Composting 101: Five Different Ways to Compost

While this is not an inclusive list, it does give you a few different ways to create compost to feed your garden soil.


This is composting with worms and will produce rich, fertile compost that will let your garden thrive!  You don’t have to have something fancy to make worm composting work for you.  They need a well drained home and will feed on your kitchen scraps.  Your garden will appreciate the end results!  You do need a special variety of worms-redworms to make it successful.  You can read more about Vermicomposting here, and stay tuned next week when I share with you how we set up our worm bin!

Composting in a Trench

This is very popular as it involves digging a trench about 2-3 feet deep, burying your waste and scraps in it and eventually planting your garden actually in it.

After you add a layer of waste, then cover it with a layer of soil.  When it is full, add another layer of soil and then waste a 4-6 months to begin planting.  If you start this towards the end of summer time, you will have a bed ready to go come next spring.

Photo Credit: – © Karen Sloan

3-Bin or Pile Composting

This may be the easiest method but like all cold composting will take the longest to produce your results.  If you have a bin, or you can even use a pile, then layer your “Browns and Greens” in about a half and half ratio.  If you are using a 3-Bin system that is popular, when one bin is full, move on to the next.

This is a no-turn method because you are simply adding to your pile without the work of aerating.  Keep in mind you do want to try to keep it at about a half and half mix to prevent a smelly mess overtaking you.  This way of composting will produce results in 1-3 years because you are allowing it to breakdown naturally without assistance.

Hot Composting

Hot composting, like all other composting needs to be layered as well in the proper ratio but also requires a little extra work.  It needs to be turned about every other day, or at least twice a week to keep it hot, as it needs to be aerated to keep the temperature up.  Also be sure it stays damp, not overly wet or dry, but about like a damp sponge.  This will keep the perfect conditions to keep your microbes happy and working strong.

Garbage Bag Composting

While I have not tried this method but may try it next season, you simply layer your greens and browns with layers of soil in between in black garbage bags or sealed bins.  You make sure they are well sealed and then let them sit in a cool place.  After 6-9 months you will have usable compost.

Go here to read my other Composting 101 articles.

4 thoughts on “Composting 101: Five Different Ways to Compost”

  1. I think out of all of these, I would prefer composting in a trench! I am far from that right now though! All I have is a kitchen composter! At least I am getting my feet wet!

  2. Melanie Schemanski

    I have a vermicomposter but haven’t been very good at taking care of the worms 🙁 It takes a knack to get used to feeding worms and giving them scraps 🙂 Great look at composting

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