How to Make Compost in a Bin – A Step-by-Step Tutorial for Beginners

How to Make Compost in a Bin: A Step-by-Step Guide


Making your own compost is not only eco-friendly but also a great way to enhance your garden’s health and productivity. If you have limited space or live in an urban area, using a compost bin is the perfect solution. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the simple steps required to make nutrient-rich compost right in your backyard.

Choosing the Right Compost Bin

Before starting on your composting journey, it’s essential to choose the right compost bin that suits your needs. Consider factors such as size, materials (plastic or wood), ventilation options, and accessibility for turning and harvesting.

Gathering Your Materials

To create high-quality compost efficiently, gather the following materials:


Browns refer to dry organic matter rich in carbon. Examples include dried leaves, straw, twigs, shredded newspaper or cardboard.


Greens are wet organic matter rich in nitrogen that help speed up decomposition. Kitchen scraps like fruit peels and vegetable remnants are excellent examples of greens.


To accelerate decomposition and balance pH levels within your pile/bin, consider adding additives such as garden soil or finished compost.

The Layering Technique: Creating Balance

With all necessary materials at hand let’s move on to creating balanced layers within your bin:

1. Start with a layer of browns about 6 inches thick.
2. Add a layer of greens approximately 1-2 inches thick.
3. Sprinkle some water over each layer; it should be moist but not soaked.

Repeat these steps until you’ve filled the entire bin while maintaining equal amounts of brown and green materials throughout.

Monitoring and Maintenance

To ensure the composting process runs smoothly, follow these maintenance tips:


Once every two to three weeks, use a pitchfork or shovel to turn your compost pile. This helps introduce oxygen and aids in decomposition.


Check on your compost regularly for moisture levels. If it feels too dry, lightly water it; if too wet, add more brown materials to balance the moisture content.


Ideal composting occurs between 110-160°F (43-71°C). Use a thermometer occasionally to check if your bin’s internal temperature falls within this range.

Harvesting Your Compost

After a few months of regular care and monitoring, your compost will transform into dark crumbly soil-like matter. Follow these steps to harvest:

1. Stop adding fresh materials at least 2-3 weeks before harvesting.
2. Leave the bin untouched for an additional 2-3 weeks after ceasing new additions.
3. Scoop out the finished compost from the bottom of the bin with a shovel or trowel.

Remember that some unfinished materials may remain; you can either sift them out or return them back into the bin as starter material for future batches.

Finding Success With Composting

Composting requires patience and consistent effort but is ultimately rewarding in both environmental impact and garden health benefits. By following this step-by-step guide on making compost in a bin, you’ll be well-equipped to produce nutrient-rich organic matter that enhances plant growth while reducing waste sent to landfills – truly contributing towards sustainable living!

Now it’s time to grab that pitchfork and start transforming kitchen scraps into black gold! Happy composting!