San Francisco is said to be the greenest city in the U.S. Every resident is lucky enough to be supplied a free compost bin for their homes.
But the problem is not everyone lives in San Francisco. Few cities offer compost bins and those that do may charge you. Most cities don't even provide them.
So, if you do not live in a city where compost bins are provided what do you do? You can go on amazon or a store like Walmart and buy one or you can create your own compost bin that'll get the job done as much as any other bin would.
The best thing about composting is that it's super easy and great for the environment. The composting will eventually create Humus aka Black Gold, which is what feeds your garden, giving it the right amount of nutrients and acting as an 'organic fertilizer.'
To do this successfully you'll need water and an equal amount of your browns and greens mixed in the bin.
(For a full list of browns and greens visit our blog here for a full breakdown).
5 Easy Steps to Creating Your Pile!
DO NOT put any meat or dairy products as they will expire and attract unwanted pests and insects. You can always start your compost indoors but it is a little trickier. Having one outdoors is the recommended way of doing it.
Here are the 5 easy steps when creating your compost bin:
- Select a container for your compost. You may have one lying in your home somewhere. If not Target, Big Lots, Walmart etc. have them for cheap.
- Place your bin in a grassy and shady part of your yard for best results.
- Make sure the bottom of your bin is completely cut out and touching the ground.
- Pile up a few inches of twigs to help aerate the pile.
- Now you can start adding in your browns and greens.
Remember to have an equal balance of:
Rule of thumb:
- Nitrogen is found in your greens.
- Carbon is found in your browns.
Cutting Your Big Chunks Into Smaller Ones.
Always chop up any big chunks of material before putting them in. So for example on your Black Mamba Coffee bags, always cut them into smaller pieces before dumping them into your bin. Try avoiding any processed foods as they take a lot longer to break down than natural organic foods.
The compost will then naturally start to begin to attract those organisms that eventually break it down into Humus. Once everything is set up, it's all hands off from there. But if you're adding more material, bury them at the center of the pile to properly aerate the items and stir at least once a week.
Supervising Your Compost.
If you notice that your compost is drying up, simply add water. If it starts to develop a bad stench add dry leaves to it. Doing so will completely take the smell away. If it's too hot outside or if it's raining, cover it up to maintain the moisture you've added.
Your compost pile should be ready for use within a few months. It will turn to a nice dark brown color and develop an earthy smell that's also warm to the touch. Take it out and mix the compost soil into your garden.
Finally, wash, rinse and repeat if you want to continue providing your garden the organic nutrients they need.