Composting is great for the environment and is easy to do from home. With a composting bin or composter, you can decompose organic material that you can add to the soil of your plants. Finished compost adds nutrients to your plants and can help them grow.
Before you get started, though, you are probably wondering where to put the compost bin. Here are some tips on composting and where to put the compost bin.
Where Is The Best Location for a Compost Bin?
A lot of people would prefer not to place their compost bin too close to their home and may find indoor composting a bit intimidating. This is because compost piles can start to smell over time and may attract pests. However, if you are composting properly, then you do not have to worry about these issues.
Most people put their compost container as close as their garden hose can reach. That way, they don’t have to worry about carrying buckets of water back and forth. Keeping your compost bin close to your house also means you won’t have to go too far with your kitchen scrap.
Still, some people prefer to put some space between their compost bin and their house. That way, if it does start to smell, it is not right next to your home. You also won’t have to worry as much about pests getting into your home if your compost bin isn’t right next to you.
There are a few different composters you can use to compost your garden waste and kitchen waste. Most composters are plastic bins designed with an open bottom that you can set directly on the ground. They are the more affordable but also more physically demanding option.
The slightly more pricey option is a compost tumbler, which is commonly used for the hot composting process. This sealed container retains the heat that comes from hot compost, making the process faster and easier. Not to mention that you can rotate this type of compost bin to help mix the compost material.
You can also start a worm farm! A worm farm is a contained compost area where you can feed your food scraps to live worms. The worms produce finished compost, or vermicompost, which you can then use in your garden.
Should a Compost Bin Be in the Sun or Shade?
There are several reasons why the best place to put your compost bin is in the shade. Take a compost bin with worms, for example. Leaving the bin in the shade will help prevent the worms from getting dried out by the sun. It will also help keep the worms protected from rainstorms.
Keeping your compost bin in the shade will also help prevent its water from evaporating. Not to mention, people with compost bins are more likely to turn their pile if they can do it in the shade rather than under direct sunlight.
It is also worth noting that direct sunlight does not cause compost piles to heat up. Instead, microbes working inside of the compost are the cause of it heating up.
What Do I Put at the Bottom of My Compost Bin?
It does not matter if you place your compost bin on dirt or cement if it is a worm bin. Just make sure to keep it in the shade, like in a closet, shed, or garage. For a regular plastic bin, it is best to place it directly on the soil. This will allow insects to crawl into the bin and help speed up the decomposing process.
If you are worried about other animals digging underneath and into the bin, you can place chicken wire or hardware cloth underneath it to block them. It may also be worth noting that compost bins set on the cement will probably stain the cement.
Do I Need to Add Anything to My Compost Bin?
Every compost bin needs an equal balance of green material and brown material. Green material includes organic waste, fruit scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, vegetable waste, egg shells, and yard waste such as grass cuttings.
These materials provide nitrogen for your compost. Brown materials include plant material like twigs, branches, and dried leaves, which provide carbon for your compost. When you are building your compost heap, be sure to alternate the layers of your browns and greens.
Do You Add Water to a Compost Bin?
The composting process does require water because the microbes in your compost bin need it to survive. They cannot break down organic matter without it. Adding water to your compost pile is a delicate process, though.
If you do not add enough, then the bacteria will die, and nothing will get decomposed. However, if you add too much, you will smother the pile, and nothing will get decomposed. Instead, you will end up with a smelly, slimy pile of dirt. In general, your compost pile should be moist but not wet.
There is even a trick to help you decide how much water to add to your compost pile! You should add less water if you add more green materials such as leaves, weed seeds, and lawn clippings. If you add dry materials like hay or straw, try soaking them in water before adding them to your compost bin.
That way, they won’t dry out your compost pile! If you get a lot of rain where you live, you may also want to consider keeping your compost bin under a sheltered area. Nutrients can leak out of your compost bin if it rains too much.
Can I Put Moldy Fruit in My Compost?
Moldy fruit makes a great addition to any compost bin since it is already decomposing. It’s like the composting process can skip a step! Remember to keep moldy fruit in a countertop compost bin until it is full. That way, you can save your kitchen scraps without having to worry about pests.
To add moldy fruit to your compost bin, place it on top of dried, brown materials like leaves, wood ash, sawdust, or straw. Make sure you put the moldy fruit in the center of your compost pile because the center heats up faster and retains heat longer. Then, cover the moldy fruit with shredded paper, grass clippings, or corn stalks.
Always layer alternating layers of green, wet materials like food scraps and brown, dry materials. You must remember to cover food scraps every time you add them. If you are still having trouble getting your compost pile to heat up, just add water to it.
If you are worried about the moldy fruit attracting pests, the water will also help keep rodents from nesting in it. Be sure to turn your compost heap often to help aerate it and keep it from smelling. If your compost pile starts to attract rodents or other animals, you should remove any remaining food scraps and stop adding them.
Can I Pee on My Compost Pile?
You can pee on your compost pile! Urine is sterile and completely safe to use. It is high in nitrogen, and you can easily compost it. Just make sure to add carbon-rich materials like cardboard, straw, dry leaves, untreated wood shavings, or sawdust afterward.
You should also avoid adding it to compost piles that already contain food scraps or other materials high in nitrogen. After all, you don’t want to throw off the balance of greens and browns in your compost heap.
Finished Compost From Your Compost Bin
Finished compost is excellent to use as mulch around your garden. Or you can mix it with your potting soil to bring life back to your plants. There are so many ways your home can benefit from usable compost.
Whether you use an indoor compost bin or set up a composter outside, composting is sure to help you reduce the waste your family produces.