaking down the organic material in your compost bin.Compost bin and compost starter kit

3. Try compost starter

When you use compost starter, such as Compost Wizard Compost Booster, you’ll improve nutrient absorption and help break down simple organic materials faster in your compost bin.

Composting in the garden.

4. Make lasagna

Layer garden and kitchen waste in your compost bin just like lasagna. Keep a balance of about 75 percent garden waste, including leaves and non-diseased plants, to 25 percent kitchen scraps. For faster compost breakdown, use a compost turner or turn the mixture with a garden fork a few times a week.Keep a compost pail in the kitchen.

5. Keep a pail

Make things easy by keeping an indoor compost pail in the kitchen. When you’re prepping your meals, you can quickly scoop potato and onion skins, carrot peels, strawberry caps, egg shells and more right into the pail. Every few days, just empty it out into the compost bin.

Find out more about making the most of your composter and how to compost in winter.

See our other lists for more gardening ideas:

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