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7 Quick Composting Tips To Help You Save Valuable Time

Do you wish you could compost but don’t think you have the time? You have to check out these quick composting tips!

You might think I’m crazy but I have found a composting process that works just as good – if not better – than a compost that takes several months. These quick composting tips are just what you need.

The truth is that we are all busy. You’re busy. I’m busy. We want to enjoy life and this life allows us to do a large variety of tasks to make our lives better with the right balance, which is great!

The problem is that all of these things take time and we only have so much of it. So, this is a procedure you can use to make your composting save you time. Time that you can use for another task, project or even just resting or taking a break. How cool is that?

So, in this post, I will:

– Give you the quick composting tips and steps you need to save time building a compost that will build your soil.

– Share compost materials you’ll need to accomplish faster composting and even links to buy them online.

– Give you a composting time table chart to keep track of the progress of your compost.

‘Ain’t Nobody Got Time for Waiting’. Are you ready? Let’s dig in!

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The Reason for Quick Composting Tips

As I mentioned above, we are all busy people. We want to live life to the fullest but still live well. Building our soil up naturally is part of this need and composting is the best way to do so.

But the normal method of good quality composting takes 4-6 months. It’s soooo slow.

This quick method takes only 6 weeks to complete. One drawback is that there’s more up front work because everything going in has to be in smaller pieces. BUT it’s worth it. 

Quick but not always easy

Not everything that is faster is easier or cheaper. You probably already know that – it’s convenience that is appealing to you. You want work to be easier so you can go on about your life and do other things. We all love the ‘set it and forget it’ mentality.

So, with this quicker method of composting, the only difference is that the materials need to be finely shredded, premixed with soil and fertilizer, moistened and placed in an enclosed bag or bin. Just a little bit of upfront work that can be done in an afternoon.

Let’s talk about what you’ll put your compost in.

Types of Composting Bins

Firstly, if you have a large garden spot or spots like I do, you might be interested in making a lot of compost. This would require you to get some large bins.

You can easily make your own…that’s just going to be another project before you can get started.

Or, you can buy one that is a commercial type and get started sooner. You’ll more than get your money’s worth in the long run.

If you’re looking for something smaller, I’ve got you covered, too.

5 Types of Composting Containers

This is not rocket science. You can use simple essentials, such as any plastic bags or garbage cans for this hot composting method.

You can go small, medium or large size. If you’re just starting out, I would suggest you start small until you learn what you’re doing. And if you’re even going to enjoy composting.

Then, get several containers for around your home and yard. I just love little kitchen composting containers. The possibilities are endless.

There are several types of compost bins and containers, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Some common types include:

  1. Tumblers: These are bins that can be rotated or turned, which helps aerate the compost and speed up the decomposition process. Tumblers are usually elevated off the ground, which can help keep pests away. This one is really popular.
  2. Wire or mesh bins: These bins are often made of wire or mesh, allowing for good airflow. They are easy to build or purchase and can be an affordable option for composting. Here’s a popular wire option.
  3. Wooden bins: These bins are typically made of slatted wood, which allows for airflow. They can be more aesthetically pleasing than other types of bins but may require more maintenance over time. Here’s a really good one.
  4. Plastic bins: These bins are usually durable and lightweight, making them easy to move around the yard. They often have lids and access doors for adding materials and removing compost. Here’s a simple and easy option for a plastic bin.
  5. Pile or heap: Compost can also be made in a simple heap or pile on the ground. While this is the simplest method, it may not be as efficient as using a bin, and it can be more prone to pests and odor issues.

The best type of compost bin for you will depend on your specific needs, such as the amount of space you have, how much compost you plan to produce, and your budget.

Let’s Get Ready to Compost!

The first thing you want to do is to line your container or bin with sheet plastic. This will keep your bin nice and neat and it will make for easier clean up after you take out the compost.

Then, shred your material with either a soil shredder, compost grinder or hammermill. You can also use a rotary mower to shred leaves and prunings very fine. This is the key to quick composting! Everything you put into this has to be smaller materials for best results. This will help it to break down faster.

Combine all of your shredded materials into a compostable bag or just simply dump it all into your compost bin/container. And now you’re ready to start making compost.

Preparing to compost involves setting up your composting system and gathering the necessary materials.

Additionally, here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Choose a location: Select a suitable location for your compost pile or bin. It should be well-drained and easily accessible, preferably in a sunny or partially shaded area.
  2. Select a composting method: Decide on the composting method that best suits your needs and space. Options include traditional compost piles, compost bins, or vermicomposting (using worms).
  3. Gather materials: Collect the materials you will use for composting. This includes a mix of “green” materials (such as kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and fresh yard waste) and “brown” materials (such as dry leaves, straw, and shredded paper).
  4. Shred or chop materials: For faster decomposition, chop or shred larger materials into smaller pieces. This increases the surface area and helps the materials break down more quickly.
  5. Layer materials: Alternate layers of green and brown materials in your compost pile or bin. Aim for a balance of roughly 50% green and 50% brown materials by volume.
  6. Add water: Moisten the compost materials as you layer them. The pile should be about as damp as a wrung-out sponge. Water helps the microorganisms break down the materials.
  7. Aerate the pile: Regularly turn or aerate the compost pile to provide oxygen to the microorganisms. This helps speed up the composting process and prevents odors.
  8. Monitor the compost: Keep an eye on the moisture level and temperature of the compost pile. Adjust as needed to maintain a healthy composting environment.
  9. Be patient: Composting is a natural process that takes time. 

By following these tips:

You can prepare a successful composting system and create nutrient-rich compost for your garden.

Gather Nitrogen Materials and Carbon Materials

A healthy compost pile has a good mix of nitrogen materials and the right carbon materials. These are known as green materials and brown materials. I’m going to share a short list of compostable material that is green compost and brown compost. 

Green materials include: 

  • Non-Treated grass clippings
  • Yard Trimmings
  • Weeds
  • Kitchen scraps such as fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Kitchen Waste such as egg shells
  • Flowers
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Farm Animal Manure

Brown matter include:

  • Yard waste such as Leaves and Yard Clippings
  • Straw
  • Paper
  • Tree parts
  • Saw Dust
  • Pine Needles
  • Nut Shells
  • Dryer Lint

With the right green and brown ingredients and ideal conditions, you’ll have a better chance of building a crumbly compost for your vegetable gardens.

Making A Great Compost Heap

Once your materials are simplified, you’ll mix and add the shredded materials, soil, sand, and fertilizer/manure.

Start with a layer of soil or sand 2-3 inches deep on the bottom. Then add 2-3 inches of organic materials that you shredded. Finally, put in an inch of either fertilizer or manure, that will help hasten decomposition.

Repeat the sequence…similar to building a lasagna. Soil/sand – Organic materials – Fertilizer/manure. Use water as needed.

Unlike the slower composting method, you don’t have to turn this pile. Everything should break down simple. However, if you have an aerator, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to run it through every once in a while.

As you wait, your large pile of compost will combine and break down until it is eventually soil. This will take 2-3 weeks in warmer weather or 5-6 weeks in cooler weather. You can definitely store your compost longer if you need to until you’re ready to actually use it.

What Your Finished Compost Will Be

Remember to use the correct carbon and nitrogen ratio of green to brown materials. See the posts down below in the related posts section where you can find out more about this ratio. It is so very important to master for good compost. 

Compost is typically ready to use when it has broken down into a dark, crumbly, earthy-smelling material.

Finished Compost:

  1. Appearance: The compost should be dark and crumbly, resembling rich, fertile soil. You should no longer be able to distinguish the original materials.
  2. Texture: The compost should have a fine, crumbly texture that is easy to work with. It should not be lumpy or chunky.
  3. Smell: The compost should have a pleasant, earthy smell, similar to fresh soil. It should not smell sour, ammonia-like, or rotten.
  4. Temperature: The temperature of the compost pile will also decrease significantly as it finishes composting. It should feel cool to the touch, indicating that the microbial activity has slowed down.
  5. Time: Depending on the materials used and the composting conditions, it can take anywhere from a few weeks for compost to be ready. Generally, a well-maintained compost pile using this quick method will produce finished compost in about 6 weeks.

In less than a week, you can push a stick into the middle of the pile and then pull it back out. If the stick is hot to the touch, that’s a very good sign that a hot compost pile is going well. High temperatures are good. Interested in tracking the temperature of your pile? Invest in a compost thermometer. 

How Hot Should A Compost Pile Be?

A compost pile should ideally reach optimal temperature between 110°F and 160°F (43°C to 71°C). These temperatures are optimal for breaking down organic matter efficiently and killing weed seeds and pathogens. Also, a compost thermometer can be used to monitor the temperature of the pile. 

By the end of 5 weeks, the pile should be about half its original height. A general rule of thumb is that your completed compost pile should appear dark, moist and crumbly and should smell like the earth. Heavenly!

If you’re unsure whether your compost is done, simply test by placing a small amount in a sealed plastic bag for a few days. Additionally, If the bag doesn’t develop any unpleasant odors, the compost is likely finished and ready to use.

Using the Compost

When it smells like that, it’s ready to use! So, how do you use it exactly? Well there’s a few main ways to use it:

Use it for soil improvement in the fall: Mix compost into your garden soil to improve its structure, water retention, and nutrient content. This can help your plants grow healthier and more productive.

Use it as a Mulch: Spread a layer of compost around your plants to help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and provide nutrients as it breaks down.

Use it as a potting mix for seedlings: Use compost as part of a homemade potting mix for container plants. It can improve the soil structure and provide nutrients to your plants.

– Top dressing: Sprinkle compost on the surface of your lawn or garden beds as a top dressing. This can help improve the soil structure and provide nutrients to the plants.

– Compost tea: Steep compost in water to create a nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer. Use this to water your plants for an extra boost of nutrients.

– Seed starting: Mix compost with other materials like vermiculite or perlite to create a seed starting mix. This can help provide nutrients to young seedlings as they grow.

– Erosion control: Use compost to help stabilize slopes and control erosion. The organic matter in compost can help bind soil particles together and reduce runoff.

– Houseplants: Use compost as a top dressing for indoor plants or mix it into the soil when repotting to provide nutrients.

These are just a few ideas.

Finally, there are many other creative ways to use compost in your garden and around your home.

Keep Your Compost Pile Going

All of these ways are very useful and proof that you can compost quickly all year long and always have a use for organic compost. While you aren’t using your compost, you can keep it going with worm composting in your outdoor compost pile. The worms keep your pile going, but you’ll still need to monitor it and build it up because the decomposition process will continue. 

However, having compost on hand to use when you need it is SO NICE! It’s the easiest way to add to your soil at the drop at the hat. And as you now know, it doesn’t take a long time to make a fast compost with this process. Remember – Tiny pieces, the right mix of ingredients and hot temperatures. Continue to stir it with a garden fork and use as needed. Indeed, you won’t be disappointed! 

7 Quick Composting Tips to Help You Save Valuable Time

The Best Thing About Quick Composting Tips

The absolute best thing about composting in general is that you can use your own waste back into your garden. You don’t have to worry about taking your scraps to the landfill or throwing it away. You can turn it into gold and use it yourself!

Lastly, we are stewards of the land and composting is a great way to give back. By using your green and brown materials plus manure…everything you would normally throw away can be reused! I think that is the coolest thing about composting.

And now, you have plenty of quick composting tips to help you save valuable time and have fresh compost in less than 6 weeks. Happy gardening!


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