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Composting Methods: Which Is Best for You

Composting is an easy way to reduce the amount of waste you send to landfills. Because it can be done anywhere, composting is great for urban dwellers and suburbanites alike.

If you're thinking about getting into composting, you might have already realized that there are several different ways to do it. There's no single right answer when it comes to which method is best — it depends on the space you have available, your expertise, and what you plan to do with the compost.

What is Composting?

Composting is the breakdown of organic materials through microorganisms in a controlled environment. The end result of the process is a nutrient-rich soil called humus. Though the decomposition process creates heat, the difference between composting and cooking is that you don't want to cook your food scraps before you eat them!

Composting is an easy way to reduce the amount of waste you send to landfills. Because it can be done anywhere, composting is great for urban dwellers and suburbanites alike. To start composting, consider what method will work best for you.

Methods of Composting 

Hot Composting

Hot composting is a method of making compost that involves keeping the pile warm by either generating heat from decomposition or adding lots of green materials to balance the browns. It involves "cooking" your compost pile by adding oxygen and turning it frequently to make it more efficient at breaking down your organic materials. 

Recommended Composter: Compost Wizard Dueling Tumbler Jr.

hot composting in yard

Cold composting

Also called passive composting, cold composting is the method of adding organic materials to a compost pile in layers, moistening each layer as it is added, and letting nature do the rest. No turning required.

Cold composters are more likely to have large piles of compost that take longer to break down, but if you have the space and don't mind waiting, you can still produce a good batch of compost with this method.

Recommended Composter: Aerobin 400 Insulated Composter

VermiComposting

Worm composting, also known as vermicomposting, is an easy way to quickly transform your food waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer for your house plants by using the digestive capacity of earthworms to consume and recycle kitchen waste and other organic debris. Worm composting saves waste going to landfills and improves garden soils while also being a pleasant and gratifying activity.

Recommended Composter: Hungry Bin Portable Worm Composting System

Red wigglers (Eisenia fetida) and redworms are the best worms for vermicomposting (Lumbricus rubellus). Because they prefer a compost habitat to plain soil, these two species make excellent compost worms. They are also very easy to keep. Worms that eat vegetable waste, compost, and organic bedding create more nutrient-dense casts than those that eat ordinary soil.

If you decide to try vermicomposting we recommend purchasing worms from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm, where they specialize in red wigglers.

Our Final Thought

Overall, composting is a valuable practice when dealing with organic waste since it reduces the reliance on landfills and creates a nutrient-rich material that you can use in your garden. Composting is also a great way to recycle a lot of the waste that many people throw away, especially if you live in an area where landfill space is limited.

Consider these points as you begin to research various composting methods. You’ll have to find what works best for you based on your lifestyle and needs, but remember that there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution. The best method for you is the one you are most likely to maintain, so choose wisely and pick a system that fits your life. 

You can also check our full list of Composting Bins that suites your lifestyle.

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