Composting Tips

So you've entered the world of composting, or maybe you just are a little curious about the process. Well we've got some information and tips perfect for beginners to full time gardeners.

1. How long does compost take to decompose?

This is a frequent question we get, it depends on the material and the way you are composting. There is a big difference between a small backyard compost bin and large scale operations like Cedar Grove (that serves all of Seattle's composting needs). Most items will break down within a few weeks, but others, especially those we sell at Compostable Stuff could possible take a few years. This is because for wood and bamboo products to break down you need heat. That is tough in a small backyard bin, so sometimes it's best to compost our products at a larger scale if possible. Here's a list of some common items and how long their decomposing process takes:

0-6 months

  • Fresh Leaves, trimmings, and grass
  • Tea bags, coffee grounds
  • Fruit Peels, vegetable trimmings

6-24 months

  • Plant stems
  • Cardboard products (egg cartons, toilet rolls, etc)
  • Old clothes (linen, silk, cotton)

Up to 3 years

  • Wood products
  • Coniferous needles and branches
  • Eggshells, avocados, wine corks

 

How to speed up the composting process?

If this is your first time diving into the world of composting then hold onto your hat, there is a lot of information and methods out there. For an in depth guide check out the daily gardener. I'll outline a few methods, check the link for more in depth advice!

  • Hot Turn - 20 Days

With the right ratio (30:1) of brown to green ingredients you can use the hot turn method. Ideally you should make the compost 1-inch pieces (3cm). Rotate your pile daily for the first week, then every other day for the next 2 weeks.

  • Slow Turn - 3-12 Months
Set up your yard pile and start adding to it. Throw out whatever you don't want from our website and get to churning! Every couple weeks or months, give it a churn if you like. The ratio of carbon to nitrogen will overall effect the decomposition rate.
    • Vermicompost - 1-3 Months
    You need a home kit for this method, but it is quick and effective so we highly recommend it. Vermicomposting uses worms to compost all your kitchen scraps, but it's a long process so check out this guide by planet natural. It's not the greatest method for wood products, but it could be used in a pinch (helpful if you break up any wood into shavings if possible).