Many people think composting at home requires the purchase of special equipment. A composting bin or tumbler can be useful for composting but there are other methods that work equally well and require no equipment at all. If you’ve been putting off composting at home because you think it’s complicated or aren’t sure if you want to spend the money, check out these easy methods for composting without special equipment.
Composting Without Special Equipment
Creating a Compost Pile
Creating a freestanding compost pile is a simple process that anyone can do. To start your compost pile you need to gather some carbon-rich material such as fallen leaves, dead flowers, or old newspaper. Spread these materials in a thick layer at the spot you plan to have your compost pile.
Next, create a layer of nitrogen-rich materials on top of the first layer. This layer can include vegetable kitchen scraps or animal manure. You should not use any meat scraps or manure from carnivores like dogs or cats.
Add a layer of garden soil to the top of your pile. Then add water to your compost pile. You want the pile to be moist but not soggy, so be careful not to add too much.
Repeat these steps as you have more compostable materials until your pile is about three feet high.
You will need to use a pitchfork to turn the composting pile every two weeks or so with the goal of moving the composting material inside to the outside. And of course, moving the outside materials to the middle. You will also want to continue to add enough water to keep the pile moistened.
Over time you will see earthworms in your compost pile and the center of the pile will turn into composted soil you can use in your garden. When the composting is complete, use a shovel to scoop out the finished compost. You can start your next compost pile with anything left from your first pile that did not fully decompose.
A note about this method, it works well for people with large outdoor space. But if you have a small yard or live in an urban area an unsightly pile of composting waste may not be for you. If that is your situation, check out the next method for composting without special equipment.
For those of us without the space to create a compost pile, pit composting is an ideal method of composting without special equipment. And this method is so simple, even your kids can get in on the action.
For pit composting you will need a small shovel or spade to dig your holes. Begin by digging a hole in the ground. Save the dirt you remove for layering and covering up your compost. Add your dead leaves or plant matter to the bottom of your pit. Add your vegetable kitchen scraps next and then continue to layer these materials in your pit. Cover the pit with the dirt you dug out of it.
You can dig your compost pit in the location where you garden or, if you want compost you can dig out for use in another spot, make sure you mark the location of your pit.
The advantage of pit composting is that it doesn’t require a large area or create an ugly pile in your yard. You can dig many small pits and have compost throughout your garden. It’s a simple way to start composting without special equipment.