Create Your Own Compost

Steps to Create Your Own Compost

On January 1, 2022, California's new compost law will officially go into effect to reduce organic waste disposal 75% by the year 2025. While this will impact the way food waste is required to be collected and commercially disposed of within the State, the average homeowner might as well put that waste to use in his/her garden to increase plant productivity and health.

Here’s the basic steps for creating your own compost:

  1. Choose a flat, partly sunny spot with good drainage that is convenient to get to.
  2. Create a 12-inch base layer in your bin using straw, leaves or woody brush material to promote air circulation.
  3. Alternate layers of green (vegetable and fruit kitchen scraps, coffee grounds and tea leaves, plant trimmings: leaves, foliage and flowers and grass clippings) with organic materials (dry fall leaves, dry grass clippings, shredded newsprint, cardboard, brown paper, straw). Always end with an organic layer on top.
  4. Every two weeks mix the contents in the bin. This aerates the materials and gets the bin heated up again for decomposing matter.
  5. The pile will shrink over time. Continue to add layers until the bin is almost full.
  6. Harvest the compost every six months. The bottom and center should be fully decomposed and full of healthy, moist areas for worms.
  7. If your soil has large chunks, you can sift it through a mesh screen.

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Compost Bin
Compost Bin