I love composting and have for many years!
How and where does one start? There are so many ways to compost. One must find the method that works best for their needs. How you plan to use the finished product is also a factor to consider. When I am planting or potting anything, I use my rich compost to help give a kick start to my flowers and/or vegetables.
I have a cinder block compost pit that is 12-15 years old, at the very least. All our kitchen waste goes into a compost bucket that I keep under the kitchen sink. It has a charcoal filter in the top, which helps keep the odor to a minimum. I put all my coffee grounds, tea bags, washed egg shells, fruit and vegetable waste into this bucket. Sometimes I put shredded newspaper pages in, as well. I usually have a full bucket every 5-7 days. When I am ready to empty my bucket, I take a turning fork and lift away some of the compost in my pile. After dumping the contents into my pile, I throw several forks of compost on the newer materials, top it off with some old leaves and leave it to break down. Sometimes, I use a small rototiller to work materials deep down.
We have a pond on our property that is stocked with catfish and perch. The grandkids and neighboring children like to fish in the pond. They are able to get nice, big, fat and juicy worms from the compost bed to use as fish bait. After my husband cleans the fish, I will dig a really deep hole in the compost bed and bury the fish skin, bones, etc. This, also, helps in the breakdown process. We have another three compartment compost bin out on the back of our property. We put leaves, twigs, grass clippings, garden waste, etc. in these, along with some horse manure to heat things up and aid in decomposing. We have wonderful neighbors, who are good to save leaves and grass clippings for us, which is a big help! There are many ways and types of structures that can be used in composting.
Think Green!! Do not send anything to a landfill that can be used to make compost. Happy Gardening!!
Kay Dobbs, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas AgriLife Extension Service