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Backyard Composting 101 Workshop

Composting for your Garden

composting hands

Composting is an excellent way to recycle kitchen and garden waste. It is very easy to build your own compost bin and use the compost to help your garden grow.

How Composting Works

Composting is the decomposition of materials that originated from animals and plants. These organic materials can be things such as plant trimmings, vegetable cuttings, eggshells and teabags. The composting process produces a dark, crumbly matter that can be used as fertiliser in garden soil. The main stages of composting are:

  • Adding organic materials to a compost bin
  • Micro-organisms, such as bacteria and fungi, break sown the soft material.
  • This causes the compost pile to heat to around 60°C. This is the ideal temperature for micro-organisms to work at.
  • The compost pile then cools to below 30°C.
  • Small creatures such as worms and insects then break down the tougher material.
  • The whole process usually takes about 3 – 9 months, and results in a nutrient-rich fertiliser to use in your garden.
  • The compost that is ready to use can be taken from the bottom of the pile, leaving the rest to finish the process.

Please keep your compost contained! You don’t want neighborhood critters visiting your compost. This can turn out to be a major problem in the future.

Depending on where you live, you may have a problem with raccoons, rodents and even domestic animals getting into your compost pile. Compost is both an attractive food source and habitat for many animals. Knowing how to keep animals out of the compost pile is something that all compost owners should understand.

If you manage your pile well by turning it frequently and keeping a good brown to green ratio, animals will not be as attracted to your compost.

Consider Using a Closed Compost Bin System

Learning how to keep animals out of the compost pile may be as simple as knowing the type of compost system you have. While some people have considerable success with open compost bin systems, they are often more difficult to manage than an enclosed system. A closed bin system with ventilation will help to keep animal pests at bay. Although some pests will dig under a bin, a closed system is too much work for many animals and it also keeps the smell down.


What to add to your compost pile:

  • Raw fruit and vegetable trimmings
  • Teabags and coffee granules
  • Paper Egg Cartons, toilet paper rolls (ripped up into small pieces
  • Dead dried leaves, yard waste (no weeds)
  • Shredded paper
  • Straw and hay
  • Animal bedding and sawdust
  • Crushed egg shells
  • Grass and plant cuttings
  • Cow, Horse, Alpaca manure
What not to add to your compost pile:
  • Meat or fish
  • Coal Ash
  • Animal waste
  • Nappies and used tissues
  • Dairy products
  • Cooked foods
  • Coloured or treated paper
  • Chemically treated wood
  • Diseased plants
  • Persistent weeds


Interested in having this workshop in your studio, home, office or shop?  Contact Tisa at 513.482.0907 or tisa@lovelightlaughterhealing.com