Compost Starter Guide For Absolute Beginners

Are you considering starting a compost pile, but feeling overwhelmed by the thought? If so, you’re not alone. Composting can seem like an intimidating process, but it’s quite simple. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably considering starting compost piles. Composting is a great way to reduce your household’s food waste, as well as provide nutrients for your garden.

In fact, with this comprehensive guide to composting for beginners, you’ll be well on your way to recycling your kitchen or food scraps into nutrient-rich soil amendments in no time! So let’s get started!

What Is Compost And What Are Its Benefits?

Compost is a type of natural fertilizer made by decomposing organic materials. As plants and other organic materials break down, they release nutrients that can be absorbed by other plants. Composting is a way of speeding up this process, allowing gardeners to quickly create a nutrient-rich soil amendment. Compost can be made from a variety of materials, including kitchen scraps, leaves, and grass clippings.

The key to successful composting is creating the right conditions for decomposition to occur. This means ensuring that the compost pile has the right ratio of carbon-rich materials to nitrogen-rich materials, as well as the right amount of moisture and oxygen.

There are two main methods of composting: finished compost and compost tumbler. Finished compost is made by piling up organic matter and allowing it to decompose over time. This method is great for large-scale operations, but it can take a while for the finished product to be ready.

Compost tumblers, on the other hand, are small drums that you can rotate to aerate the composting material inside. This method is faster, but it does require a bit more effort on your part.

No matter which method you choose, the key to successful composting is to create a balance of “green” and “brown” materials. Green materials are things like fruit and vegetable scraps, grass clippings, and coffee grounds. Brown materials include things like dead leaves, twigs, and shredded newspaper. You’ll need both types of materials to create finished compost.

A Comprehensive List Of Compostable Items:

As a beginner, you may be wondering what green materials can be added to your compost bin. There are many different ways to compost, but the most common method is to build a compost heap.

You can also compost using worm bins or other enclosed systems. Here is a helpful list of some common compostables:

Fruits And Vegetables:

All fruit and vegetable scraps are fair game for the compost bin, including peels, cores, and seeds. You can make your own compost regularly.


Crush eggshells before adding them to the compost bin to speed up the decomposition process.

Coffee Grounds And Filters:

Coffee grounds make excellent fertilizer and can be added directly to the soil around plants. Used coffee filters can also be composted.

Tea Bags:

Most tea bags can be composted, although it’s best to remove the metal staples first.

Grass Clippings:

Grass clippings are a great source of nitrogen for the compost bins. There are more worms in garden waste.


Fall leaves make a great addition to the compost pile and can be shredded for faster decomposition.

Paper Towels And Napkins:

Paper towels and napkins can be composted, but it’s best to avoid those that have been used to clean up grease or oil.


Cardboard can be added to the compost bin, but it’s best to shred it first to speed up the decomposition process.

Wood Ashes:

Wood ashes can be added to the compost bin, but they should be used sparingly as they are high in alkaline.

Composting is an excellent way to reduce your household waste and recycle nutrients back into your garden beds. By composting, you can also create a nutrient-rich soil amendment for your plants.

What Is The Best Compost For Beginners?

For many gardeners, compost is a vital tool for creating rich, loamy soil that helps plants grow to their full potential.

But for beginners, the world of compost can be a bit daunting. There are many different recipes and methods for making compost, and it can be hard to know where to start.

However, there are a few basic principles that all composters should follow. First and foremost, it is important to create a balance of green and brown materials.

Green materials are high in nitrogen, while brown materials are high in carbon. This balance is essential for the composting process.

Secondly, it is important to keep your compost pile aerated. Aeration helps to speed up the decomposition process by providing oxygen for the microbes that break down organic matter.

Finally, it is important to keep your compost moist but not wet. Too much moisture can cause the compost to become anaerobic, which will significantly slow down the decomposition process. By following these simple guidelines, you can be sure that your compost will be rich and productive.

What Is The Easiest Composting Method?

For most people, the easiest composting method is simply to pile up organic waste in a designated area of the yard and let nature take its course.

Over time, the waste will break down and turn into rich, crumbly compost that can be used to improve the quality of your soil. However, there are a few things you can do to speed up the process.

First, make sure to chop or shred your organic waste before adding it to the pile. This will help it to break down more quickly.

Second, mix in some dry leaves or grass clippings to help balance out the moistness of the compost pile. You can use a compost tumbler to mix composting materials.

Finally, turn the pile every few weeks to aerate it and help speed up decomposition. By following these simple tips, you can easily create your own nutrient-rich compost right in your backyard.

How Much Compost Starter Do You Use?

One of the most common questions we get asked is “how much compost starter do you use?” The answer, of course, depends on several factors, including the size of your compost bin and the amount of organic material you’re adding to it.

However, as a general rule of thumb, we recommend using one part compost starter to nine parts organic material. Fresh compost is made up of four main ingredients: carbon, nitrogen, water, and air. For example, if you’re adding one gallon of organic material to your compost bin, you would use one cup of compost starter.

Keep in mind that you can always add more compost starters if needed. The important thing is to get the ratio right so that your compost has the right mix of nutrients and moisture.


Composting is an easy way to improve your soil and help reduce yard waste. By following these simple steps, you can be on your way to creating rich, dark compost for your garden. If you have any questions about composting or starting a compost pile, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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