If gardening and yard work are not your thing, feel free to skip this post. We all know about 8 months ago I would have skipped this post myself, however—once I inherited a terrible yard that needs loads of work, I fell hard and fast for all things green <3
…Or in this case brown 🙂
We are currently in the process of reviving our grass and will soon be in the process of building a raised bed garden! Central Florida is definitely not known for it’s lush soil (it’s more like sand…if I’m being honest) so I knew starting a compost bin would be beneficial for us. Plus—it would give us a way to put all those veggie scraps and egg shells to good use—score!
How did we do it? All you need is a few items that you probably have lying around your house!
- A large storage bin (I bought ours at Old Time Pottery on sale for $4.99)
- A handheld drill
- The “brown” carbon rich materials of the compost—which can be dead leaves, shredded paper, hay, etc.
- The “green” nitrogen rich materials of the compost—veggie trimmings, tea bags, coffee grounds, etc. (click here for more brown & green ideas)
Step 1: Drill holes in a scattered pattern on the top, sides and bottom of the storage container. Air is one of the key ingredients to create compost, so be sure that your bin is well-ventilated.
Step 2: Fill about 1/4th of the container with brown materials, which in our case were dead leaves– but you could also use shredded newspaper or wood chips.
Step 3: Add a few scoops of potting soil or dirt from your yard.
Step 4: Take a break to check out your husband who is looking mighty fine as he demolishes that random backyard sidewalk. Use those guns, baby.
Step 5: The fun part! Add the “green” materials you have on hand, which in our case was a banana peel, some coffee grounds, eggshells and veggie trimmings. Be sure to do some research about what items you can and can’t compost because it might surprise you to find out things like weeds and animal waste should not be used.
Step 6: Stir the compost with a shovel and water it lightly. You don’t want the pile to be soaked, but wet enough that there aren’t any dry spots.
Step 7: Cover the compost with the lid and place the container in a shady area where it wont get too many rays and be dried out by the sun. We hid ours near some bushes on the side of our house, but kept it close enough to the garage door so that we don’t have an excuse not to walk outside to add more materials 🙂
Also, each time you add more green or brown materials (we’ve been trying to add both to make sure carbon and nitrogen are available), give the pile another good stir and add more water if its looking dry.
Step 8: Let it “cook” for 2-3 months, then enjoy the benefits of rich compost!
We are also keeping a small sealed storage container (aka, an old coffee tin) under our kitchen sink to temporarily store scraps until we have a chance to make a trip to the outside bin. So convenient, cheap and easy!
Have you ever composted before? Do you enjoy working in the yard?