What to Compost – A Comprehensive List for Organic Gardening

The Ultimate What to Compost List: Turning Waste into Black Gold

Composting is an eco-friendly practice that helps reduce waste and nourish your garden or plants with nutrient-rich soil. Whether you’re a seasoned composter or just getting started, having a comprehensive list of what materials can be composted is essential. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about composting and provide a detailed “what to compost” list.

Fruit and Vegetable Scraps

The first category of items suitable for composting includes fruit and vegetable scraps. This encompasses peels, cores, rinds, seeds, stems, and any leftovers from meal preparations. Be sure to remove any stickers or non-compostable packaging before adding these scraps to your pile.

Coffee Grounds and Tea Bags

Did you know that coffee grounds are highly beneficial for compost? The nitrogen content in used coffee grounds makes them an excellent addition. Similarly, tea bags (minus the staples) can also be added due to their organic material composition.


Eggshells are rich in calcium carbonate, which acts as a natural fertilizer when broken down in the compost pile. Crushed eggshells decompose relatively quickly compared to other materials.

Yard Trimmings

Your lawn maintenance routine offers great opportunities for green waste recycling. Grass clippings, leaves (preferably shredded), small branches or twigs (chopped into smaller pieces), flowers past their prime – all these yard trimmings work wonders if tossed into the compost bin instead of being dumped elsewhere.

Paper Products

Newspapers shredded into thin strips serve as an ideal “brown” component in your compost. Similarly, cardboard (cut into smaller pieces), paper towels, and napkins can all be added as long as they are free from synthetic chemicals or non-compostable materials.

Fireplace Ashes

If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, don’t let the ashes go to waste! Fireplace ashes can be sprinkled sparingly over your compost pile to provide essential minerals and adjust pH levels. However, avoid using ash from treated wood or coal as it may contain harmful substances.

Hair and Fur

Next time you get a haircut or groom your furry friend, consider saving those clippings. Hair and fur are rich sources of nitrogen that decompose quickly in the compost pile.

Natural Fibers

Items made of natural fibers like cotton balls, rope scraps, jute twine, or even worn-out clothing (cut into small pieces) can all find a new purpose in composting. These organic materials add carbon content while breaking down gradually over time.

Avoid Composting:

Diseased Plants

Avoid adding plants infected with diseases like powdery mildew or blight to your compost pile. The pathogens might survive the decomposition process and spread throughout your garden when using the finished compost later on.

Oily Foods and Dairy Products

Foods high in oil content such as meat scraps or dairy products should not be included in home composting systems. They may create unpleasant odors during decomposition and attract unwanted pests.

In Conclusion: A Recipe for Success!

To successfully turn waste into black gold through composting, understanding what to include is crucial. Remember to balance “greens” (nitrogen-rich materials) and “browns” (carbon-rich materials) in your compost pile to ensure efficient decomposition. By following the comprehensive list provided above, you’ll be well-equipped to create nutrient-dense soil for your garden while reducing waste and aiding the environment.