This instructable will teach you how to make compost, great to dig into veggie gardens or any garden bed. Compost helps the earth by recycling food scraps, but it also helps plants thrive, trust me, they really take off with compost!

Step 1: How To Make Compost

Compost is made by piling up organic matter (leaves, kitchen scraps, cow sheep and chicken manure, lawn clippings etc.) and helping them to break down. If you occasionally turn it over with a fork it will break down faster but some just like to leave it. Firstly, how does all of this stuff get broken down? Well microorganisms come in and eat the organic matter and turning it into droppings, worms also like compost and have the best droppings, worms are welcome in a compost heap! this is how leaves and kitchen scraps are turned into soil. Now you'll need to know what can't go into compost. Things like onions, citrus, cat and dog faeces, plastic, dairy, meat, and sticks can't go into compost. The majority of these things are harmful to microorganisms so will take a lot longer to break down, some things like plastic can't break down, things like sticks are too dense and take way too long to break down and things like meat and dairy create odour and attract pests and rodents. Some manures are good for compost, the best of which being chicken manure, it contains a lot of nitrogen which is great for the soil, bedding straw mixed with chicken manure can go straight in to the compost and makes a great mix. 

Now, how to make the best compost:
For the best mix you need a 50 50 balance between nitrogen and carbon. Nitrogen being in kitchen scraps, grass clippings, manures, and freshly pulled weeds or green leaves, carbon being dead dry materials such as dead leaves, straw and similar materials. if you get a half and half balance between these two types of materials you will get the best results. 
Anything that was once alive can be composted. This includes everything on your "don't compost" list except plastic. One of our local compost facilities composts dead livestock. You just have to know a little more about compost before starting to do animals and animal wastes.
<p>I agree. I compost everything that is organic, i don&rsquo;t care about the 'don&rsquo;t use potato skins' or 'no bones'.<br>Everything goes in. including cardboard. I don&rsquo;t really do anything special like turning or tumbling. I just keep it moist. Maybe it takes a bit longer but I don&rsquo;t care as I use 3 bins. get rich compost.<br></p>
Sorry, I know this is from awhile ago but umm im new to this and I have a few questions. I jusy boight a house and would like to try growing vegtables and fruits. I live in oregon, it rains all the time here. Is it okay to leave compost outside in a bin or should I buy a tumbler? What is the differnce between the dirt you buy at home depot and compost? Do I need to make compost and add it to the dirt? My husband made boxes we bought dirt from home depot put it in planted lots of vegtable seeds but nothing grew except carrots? Im really cinfused abd would like to have a home grown vegtable garden. Also how do i keep bugs from eating the leaves of plants? Is there a safe pestacide for vegtables and fruits? Also do I have to rotate plants each year to a new box? Sorry I know this is alot of questions :(
<p>Mel, as said, I had browswer crashing a few times. I managed to save screenshots so for the compost questions please check the picture I attached<br><br>With regard to keeping bugs away. if you are planting veggies I'd stay away from any commercial pesticides. There are some human friendly ways of doing it. You could plant some repellent plants: marigold and garlic seem quite effective in keeping a number of bugs away. A spray with hjust water and soap is very good in keeping lice out of yr plants, but also dont underestimate insects that eat bugs. Ladybugs are doing wonders in keeping yr lice/aphids at bay.<br><br>caterpillars are a different issue, though I only had them on cabbages. early planting and putting a proper net over them when the butterflies come helps.<br>Slugs and snails can be kept away with eggshell around yr plants or use slug traps (basically a container filled with some beer and yeast.<br>If you have raised beds, 2 blank copperwires around them say 1 cm apart, attached to a 9 volt battery does wonders</p>
<p>Mel, tried to answer you twice but but times my browser hung and had to start over. I will prepare a reply offline and send that to you shortly</p>
Interesting about the livestock compost. The reason for the don't compost list was to keep the compost quick to make, and have low odour to avoid complaints from neighbours. Thanks for the comment!
<p>can i use this kind of compost to grow button mushrooms ?</p>
<p>Sorry for the late reply, but yes. Mushrooms will grow in this compost. As long as you add the mushroom spores to the compost and don't let the compost dry out. I've heard of toadstools just growing naturally in open compost heaps. But for the most success and to ensure you grow the type of mushrooms you want, I'd plant spores. </p>
<p>I see in the picture that the tumbler is closed, how can the oxygen get into?</p>

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Bio: Hi, I'm Matt! A young guy from South Australia. I enjoy cycling, vegetable gardening and chicken keeping. I spend a lot of time restoring ... More »
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