5 Composting is Rocket Surgery

I have a confession to make. 

I really really suck at composting from home.  

No seriously.

It was one of the biggest reasons I was so happy about our area getting a composting program through our city. I finally wouldn't have to worry about greens vs browns or how often I am turning it. Because that is something else I am always forgetting to do.  Mostly because when I would go out there to put stuff in the bin I would slowly lift the lid to see if the wasps that were living there were indeed still there. They always are. So I would throw my organics in the bins as fast as humanly possible and get the heck out of dodge. I don't have time to turn or mix that shit when I am in a stare down with a herd of wasps.

In the 5 years I have been composting at this house I have yet to yield anything that I could use on our gardens. Sure things are breaking down, heck the Sun Chips bags even disappeared, but it is overall not doing it fast enough to produce anything.

To ensure you do yield results from your backyard bin here are some tips:
* Greens are produce, browns are paper, lawn trimmings, leafs etc. Find a good balance between "greens" and "browns".
* If you find yourself with too many greens and not enough browns ask your neighbours/friends/family if you can use their browns.
* Decomposition needs oxygen so turn your bin once a week. Leave something a shovel or pitch fork beside the bin to make it easier on yourself.
*  Prep your bin for winter if you live in a cold climate and aren't going to continue to add to it. Add a layer of leaves or shredded paper to the top.
* Make sure your bins is secured to the ground so that animals do not get into it. I had a raccoon take a whole melon out from underneath mine one time.
* Don't toss whole melons in your bin. Cut produce up a bit first to help with the decomposition process. 

I won't be following these tips for awhile because my current plan is to add bits of what is in our backyard bin to our city green bin each week until it is all gone. Then I may think about restarting it, but I may just use the city program exclusively because it is easier and I can add so much more to it.

Do you compost at home? How successful are you at it?

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  1. Ugh me too. Not enough browns.

  2. As soon as I read the title of the post, I knew I would be able to relate. Yes, composting is rocket science. I once read that you can make compost in 14 days if the conditions are right and you flip it enough. It took me one year to make my first batch of compost. I am really bad about keeping it moist enough and flipping it. When the grass and the leaves pack down, it is hard work to flip it, so I don't do it often. Great information!

  3. That is exactly my problem Katie. I go to turn it and it is so dry and hard and so I can't get down deep enough. How do you ensure it stays moist? I honestly have to add water before I try to turn it sometimes.

  4. I have the opposite problem, too-moist compost. I'm probably not turning them often enough/the bins don't get enough air. I live in an apartment and keep my bins in my garage. It's hard enough to get my boyfriend on board with maintaining them without having them leak all over the place -____-

  5. Try adding shredded paper or newspaper to it Erika!