Home > Green Tips > A Kids' Guide to Composting

A Kids' Guide to Composting

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 18 Apr 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Garden plants recycling fertilizer

Everyday the rubbish that we throw away pollutes the earth. If it’s incinerated (burned up) it can release harmful toxins that pollute the air but if it’s dumped into a landfill or even the ocean then it pollutes our land and water. Thankfully, a lot of our rubbish tends to be from the garden and the kitchen, and these types of natural waste can often be composted. Continue reading for some basic answers to frequently asked questions about composting.

What is Composting?

Composting is a term that is used when someone controls the decomposition (breakdown) of natural waste, organic solid wastes. Usually composting is done in a bin or heap, where natural rubbish is allowed to mix together and decomposed into a crumbly fertilizer.

Why Should I Compost?

Not only does composting help us reduce the amount of rubbish that we bin, and the risks of further polluting the air, land and water with this rubbish, but composting is also an easy way to get some excellent – and free – fertilizer for the garden. (Not to mention it’s always fun to get a particularly wormy, gross compost heap going!)

How do I Begin Composting?

If you live in a city or have a very small garden, composting may not be the right option for you. But if you live outside of urban (city) areas and have a large garden that you enjoy taking care of, composting is as easy as designating a bin or a small section of land for your compost heap. If you choose to use a bin, cut out the bottom so that the compost material can touch the earth. If you choose to designate an area of the garden, make sure that it has some sort of shelter for the heap. As you add materials to the heap, try to make sure that they are always a little moist, that they are sheltered from wind and rain, and that air can circulate freely through the heap.

What Materials can be Composted?

Many organic and natural materials can be composted. Grass cuttings, leaves, flowers and vegetable scraps can all be composted, as can fruit scraps and peels, leftover table scraps and egg shells, coffee grounds and stale bread. Paper, cardboard, sawdust, animal manure and seaweed can also be composted. Do not attempt to add meat scraps, wood branches, metal, glass, plastics or any type of garden waste that has been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals. These items do not decompose well and will hold up the efficiency of your compost heap.

How do I Control Pests when I Compost?

As you add each layer to your compost heap, make sure that you cover them completely with a thin layer of lime and then top it off with a layer of soil. Adding a mesh cover to the top of a bin will help to keep flies away, as will a layer of sawdust shavings added to the top of each heap. To keep out rats, ask your parents to install a sheet of mesh between the bottom of the heap and the soil so that worms can still get through but rats will be kept out.

What do I do With Compost?

Compost is an excellent natural fertilizer for your garden. You will know that the contents of your compost heap are ready to be used when they look kind of crumbly and smell like earth. When your compost heap is ready, you can layer the contents in the top-soil of garden beds, scatter it like mulch around the bottom of trees, plants and shrubs, or mix it into the soil that you use in your potted plants. This rich fertilizer will help your flowers and plants be nourished and bloom more quickly and easily.

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[Add a Comment]
romecia macleod is really awesome and loves to compost she likes to save the environment and what day have a posotive influence on the environment.
roxy - 19-Sep-16 @ 4:44 AM
Thanks for the advice. I put food scraps in my mums garden cause it helps her garden grow very nice and beautiful. I love this Website thanks for the Information
Sandy - 19-May-16 @ 1:10 AM
This helped very much. I got a science fair and I hope that this works. Thanks for the advice.
Sandy - 19-May-16 @ 1:07 AM
I love compost I live in 46563 and I have horses hi every and do not vote for donld trump
captan jack sparrow - 11-Apr-16 @ 7:25 PM
Thanks sooooo much! I have a project with other kids were we have to learn about different types of recycling and I got compost!
Llama - 22-Jan-16 @ 4:02 PM
I compost all the time and use it for my mums garden. my dad doesn't really care about nature and things like that.
Karly - 7-Jun-15 @ 5:12 AM
@Gorda. Well we hope this article has helped you!
EcoFriendlyKids - 22-May-15 @ 11:46 AM
we need to know about composting right now!
gorda - 19-May-15 @ 10:53 PM
It is awesome !! has everything which I need. I like it very very much
ccc - 15-Mar-15 @ 4:09 PM
@melly. Thanks for those points, we will make some improvements to this feature as a result.
EcoFriendlyKids - 19-Nov-14 @ 12:43 PM
Cool. I liked this a lot! It really helped me!
Barbs - 18-Nov-14 @ 10:53 PM
This did help me but only a little bit. I wonder ifyou could put how each type of compost break down to make soil. But I would give this a ?and 5 ?.
Melly - 18-Nov-14 @ 10:49 PM
Thank you, this is an awesome website, its really helped me!
izzy - 2-Mar-13 @ 3:04 PM
Great site - thanks for the information on composting for my kids school project
Dena - 4-Feb-13 @ 6:56 PM
All this stuff really helps me in school and it makes me realyy smart i love this site and heloo peps!!
moe - 8-Jan-13 @ 2:27 PM
i knew all this so its not that helpfullno effence 2 peeps out there so yh really
mia - 24-May-12 @ 9:37 PM
erm mitzi you've spelt capital wrong so i dont think you should be screaming at somebody else since you've made a mistake yourself. everybodys not perfect you know we all make mistakes
lulu - 19-Feb-12 @ 7:40 PM
You put a lower case e insteed of a captil e for Earth and seeing as it is a name of aplace it should have a captil not a lower case, earth is another word for soil where as Earth is the planet. You would not spell your name with a lower case would you? No you would put a captil letter baecause it is the name of something so fix it.
Mitzi - 27-Apr-11 @ 4:18 PM
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