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. 
<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>
Anything that was once alive can be composted. This includes everything on your &quot;don't compost&quot; 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>
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!

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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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