September 07, 2022 4 min read

How to compost at home for better home and gardens

Have you ever wondered why composting at home gets you a bad reputation? Common misconceptions of such a type of composting are complications, foul smell, and messiness. If these are not enough, you might also top it with the wrong ways to compost. As a result, it must be essential for you to understand how to compost at home. Composting at home is next to seamless if done the right way. Consider beginning with an organic material later. Once done, add a splash of water to the dash of soil. Now it’s time for you to wait for the concoction to transform into humus, considered the best soil. 

It’s time to enhance your flower garden with compost, feed the growing veggies, top dress the lawn, and many more. Once you get the pile started, you can find that it’s next to easy to repurpose kitchen scraps and various other organic materials into something that can assist your plants in thriving. 

What Are The Types of Composting?

Before you ask ‘how long does it take to make compost at home,’ it’s essential to understand the process and its types. We have covered hot compost, cold compost, and vermicompost. To begin with, cold composting is as straightforward as collecting yard waste or flushing the organic materials in the trash (like vegetable and fruit peels, eggshells, coffee grounds, and filters) and then corralling all of them in a bin or pile. Remember, over twelve months, everything will decompose. 

On the other hand, hot composting needs an active role for a user. However, its return is considered a quick process. It implies that you will obtain the compost in 1-3 months during the warm weather. For such a process, one needs 4 primary ingredients: carbon, nitrogen, water, and air. Together, such items can feed microorganisms, speeding up the entire decaying process. When garden waste is plentiful in fall or spring, consider mixing one big batch of compost and begin with the second one while the first one starts "cooking."


Yet another form of compost is vermicompost, made with the assistance of worms. When worms consume your food scraps, they tend to release castings rich in nitrogen. Know that you can’t use any old worms. It would be best if you used red wigglers for this process to succeed. 

What to Compost?

Composting at home is one of the ideal ways to utilize the things in your refrigerator. This helps alleviate food waste. Moreover, you can even compost specific kinds of yard waste instead of sending them to a landfill or dump. Here, you must collect the specified material to begin with, making of compost at home. This is done to get the pile right. 

  • Vegetable scraps
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fruit scraps
  • Grass and plant clippings
  • Eggshells (they might take a while to break down)
  • Finely chopped wood and bark chips
  • Dry leaves
  • Sawdust from untreated wood
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Straw

What needs to be considered while composting?

Composting structures

To save some vital space, consider keeping the yard looking neat. This can speed up the composting time and contain your compost in a particular structure type. If you’re still thinking about how to compost at home, unenclosed compost piles are pretty uncommon in urban areas as they spread out and become unpleasant. Instead, enclose the compost pile in structures that keep everything from blowing off. The procedure also encourages faster and more comprehensive composting since the outer portion of the compost pile becomes an insulator, creating higher temperatures around the center. 

You can also build the structure from brick, cement blocks, woven wire fencing, wood, metal posts, and other materials. Moreover, wood should be rot-resistant and pressure treated with wood preservatives. In the end, avoid timbers treated with pentachlorophenol or creosote. 

Wire fencing or snow fence composting bin

  • The first step is multiplying your desired diameter by 3.14 to observe the needed fence length.
  • Fasten with three to four chain clips or wire.
  • If you need to turn over the pile, consider peeling the fence and setting it up close.
  • Now, turn the compost into a pile-like structure in its new location. 

Cement block and brick composting bin

  • It would be best if you lay the bricks or cement blocks without mortar, leaving ample spaces between every block to allow aeration.
  • Build a square, three-sided, or three-bin unit.
  • The loosely stacked blocks or bricks might make this pile structure an unpleasant choice if situated near areas where kids play. 

How to prepare your compost pile?


Making of compost at home is easy. All you need to commit to is building the compost pile in layers. Start with 8-10 inches of grass, leaves, or plant trimmings. The next step is to water it to a specific point of being moist and not soggy. Add nitrogen sources like ammonium nitrate, an inexpensive high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer, or ammonium sulfate without herbicide. It’s time to sprinkle the pile with 1/3rd cup of fertilizer per twenty-five feet of the area covered.

You might add an inch of soil layer or completed compost to enhance the number of decomposing microbes. How to compost at home includes using plant scraps and leaves to indulge more microorganisms in getting the job done without adding compost and soil. You can even repeat such layers until the compost pile reaches its maximum height of 5 feet. 

How to maintain the compost pile?

An active compost pile can heat between 130° and 160° Fahrenheit. While the center cools down, consider turning the pile to speed decomposition and lessen any foul smells. You must do this twice every month. If you’re wondering how long does it take to make compost at home, it’d be best to continue watering in this step to keep everything in order. One can even add some fresh material while turning the entire pile. However, you would be better off beginning with an entirely new pile. 

A curated compost pile will be ready in no time. While composting at home is complex, it also has various benefits. Yet the question begs for an answer - how to compost at home seamlessly without inviting the trouble of foul smell? This will hinder your mental state, but what doesn’t? Even though you’re paying heed to the idea of home composting, know that such a concept can make your home and gardens feel like a haven. You’re doing a favor to the environment.