Misconceptions About Composting

Composting can benefit your garden and the planet (when done on a large scale) in many ways.  A lot of people may shy away from composting because of common myths and untruths.  Listed below are some of the most common misconceptions about composting followed by the real information.

  •  Composting is creating new dirt.  Actually composting is not dirt, soil, or earth but it is humus – decayed matter that provides nutrients to soil.
  •  It takes a lot of time and effort to compost.  Once you have your compost bin set-up all you will only have to add new materials and turn or rotate the piles once in a two day period.
  • Having a compost is too smelly.  If your compost bin has a bad odor, something is wrong.  You need to ensure there is enough air circulation and the right combination of green and brown foods.
  • If I have a compost in my back yard, animals are going to come and dig through it.  If you have a cover for your compost bin and ensure a good layer of brown food (at least one inch) is on the top you will not have any animal control problems.
  • If I don’t measure the exact ratio of green to brown food it will not work.  Composting is not an exact science if you add more green food one week and then balance it out with additional brown food the next week – that is fine.  You will be able to tell with time what your compost pile is lacking or needing.

Composting is easy, environmentally-friendly, and an inexpensive way to fertilize your lawn, garden, or house plants.  With some time, patience, and a bit of effort, your mature compost will be ready to use anywhere from one month to one year (hot versus cold composting).  There are more benefits than drawbacks when you reconsider many of these common misconceptions about composting.