What you need to get started with composting

So maybe you have thought about composting, but you aren’t sure where to start or what you might need.  Composting is easy, and you only need a few things to get started.  Here are the basics you will need to begin composting.  (This article contains Amazon Affiliate links).

Compost Bin

There are several kinds of compost bins, so do a little research to find one you like.  You may also be able to contact your town and see if they offer residents compost bins at a discount.

Alternately, you can just make a compost pile (without a bin), or build your own.

I have this Soil Saver Classic Compost bin, which is completely enclosed with a lid.  It keeps animals out, it is compact, and is simple and easy to use.  We live in a neighborhood where I don’t have a large yard, and I like the compact size and the appearance.

You can find a variety of styles of bins, such as open wooden containers, to this  Tumbler Composter.

Composting Crock

Chances are, you don’t want to have to run to the compost bin every time you peel an orange or eat an apple.  And you don’t want to have a bowl sitting out on your countertop with kitchen scraps, attracting bugs and looking unappealing.  This is where a countertop composting crock comes in handy.  You don’t actually compost food in the crock, but it is a place to store your food scraps until you decide to make a trip to the compost bin.  I compost throughout the year, even in the winter when there is snow and ice.  Although everything in the compost bin freezes, then I have a lot of material and volume which is great to have in the spring when the compost becomes active again.

There are many attractive options out there, such as Stainless Steel and Ceramic crocks.  You can keep a bin on your countertop, under your sink, or wherever is convenient.  You want something that is enclosed so that it doesn’t attract bugs such as fruit flies.
My favorite system so far is the BioBag Composting Bucket for Kitchen Countertops.  I used to have a regular composting crock on my countertop, and it would get wet and moldy in the bottom, and I was sick of cleaning it out – it was simply one of those things I didn’t need the extra work.  This composting bucket uses biodegradable bags, so when you are ready to take out the compost, you grab the bag and throw the whole thing in the compost.  My only recommendation with this product is not to put stuff that is too wet in it, which may cause the bag to break down and leak.  You can always throw a piece of newspaper in the bottom, and/or keep this bucket on a plastic tray (I keep the bucket under my sink).

A good shovel or pitchfork

You are going to want a good tool that you can turn your compost with, which could be a shovel, pitchfork, or whatever else might work for you.  It is very important to thoroughly mix your compost on a regular basis, which will help it to evenly break down, decrease odors, and make your composting a success.

The type of tool you use will depend on your compost bin and your personal preference.  You want something that allows you to get into your bin, which may be a regular shovel, or one that is flat and square, or a pitchfork, or other gardening tool.  My compost bin is not in close proximity to a location where I can keep it indoors, so keep in mind if your tool will be exposed to the elements.

Compost ingredients!

Once you have a system in place to start composting, you can start collecting your organic material.  This includes yard waste, kitchen scraps, and even paper – being sure to stay away from meat and dairy (other than eggshells).  You may want to do some research so you know exactly what can and cannot go into your compost.