Backyard Composting

Raw fruit and vegetable trimmingsComposting in your backyard can be easier than it first sounds. Layering grass clippings, leaves, and adding food scraps can be all it needs!

For backyard composting, you can buy a compost bin or build your own. There are numerous containers on the market for making a compost heap, although perfectly satisfactory ones can be constructed from scrap timber, bricks or wire mesh and twist ties, although do try and use a bin with a lid to keep out the rain. Improve drainage by breaking up the soil underneath the compost bin.

The compost bin should be placed in a well-lit and well-drained area of the garden, preferably out of the wind.

What to Add to Your Backyard Compost Pile

  • Animal bedding and sawdust
  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Coffee grounds and teabags
  • Crushed egg shells (these help to control acidity, so are great for your compost pile)
  • Hair and fur
  • Horse manure
  • Leaves
  • Raw fruit and vegetable trimmings
  • Shredded paper
  • Small amounts of grass
  • Straw and hay

What to Avoid Adding to Your Backyard Compost Pile

  • Animal waste (dog and cat feces will encourage parasites)
  • Charcoal ash
  • Chemically treated wood
  • Colored or treated paper
  • Diapers
  • Diseased plants
  • Grass in large quantities (grass heats up and gives off ammonia, which can kill worms)
  • Meat, fish or dairy products (these will all putrefy, causing odors and attracting flies)
  • Persistent weeds

All that is left to do is wait. If you want the materials to break down faster, turn the compost regularly with a pitch fork or a spade. Look forward to using your natural organic compost!