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Gardening is a great hobby, giving you a chance to soak up the sun and sink your fingers into the earth. Whether you’ve already got a green thumb or you’re just getting started, one of the most important things you can learn is how to make your own compost. Not only will knowing how to make compost step by step help you get rid of table scraps, but you’ll also have fresh, natural fertilizer to use. The steps for how to make compost at home are fairly simple, but making compost at home requires you to regularly check up on it and keep it fresh.

What is Compost?

One reason people are learning how to make compost at home is because it’s a natural recycling process, turning leftover food into a rich, organic soil amendment. Like fertilizer, compost will feed your plants and promote healthy growth. Unlike fertilizer, compost does this by enriching the soil. Knowing all the rules about how to make your own compost will pack your soil with nutrients and make your plants leafy and verdant.

What Can I Put in my Compost?


As you learn how to make compost at home, one of the most important things to know is what you should and shouldn’t put in it. You can add any sort of plant matter to your compost: leafy greens, banana peels, orange rinds, potato peels, dead plants, grass clippings, and more. Other compostable materials include egg shells, coffee grounds, and shredded paper. However, things like meat and coffee filters should never make their way into your compost. How long does it take to make compost depends on what all you put in it since different materials decompose at different rates. However, after about a month and a half, you should have a dark, healthy compost pile. 

Why Compost?

Finding out how to compost at home is a great way to cut down on garbage and repurpose the scraps you leave behind after making meals. While all organic materials should eventually decompose, the process of compacting garbage at landfills often stifles air and gasses, preventing food waste from fully decomposing. In fact, food waste is one of the biggest components of a landfill. You can also save money on fertilizer for your garden if you learn how to make your own compost. 

How do you make compost?

Watch this video for tips on how to make compost

How to Make Compost Step by Step

So, how do you make compost? You can’t just start piling banana peels and eggshells in a bucket. If you try this for making compost at home, you’ll soon have fruit flies and a stinky pile of rotten food. Using this guide of how to make compost step by step will give you that rich, black compost you want.

  1. Add a layer of clay soil to a large pot where you plan on keeping your compost.

  2. Then, add a layer of grass or other small plant trimmings and another layer of clay soil.

  3. On top of that, create a layer of plant clippings and your first food scraps. 

  4. Top that off with saw dust.

  5. Repeat steps 1-4 until your pot is full.

  6. Add water to give it the consistency of damp dirt.

  7. Allow that to rest for a month, and then begin to add more table scraps, little by little.

Following these steps to making compost at home will give you a healthy base to add scraps too. How long does it take to make compost will vary based on the amount and type of food waste in the pot, but by the second or third month, you should have a rich mixture ready to be added to your garden. Another thing to consider about how long does it take to make compost is the climate. During summer, the heat and humidity will speed up the decomposition process, but if you’re learning how to compost at home during the winter, you’ll need more patience. 

The steps for how to compost at home are simple. The key to getting that dark, moist compost is knowing what to put in and having patience for it to all decompose.

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