That being said, a good rule of thumb is to turn a compost tumbler every three to four days and the compost pile every three to seven days. As your compost matures, you can turn the tumbler or pile less frequently.
People also ask, how do you maintain a compost bin?
Add dry chopped or mulched leaves or shredded paper to soak up the excess water if the compost pile is soggy. Aerate the pile well. Keep a container with a lid and handle under the sink or in the refrigerator. Chop or cut large chunks of kitchen waste before adding them to the container.
The composter contents should be moist like a wrung-out sponge. If the contents are too dry, it will take overly long to compost; and if too wet, the contents may begin to smell. If the pile does not decrease in size or generate heat, composting may need a boost. If the pile is dry, add water - mixing thoroughly.
When it's hot and the pile is moist and has a good ratio of carbon to nitrogen (20:1-100:1 in this case), a three month decomposition is possible. But outside of those parameters, it may take up to a year. Also, a family of five will produce much more compost material than a single person living alone.
Put the right stuff in. Good things to compost include vegetable peelings, fruit waste, teabags, plant prunings and grass cuttings. These are fast to break down and provide important nitrogen as well as moisture. It's also good to include things such as cardboard egg boxes, scrunched up paper and fallen leaves.
A hot compost pile can reach temperatures of 49-77 degrees Celsius (120-170 degrees Fahrenheit) in just a few days, and if you get it right, you can compost your organic matter in around four weeks. You can even use these high temperatures to heat your water, home or greenhouse.
If compost is too hot, it can kill beneficial microbes. Excessive temperatures in compost can cause a spontaneous combustion, but this is very rare even among over-heated compost piles. Properly aerated and moist compost piles, no matter how hot, are not dangerous.
Microbes, worms, snails, insects and fungi decompose organic material aerobically, which means they use oxygen as they breakdown the materials in the pile. Bacteria are the powerhouse of a compost pile. They break down plant matter and create carbon dioxide and heat.
Get the rich organic nutrients of compost onto your garden faster by helping your compost pile decompose more quickly. A compost pile's bacteria and other microorganisms generate heat when they digest organic material - kitchen scraps, yard litter - and turn it into nutritious, dark, crumbly compost.
100 Things You Can Compost
- Fruit and vegetable scraps (G)
- Egg shells (crushed) (B)
- Coffee grounds (G)
- Coffee filters (B)
- Tea bags (Make sure they are made of natural materials like hemp or cotton, and not rayon or other synthetics.
- Loose leaf tea (G)
- Spoiled soy/rice/almond/coconut milk (G)
- Used paper napkins and paper towels (B)
Composting banana peels is as easy as simply tossing your leftover banana peels into the compost. You can toss them in whole, but be aware that they may take longer to compost this way. While, yes, you can use banana peels as fertilizer and it will not harm your plant, it is best to compost them first.
- Dog and Cat Poop. Horse, cow, chicken and rabbit droppings are great additions to your compost pile.
- Tea and Coffee Bags.
- Citrus Peels and Onions.
- Fish and Meat Scraps.
- Glossy or Coated Paper.
- Sticky Labels on Fruits and Vegetables.
- Coal Fire Ash.
- Sawdust From Treated Wood.
The answer to this is yes, you can. Adding eggshells to compost will help add calcium to the make up of your final compost. This important nutrient helps plants build cell walls. While you don't need to crush eggshells before composting them, doing so will speed up how fast the eggshells break down in the compost.
Conversely, onions are NOT recommended for addition to vermicomposting bins. Worms are not big fans of odorous food scraps and will turn their metaphorical noses up at onions as well as broccoli, potatoes, and garlic. The high acidity of composted onion waste does not sit well with worm gastric systems apparently.
To the compost bin. But there are a few items that can be confusing, especially if you are new to composting. Here are a few items some people mistakenly throw in the compost bin. All bread products, including cakes, pasta and baked goods, shouldn't go into the pile because they can attract pests.
There are 2 schools of thought: one says do not put potato peelings or potatoes into the compost as you get potato plants growing next year with potential blight problems; the other side says that if you get potato plants, you can just pull them up. You choose what you want to do as both points of view are valid.
Anybody who has a composting bin or compost pile at their house knows that old apple cores, banana peels, and potato skins can be composted. The list of compostable items doesn't stop there, in fact, it barely scratches the surface. Yes, each of those items can be composted!
Even if shredded, they have a very high carbon content for a compost bin. A good GREEN source, weeds, plant trimmings, dead flowers, stalks, etc. are excellent materials. When placed in bin, take a shovel and slice or chop them up into smaller sizes for faster decomposing.
You should not try to compost any paper towels that have synthetic additives, including bleach, and are advertised as disinfectants or fragrant etc. The best paper towels to compost are those made of 100% recycled material. Newspaper, cut into thin strips are actually a good way to start a compost pile.
Though it is unclear why, many kinds of worms will not eat citrus peels until they have partially decomposed. Since vermicomposting relies on worms eating the scraps you put into their bin, citrus peels simply would not work in vermicomposting. It is best to keep citrus peels in the more traditional compost pile.
Yes, you can compost garlic – with a couple of warnings. Firstly, garlic cloves/bulbs have a tendency to re-sprout if they are left whole. Chop them up first to avoid that – or don't compost them, plant them out instead to grow more garlic bulbs or just “garlic greens” (the long leaves that sprout from the bulb).
Avocado rinds should not make up more than 10 percent of the food scraps you add to your compost pile. Too many avocado skins will slow down your compost pile's process. You can put the avocado pit into the compost pile as well if it is a dark or hot pile. However it may take even longer to decompose than the rinds.