Composting can be an amazing alternative to buying soil each year, given you have the space and a little time. We have seen composting done in many different containers from: buckets, to trash cans, to under tarps, and wooden walled containment(pallets are a good choice). It is so enjoyable to know exactly what is in our soil and what is feeding our plants. We plan to use 7 pallets to build our 3 slotted compost station. for now we have 2 slots. this gives us plenty of space to turn the compost within its own slot and then turn it into the next opening so that we can produce more and more compost. We really love this stuff and it makes our plants do AMAZING!

As I said before, you will need space to do this. With that said, you only need as much space as you want. You can compost on your apartment balcony or use a huge part of your yard. You will also need time. A few of the ingredients that you can add to your compost need a little pre-prep before just tossing them in. It is also best to wet and turn your compost periodically to assist with the decomposition process. There are SO MANY things you can put in your compost to build organic soil that will help make your plants super healthy. A good rule of thumb is to try and balance your brown (carbon) and green (nitrogen) matter. So, here is a list of a few things you can and can’t put in your compost:

  • newspaper, office/school paper, non-glossy junk mail (shredded) — brown
  • straw/ hay — brown
  • animal bedding (rabbits, chicken, rodents, caged birds) — brown
  • green or brown leaves
  • sticks and small branches — brown
  • pine cones and pine needles –brown
  • nut shells — brown
  • used paper napkins/ tissues — brown
  • paper towels — brown
  • used coffee filters with coffee grounds — green
  • saw dust — brown
  • wood chips — brown
  • fruit and vegetable peels — green
  • citrus and melon rinds — green
  • tea leaves/ tea bags — green
  • grass clippings/ weeds with no roots — green
  • house plant trimmings — green
  • dead heads from flowers — green
  • sea weed — green
  • cooked plain rice or pasta — brown
  • corn husks — green
  • emptied corn cobs — green
  • trimmings from the garden — green
  • stale bread/ crackers — green
  • broccoli stalks — green
  • unwanted sod (cut up) — green
  • old vegetables — green
  • egg shells (crushed) — neutral
  • cardboard — brown
  • wood ash — neutral
  • pet/ human hair — brown
  • dirty water from fish tank — green
  • manure — brown
  • old jam/ jelly — green
  • water left over from boiling — neutral
  • dryer lint — brown
  • cotton/ wool clothes (cut up) — brown
  • beer/ wine — brown
  • peat moss — brown
  • clover — green
  • feathers — green
  • spoiled tomato sauce — green
  • old herbs/ spices — green
  • cowpeas — green
  • kelp — green
  • matches/ toothpicks/ bamboo skewers — brown

Never use the following:

  • dairy
  • yogurt
  • pet/ human waste
  • fats/ oils
  • meat or fish/ bones
  • coal/ charcoal
  • anything with chemicals/ pesticides
  • salt
  • colored paper
  • seeds that aren’t broken down (they may still come up)
  • limes
  • plastics/ metals/ foils
  • synthetic fibers

Below are some pictures of our setup. Then below that is a video of how to turn your compost pile. If you have any questions or any items that should be added to the lists just leave a comment to let us know. Thanks and get out there and COMPOST!!






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