Knowing how to make a homemade compost will help you give a second life to your organic “garbage”. If you have reached this article, it is because you have a real interest in recycling your waste, so congratulations! This way, you will prevent them from spoiling and producing gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect.
A home compost or organic compost is a natural fertilizer of great quality due to the value of its nutrients. It is the process of converting organic waste (food scraps or organic materials) into usable soil. During this process microorganisms work together to break down organic “garbage” (stalks, fruit peels or eggshells) and create a rich soil that provides nutrients to the variety of plant types in the world.
Knowing how to make homemade compost is the first step in creating a more sustainable environment. Well, in this blog post you will learn how to make a compost at home easily and quickly. This means setting in motion the decomposition process in which plant matter is turned into compost; that is, naturally breaking down organic waste so that it can be reintegrated into the soil and nourish the soil.
That said, follow the step-by-step procedure to make a homemade compost and contribute to the care of our planet. join the challenge, choose your favorite plants and get down to earth!
1. Choose a type of homemade compost
Before you get your hands in the soil and start composting, there are three types of homemade compost: cold, hot and vermicompost.
So keep in mind which type of home compost you will choose so that you can prepare your organic materials and/or waste ahead of time. Below, we will explain each of them.
Cold composting is as simple as collecting yard waste or taking organic materials out of the garbage and then collecting them in a garbage can. It will take about a year for the material to decompose.
Hot composting requires you to take a more active role in its execution; but it is also a quick process to do. For this type of home composting you need 4 fast cooking ingredients: nitrogen, carbon, air and water.
These ingredients feed the microorganisms that speed up the decomposition process (this is the home composting that we will explain how to do later).
The vermicompost deserves a separate point; but it is also considered within the types of homemade compost, only that the help of worms is needed to elaborate it.
When these worms eat food scraps, they release inputs that are rich in nitrogen. However, you can’t just use any worms to make it, you need red worms.
2. Get your materials ready
If this is your first time composting and you don’t know what materials to use to make homemade compost, we bring you a list to mix fast and slow decomposing materials.
Rapidly decomposing materials
Slow decomposing materials
Pieces of fruit or vegetables
Bags of tea or coffee
Straw and old hay
Horse, donkey or cow manure
Hamster, rabbit and other domestic animal (herbivores) bedding.
Very slowly decomposing materials
Weeding of hard hedges
Sawdust and untreated wood chips
Egg shells or nut shells
Wool and natural yarns
Hair and feathers
Fruit pits (peach, avocado, olives, etc.)
Wood ash (sprinkle in small quantities).
Cardboard, egg cartons, napkins and paper containers.
Newspapers (in small quantities).
The 4 elements that your home compost must have
Browns: mixture of dry leaves, branches, sawdust or pieces of wood.
Green: organic debris, grass, vegetable waste.
Soil: will give body to the mixture of the previous inputs.
Water: always control the water, don’t overdo it or add too little.
The only composting technique you need to maneuver is this: your compost should always have the same amount of browns and greens.
what organic materials are used to make homemade compost?
The organic materials for home composting that you can use are:
Fruit and vegetable scraps
Paper in strips
Plants and flowers
Vacuum cleaner lint
what materials should you avoid to make a homemade compost?
Lawn waste with chemical fertilizers
Plastic and aluminum
now you’re ready! With all this background knowledge, you are now ready to know how to make a compost at home and turn your home into a forest.
3. Select organic waste
The next step in how to make a home compost is to separate your waste and materials. As we mentioned before, the organic waste you can use for your compost should only be of vegetable origin, for example, fruits, vegetable scraps, rice, legumes, roots, paper, branches, cardboard or logs.
You can also add eggshells, but avoid meat or bones, as this could attract pests and cause bad odor. So choose well the materials to make a homemade compost that we just shared with you in the previous step.
The home composter or home compost can be made simply with a pile of organic waste, but for reasons of space if you live in an apartment or a small house, the use of a composter will be the main material for the process.
If you have outdoor space, find a place to start your home compost pile. Consider a place that gets some sun, has no standing water and is easy to get to every day. If you are in an urban area and don’t have access to an outdoor composting space, you still have options. An indoor worm composting garbage can, i.e., a vermicompost may work for you.
4. Choose your home compost garbage can
A home composter must meet these requirements so that it can be functional and amicably hold organic waste:
Ventilation system to allow oxygen to enter.
Side closure system to maintain optimum temperature conditions.
Top closure system to prevent flooding by rain (if you plan to leave it outdoors).
Easy opening and handling of organic waste.
It should not have a base to allow the entry of air and the entry of soil-dwelling organisms that are responsible for the decomposition of the materials.
Taking into account the requirements to build a compost bin, we will now see how to make an organic home compost. In fact, there are several containers that allow you to give life to your waste. Let’s see how to make each one. let the action begin!
how to make a homemade compost with mesh?
A good way to aerate your homemade compost is by using hedge netting. This material is ideal for making the decomposition process faster. below, we’ll show you how to make a homemade compost with mesh.
Materials for making a homemade compost with netting
Chicken wire or galvanized wire mesh for fences
4 fastening rods
Tarpaulin or cardboard for covering
Steps to build a homemade compost with netting
First you nail the rods and surround it with the mesh.
Attach the mesh to the rods with the wire.
Finally, cover the sides and top with plastic or some type of tarp.
how to make a homemade compost with pallets?
Making homemade compost with pallets is much easier than doing it with mesh. You can usually get this material at markets, fairs, bodegas, etc.
Materials to make a homemade compost with pallets
4 or 5 pallets
Steps to create a homemade compost with pallets
Place a pallet as a base and lean one side against a flat surface to facilitate assembly.
Then, nail the pallets together on the lateral sides.
Finally, cover with a tarp or waterproof plastic.
how to make a homemade compost from wood?
If you have a crate or sack within reach, don’t discard it with your garbage. use it to learn how to make a quick and easy homemade compost. By the way, a huacal is a box made of thin boards used to transport fruits and vegetables. We’re sure you’ve seen more than one at the market.
Materials to make a homemade wood composter
1 Huacal or light wooden box
Multilayer cardboard (you can use your juice or milk cartons) or egg cartons
Thin cardboard (you can use the cardboard of a cardboard bag)
Steps to make a homemade wood composter
First, line the base and walls of the huacal with multilayer cardboard or egg carton. Staple it well to make a firm wall.
With a cutter or scissors make small holes in the base so that it can breathe. Then start with the layers.
Add a layer of dry leaves and/or thin cardboard.
Now add a layer of organic waste. Then a layer of soil.
With a pair of scissors or a stick, make small holes in the soil to oxygenate it and add water (a glass is enough). Remember that homemade compost should always be moist so that microorganisms can decompose the food.
The last layer will be made of thin cardboard. Tear it into small pieces and cover the entire surface, this will help keep insects out of the homemade compost. It will also retain moisture better.
Water it every two days or whenever you see that it is no longer damp.
and that’s it! With these simple steps to make a homemade wood compost, you will be able to make organic fertilizer in a short time.
You can keep adding layers as you accumulate organic waste. If you shred or liquefy what you add, you will get faster results. When you get the resulting soil you can use it for your plants or vegetable garden.
how to make a homemade compost in a bottle?
Living in a very small space is not an impediment to take care of nature and the environment, did you know that you can make homemade compost in a bottle? We explain how to do it in simple steps.
Materials to make a homemade compost in a bottle
Plastic bottle (preferably 5 liters).
Pot with soil
Leftovers or organic waste (you can check the list above).
Tools to cut the plastic bottle.
Steps to make homemade compost in a bottle
Follow these instructions to make a quick and easy homemade compost in the comfort of your own home.
Make holes all along the length and width of the plastic bottle.
Cut a space at the top so you can fill the bottle.
Bury the bottle in a pot. Leave the hinge on the outside (approx. 5 cm).
Place a layer of soil followed by a layer of organic waste.
Continue the process until the bottle is completely filled (you must finish with a layer of soil).
Water with plenty of water and close the bottle, and you’re done!
Note that homemade compost in a plastic bottle should sit for 30 days and remain moist. after the month, remove the bottle from the soil and distribute the compost among your plants.
Making homemade compost is a way to contribute something to the environment and to become aware of the pollution we cause with the garbage we throw away. It is no secret that this waste can filter into the aquifers and contaminate plants and vegetables.
how to make a homemade compost in a jar or bucket?
To make a homemade compost in this material, you must take into account the aeration. Otherwise, your compost will end up getting moldy and smelly, and you won’t be able to use it. As you know, a bucket does not have holes in the back, so you will need to make one.
With the above point in mind, let’s look at how to make homemade compost in a bucket or pot.
Materials for making homemade compost in a pot
2 jars or buckets (one of them perforated)
Fresh kitchen waste
Steps to make a homemade compost in a canister
Add a layer of fresh waste to the bucket with the perforation and add a layer of dry waste.
Repeat the process until the bucket is full.
Place the bucket with the compost on top of the second bucket. Make sure beforehand that they fit together.
Cover the bucket with wood or cardboard.
Stir the waste once a week.
If you don’t have another bucket, you can place the compost bucket on two bricks with a container underneath.
After a week, take the bucket (with the compost in it) out of the second bucket and empty the accumulated liquid into the compost.
Allow three more weeks for the compost to shrink and not be so wet. After that you can use it to beautify your garden or start your own organic garden at home.
how to make a homemade compost from cement blocks?
Another alternative on how to make a homemade compost is to use cement blocks, so it will stay fixed and sturdy. This homemade compost garbage can requires you to have a decent amount of cement blocks around. All you have to do is create piles of cement blocks to form the walls of this compost garbage can idea.
Materials for making a homemade cinder block compost bin
Fresh organic waste
Cement block glue
Steps to make a homemade compost out of cement blocks
Within the procedure of a homemade cement block compost, the first thing you must do is to join them with a special glue. The most common is the traditional mortar, but you can opt for adhesive polyurethane foam, since the latter dries in just 10 minutes and vulcanizes in 24 hours.
Note that you should not put anything on top of the blocks to keep them upright. However, if you want a more hidden wall design, turn the cement blocks sideways and join them together to create the walls. This also gives you a place to nail steel posts into each block to make them sturdier, but this is completely optional.
Additionally, you can completely enclose all four walls or make three walls and leave one open for easy access. Just don’t put a lid on this container to allow air circulation and rain to enter to help with the decomposition process of your homemade compost.
Once your cinder block garbage can is built and completely dry, you can start adding your organic waste pile.
Water with plenty of water and that’s it, let the decomposition process of your homemade compost work by itself.
how to make a homemade compost in a wine barrel?
Larger wine barrels are ideal when you’re collecting rainwater, but they’re also a practical and easy idea for making homemade compost. You’ll likely get two or three of these wine barrels so you can create a continuous cycle of ready compost while still having room for your newer scraps.
Materials for making homemade compost in wine barrels
Steps to make a homemade compost in wine barrels
Once you get your wine barrels, all you have to do is place them in a row next to the area of your garden or the space where you will put your homemade compost.
Fill the first one to ¾ of its capacity and be sure to mix it periodically to bring the material from the bottom to the top.
When it’s full, you’ll start with the second wine barrel, and so on. Before your homemade compost is ready to use in the different barrels, make sure you have organic waste on hand to add into each one.
how to make a school compost?
Making a homemade compost at school is an activity that, in addition to bringing students closer to the natural environment, invites them to reflect on lifestyle, consumption model and the generation of their own waste. In fact, more and more schools have implemented school gardens to teach their community how to make homemade compost.
While going back to the classroom is still restricted in many countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are school assignments that can be done at home without any problem. For example, make a school compost project using biodegradable materials and/or organic waste.
Materials to make a school compost
1 unused pot or flowerpot
Waste (leftover fruit, vegetables, eggshells or the inside of tea bags)
Dry waste (dried plants, paper bags).
1 plastic bag
Steps to make a school compost
Place two layers of cardboard in the bottom of the pot
Add a layer of fresh waste. Be sure to distribute them well.
Add a layer of dry residue.
Mix the fresh residues with the dry residues.
Cover the mixture with three layers of paper (use paper bags for this)
Wait for a week to pass without touching your compost.
After a week, stir the waste and add a handful of fresh waste.
If you notice that the mixture is a little dry, moisten it with a little water. (Note: it is only a matter of frequent moistening. If you overdo it with water, you will spoil your compost).
Let your mixture sit for about three months in the shade.
At the end of that time, you will have a moist, odorless compost that you can use in your garden.
Important: before placing the layer of fresh waste in your home compost, make sure it is chopped into small pieces. This task should be done by an adult.
5. Wait until your homemade compost is ready
congratulations! If you made it this far, your homemade compost should already be starting its decomposition process. You’re probably wondering how long it should take for my compost to be ready, because there is no exact time!
Normally, a homemade compost takes between 3 and 5 months to be ready to be used as fertilizer for your plants. This may vary depending on the climate, the type of waste you have used and the care you put into the elaboration of your compost.
As Paquita Romano, teacher of the online course “Home gardening: grow, decorate and live green”, says, “by understanding the type of soil, the climatic conditions and the amount of sun needed for the different species of plants, you can transform a space and bring it to life”.
To know if your composting process is on the right track, you should check the smell, color and texture of the mixture you have. To do this, we recommend following these recommendations to check if your homemade compost is in good condition:
A healthy homemade compost should smell like moist soil and nothing else. If you smell it and you feel like you are in the jungle or in a forest in the rain, great! You mixed your browns and greens well.
Likewise, the color of your compost should be dark brown all the way through. While for the first few weeks you will be able to tell the difference between the residues you mixed, as the months go by their remains will have merged and will be unrecognizable. If you can still see the eggshells, be patient, there is still a long way to go.
Finally, check the texture of your compost with the fist test. Simply take some of the homemade compost in your hand, squeeze it tightly in your fist and then release it.
If the compost crumbles like normal soil and falls out, your compost is dry. add more water on a weekly basis.
If the compost drips and spills out of your fist, your compost may be too wet. try adding dry material or place it in a better ventilated area.
If the compost doesn’t leak when it’s in your fist and when you release it it stays compact without falling apart, hurray! Your compost is ready to fertilize your plants, flowers, orchards, fruit trees and your entire garden.
Tips to take care of your home compost
The stages of the composting process take time, but watching organic waste begin to transform into compost is truly exciting. Here are some composting considerations and techniques to keep in mind when you notice something strange in your home compost.
Always try to control sun exposure to maintain moisture.
If you smell an ammonia odor, there is too much green and not enough brown; add more dry leaves.
A rotten smell means there is too much moisture and not enough oxygen. Add dry matter.
To avoid flies or mosquitoes in your home compost, bury some kitchen scraps.
Keep your compost in a ventilated space. If you live in an apartment or small house, you can place your composter on the balcony, laundry room, rooftop or near a window.
don’t forget about it! Weekly maintenance of your home compost is essential so that it does not dry out and does not have bad odors.
Marketing of homemade compost
Well, if your homemade compost is ready to beautify any space in your home, you can place it in a cool place. However, if you didn’t get the desired results, don’t worry, there are specialized gardening stores that sell homemade compost. Check on Google and we are almost sure you will be able to buy it online.
Remember that, before applying the steps to make a homemade compost, you must locate it in an easily accessible place and, if you have a garden at home, then under a tree would be an ideal space for the shade to protect them from the sun in summer, and in winter it should not be in an excessively cold area.
Benefits of making homemade compost
what is compost for? Homemade fertilizers have multiple benefits for the environment. You don’t need to put on a cape to be a hero, because by making a homemade compost you are already contributing more than you can imagine to the planet.
Beyond the fact that home composting relieves stress and anxiety at home, and provides a great sense of pride when it’s finished, there are a number of advantages for the planet. Here are some of the many benefits of home composting and what composting is good for:
It’s free. The materials to make homemade compost are right at home.
Itpromotes the production of vigorous and beautifulplants.
Improves the structure, texture and aeration of gardensoil .
Reinforces soil fertility and stimulates healthy plant root development.
it “loosens” clay soils and helps sandy soils to retain water.
Itprovides nutrients that plants need for good growth: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
It acts as a natural bactericide and fungicide, avoiding the use of pesticides and other chemical products.
Reduces the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill, this is one of the most visible benefits of home composting. give a new life to your food leftovers!
Say goodbye to the use of chemical fertilizers that cause negative environmental effects such as increased microorganisms or groundwater contamination.
It feels amazing to know that you can turn your organic waste into a valuable treasure for your planet, doesn’t it? So learn how to make homemade compost and live in a better world.
As you can see, learning how to make a homemade compost is a simple action and can go a long way in reducing the organic and inorganic waste that gets put in a garbage can and that we’re sure you won’t like to know where it ends up.
In fact, according to SINIA, about 70% of the waste we generate can have a new life and become new products. Of that, 54% is organic and can be used for composting.
Now that you know how easy it is to recycle and reduce the volume of your organic waste to turn it into compost, get excited to imitate the cycle of nature and make a homemade compost to give back to the earth a little of the nutrients it gives us.
see you next time!