Trying your hand at indoor composting? Here are some suggestions for making your experience as good as it can be.
- Know your brown matter! Adding shredded newspaper, old leaves, and egg carton to your compost reduces wetness and is an important source of carbon.
- Mix the compost regularly. You don’t need to worry about this so much for vermicomposting, but aerobic compost needs to be mixed regularly, which is why indoor compost bins make this easy.
- Coffee grounds are perfectly acceptable for composting. Most people think it is going to be quite acidic, but the acid is water soluble, so it goes into the coffee! The ground coffee is neutral.
- Keep your compost at about the same wetness level of a squeezed-out sponge. If your compost is too wet it will start to smell. You can dry out the compost with newspaper or torn up cardboard.
- Hold back some compost at the end of a cycle in order to kickstart the next one.
- Collect the liquid (the compost tea) at the bottom of your bin, dilute it with water (at about 10 parts to 1) and water your plants with it for a free liquid fertilizer.
- Consider chopping food waste finely before adding it in order to speed along decomposition.
- Composting requires air, so don’t think you can fully seal your compost in a garbage bag.
- Don’t forget the active element! Composting happens using microbes from garden dirt or worms (vermicomposting).
- Try to compost cooked foods as they will only attract pests.
- Don’t compost fishbones. They smell and don’t decompose well.
- Don’t give up! Composting adequately can take months so the lack of progress can be discouraging.
- Try to compost fat. It will go rancid and smell without ever breaking down very well.
- Forget to change the filter on your composting bin. Most of them will have a carbon, odor-absorbing filter that will do wonders to maintain airflow while stopping any smells.