Too Good to Waste: A Compost Recipe

A Recipe to Start Your Compost Bin

Stop! Don’t throw away that uneaten salad, rotting veggies and fruit cores. You should know these are good garden compost ingredients. Follow our basic recipe and be on your way to spoiling your garden rotten. Compost fills your garden soil with nutrients, helping retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests.

Shovel, Soil, Composting

Shovel turning compost in a garden.

4 Ingredients

Ingredient No. 1: Air. When you buy or build your bin, make sure it is aerated. You need a container that can “breathe” as composts are full of microorganisms, insects & earthworms. They need air to live and you need them in the compost helping it breakdown into the desired golden garden ingredient.

Ingredient No. 2: Carbon Rich Materials. These are dry brown items; you know, the stuff that was green at one time. Leaves, pine needless, straw, wood shavings (nothing too large; cut it, grind it, or shave it down).

Ingredient No. 3: Nitrogen Rich Materials. This is your “fresh” unwanted green items such as fresh grass clippings, dead headed flowers, vegetable and fruit scraps, eggshells, corncobs, etc.

Ingredient No. 4: Soil & Manure. This is important, not just any manure. It needs to come from horses or cows. Not cats, No dogs, No people…unless you ONLY eat grass and hay!

How to Pile it Up

Add a layer of carbon full compost followed by a layer of nitrogen rich materials and then mix in a little soil and manure. Repeat as needed until your reach the desired composting amount. It’s like making lasagna, only garden lasagna.

Now add a sprinkle of water, just to get it moist. Not saturated, as saturated compost equals super fragrant soil. Just give it some water as you do a garden.

Now cover that beautiful compost with a tarp or lid. Let it sit and marinate, bake all those ingredients together. Give it three to four weeks then its time to stir. Grab a pitchfork or a shovel and stir it up, toss it, loosen the layers and let the air get inside. As you are tossing, notice what items maybe having difficulty breaking down. There is much to learn throughout the process, so have fun, experiment and come see us at Green Side Up for more tips or beautiful plants to eat up that compost.