diy compost bins in a big beautiful Edmonton backyard

How to Make Your Own Compost

Keeping your lawn and trees healthy is one of the best things you can do to maintain your home's curb appeal. And fertilizing is one of the key steps in maintaining your greenery.

But synthetic fertilizers come at a cost. The overuse of commercial fertilizers can pollute the soil and nearby waterways. That's why natural fertilizers like compost are so popular.

Learning how to make your own compost helps you maintain your greenery, reduce household waste, and cut your environmental impact at the same time. Here are the steps to starting a DIY compost bin in your very own backyard!


Choose a Compost Bin

The first step to getting your compost going is finding the right place to put it. You might be tempted to buy pre-manufactured compost bins in all shapes and sizes, however they can get quite pricey.

We recommend you take the DIY route. You can use almost any container or household bucket! The simplest solution is a plastic storage container and you can get creative with a few modifications to make it more aesthetically pleasing. Head on down to your local dollar store!


How to Make Your Own Compost Mix

The biggest thing that stops people from making their own garden compost is the idea that it's complicated. And if you're trying to produce soil of an exact pH level or a specific blend of nutrients, it can get quite involved. If you're only beginning, it's best to keep it simple.


The most basic compost recipe has three components: green materials, brown materials, and moisture. You want the amount of nitrogen and carbon in your compost to be about equal. So try to add the green and brown materials in matching proportions.

  • Green materials are waste products rich in nitrogen and include things like kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, peelings, fruit cores, and eggshells.

    Grass clippings, leaves, and weeds also count as green materials. Manure from barnyard animals (not pets) can be used.

  • Brown material is matter rich in carbon. It includes paper and cardboard, sawdust from untreated wood, tree clippings, and straw.

  • The last element is water. And this is where it can get tricky.  Too much water and your compost will stink and generate harmful molds and bacteria. But if the compost is too dry, it may not break down at all. You want the pile to be damp, but not dripping wet.


What Not to Include:

  • Never try to compost meat or dairy
  • Never use the waste from cats, dogs, or other household pets.
  • Do not include leftovers if they contain grease or animal products.


Turn Your Compost Every 2-4 Weeks

To make sure your compost is oxygenated enough to encourage good bacteria growth, you need to mix it often.

Take a shovel or pitchfork and shift the outer portion of the pile toward the center. Try to turn each scoop over to help allow oxygen into the mix. Do this every two to four weeks.

And that's all you need to get a bin of compost going. In about three months, your kitchen and yard waste will break down into nutrient-rich soil.


Keep Your Yard Healthy Year-Round with All Season Tree Service!

Learning how to make your own compost is a great way to reduce the waste you produce while keeping your trees, yard, and garden healthy. If you need help pruning, trimming, or removing a tree from your property, reach out to us today to take advantage of our safe tree care solutions for any-sized tree problem. Contact us today!