How to Compost at Home

How to Compost at Home

Composting at home may seem intimidating, but the truth is, it's quite an easy way to recycle what would normally be waste! Use homemade compost in your garden this year for a more abundant harvest!

How to compost at home - tips & tricks for composting | chateausonoma.com

Why is composting important?

You are what you eat! And that applies to what your plants eat as well so we believe making our own compost is an important element in any garden, but especially in our vegetable garden!  Composting is not very difficult and only requires care every 2 weeks because the elements do most of the hard work for you!

How to compost at home - tips & tricks for composting | chateausonoma.com

How to compost:

We use the three bin method here and have built a wooden structure with a corrugated lift top for easy access.  The base of the bin is simply dirt to allow worms and other insects to help break down the material. 

In the first bin we cover the bottom with larger twigs or small branches.  We like using clipping from our olive trees.   This helps with aerating the compost during its beginning stages.  

Then we add about 10 inches of brown material from anything to dried leaves, dried grass clippings and most anything that is organic, dry and brown.  Next we add 10 inches of green material.  Fresh grass clippings is our mainstay because we keep the lawn mowed every week and it breaks down nicely.  We also add kitchen waste – stale bread, apple cores, banana peels, lettuce cores, etc… Then we keep alternating and layering 10 inches of brown material and green material until the bin is full.  Hit it with a little water and let it be for 2 weeks. 

After two weeks, use a pitchfork and move all of the material from bin 1 into bin 2 and repeat what we did in bin 1 with the layering process.  Leave both bins alone for another two weeks.  Then move the material from bin 2 to bin 3 and bin 1 to bin 2 and repeat the brown/green layering process in bin 1.   

How long does compost take to mature?

Once the material has been in each of the bins, it will have broken down into a beautiful rich soil that is ready for sifting - this takes a total of six weeks (2 weeks per bin).  The compost is removed from bin 3 and placed on a sifter and the material that makes it through becomes our compost pile. We constructed one with a wood surround and ½ wire bottom. This sifts out any pieces that did not break down and can be added back into to bin 1. 

Be sure to lay a tarp below your final compost pile to keep it protected and also cover it so it doesn’t blow away.   This will also help in breaking it down even more. 

Here at the farm we want to know what we are feeding out plants, reuse nearly everything that comes off of the farm and keep the cycle of life going!

How to compost at home - tips & tricks for composting | chateausonoma.com

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.  We love hearing from you! 

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