Add your household waste
Your compost is ready to add food scraps and other green materials. As a rule of thumb, if it came from a plant, it can go into the compost.
Set up a kitchen scrap bucket and begin to gather household waste such as fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and tea bags, crushed eggshells, shredded newspaper and cardboard, brown leaves and small amounts of wood ash. Each time you empty your scrap bucket into the compost, cover it with a layer of browns and moisten with water to keep it productive.
You’ll know your compost is ready when it resembles dark, rich soil or coffee grounds. Pat yourself on the back, then tilt the bin and scrape the finished compost from the bottom.
Careful of these culprits
Don’t add meat, egg or dairy products – they will smell bad and can attract rodents. Pet waste is a no-no as it can contain parasites.
Keep using the garbage bin for cooked foods, fats and oils including peanut butter, glossy paper, chemically treated wood and diseased plants.
Onions and citrus fruit are difficult to break down and can affect the pH level, so only add to your compost sparingly.
Take care of your creation
To give Mother Nature a nudge, turn your compost with an aerator or pitchfork every few weeks for airflow and make sure it’s always moist but not dripping wet. If you’d like to break it down faster, turn weekly.
Your compost shouldn’t be letting off any foul scents. If you notice a rotten egg smell, chances are you’ve added something that’s not compostable, it’s not receiving enough air or you’re watering it too much. Add more browns to rebalance.