10 Misconceptions about Composting

Yard waste composting bin
Yard waste composting bin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Ten (10) Misconceptions About Composting[divider]






Composting can be an involved process, especially for beginners.


  • There are a lot of stories and television programs that use composting in a humorous or dramatic way.
  • Additionally, there’s a lot of pop understanding about what composting is to begin with that is just completely wrong.
  • It’s important to make sure you get your facts straight about composting before you make any long term decisions about it in anyway.






English Composter: A Green Compost Bin


Many people might write off the regular compost activities and more so worm composting process without fully understanding how it actually works, due to just taking people’s word for it about composting. Many people just pick up their knowledge of composting from misconceptions and over emotional justifications in the first place.


Compost Pile of Juicy Red Earthworms in Soil




Some of these soil and compostable myths and misconceptions include:



10 – Compost Heaps Always Smell Bad


This just isn’t true, not if the compost heap is set up properly.

This misconception probably comes from the tendency for people to spend only a very short amount of time thinking about a topic before coming up with ideas about that topic.

  • For example, some people might simplify a compost heap as a “pile of garbage,” and so make assumptions based on this comparison. They might assume that since a compost pile is just a tall clump of garbage, it will behave like how they imagine a pile of garbage to behave if it’s left outside for a long length of time.




But the truth is, as long as a compost pile is regularly monitored to make sure the PH and water levels are at the right points to facilitate decomposition, the compost bin will just not have much of a smell.




Compost Food Waste Only Sign
Compost Food Waste Only Sign (Photo credits: www.recyclereminders.com)




9 – Compost Bins Are Useless




While some people can be encouraged to compost due only for their love of the environment, many people need more practical reasons to engage in the process. And when they look at a compost bin, they just can not imagine what it could be used for practically. But the truth is that the pile can be used for many garden purposes.


English: Home Composting, Roubaix, France Fran...
English: Home Composting, Roubaix, France Français : Compostage domestique, Roubaix, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)





8 – Compost Piles Are Made of Dirt or Garbage




This just is not the case. Compost bins are comprised of organic elements that have been sorted carefully and put together for proper decomposition. As such, they are perfect for trees, flower beds, grass, or anything else that needs to grow. After all, the fruit, vegetables, and other organic materials came from the earth in the first place. So they often have the perfect nutrients to cause vegetation to grow once more.


English: A worm composting bin. Worms are eati...
English: A worm composting bin. Worms are eating the newspaper bedding and producing compost. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




7 – Composting Takes Forever




Many people imagine that a compost pile will take up all of their time if they were ever to start one. In their head, they imagine themselves shoveling for hours and hours, or performing endless exhaustive tests just to get a pile of organic garbage to decay. But this just isn’t the case at all either.


Composting really only takes a minute or two every few days in terms of management.

All you really have to do is turn the compost over, check the PH levels, and add more organic materials to the bin. This can all be done relatively quickly. It’s true that the initial time investment for composting can be extensive, but after that point the maintaining piece can usually be done rather quickly.


 Kitchen Compost Pail Buckets for Sale




6. Having Worms in Your Compost Bin Is Bad




While it’s true that generally you want to keep the bin separate from the infestation of insects and local wild life, some forms of life can actually help with composting.


An example of this is the red wiggler worm. They can do a lot of the work, eating through the organic material that you feed them through the pile.


Compost bin
Compost bin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




5. Compost Temperature Doesn’t Matter


Compost piles should be warm. If the pile isn’t warm, then you aren’t doing it properly, as this is an important part of the process.


English: Composting in the Escuela Barreales.
English: Composting in the Escuela Barreales. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




4. Pile Size Doesn’t Matter


  • The size of a compost pile is actually very important.
  • It should be around 3 feet tall, and 3 feet on any side.
  • If it’s any smaller than this, the chemical process that governs the pile may not work.
  • This is also true if the compost pile is too large. This is one of the important reasons why you should make sure you maintain the compost heap every few days.
  • Otherwise it will decay too much and become too small.


English: Inside of a Bokashi composting bin. F...
English: Inside of a Bokashi composting bin. Food scraps are layered with the Bokashi bran which helps the food scraps ferment inside the air-tight bin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




3. You Can’t Compost in the City


  1. Composting in a city involves techniques that have been developed relatively recently.
  2. There is a technique called vermicomposting that uses red worms inside of a bin.
  3. This can fit in any cabinet or dark area.
  4. Feeding the worms scraps every once in a while is all that it takes to keep the compost going.


Steaming compost
Steaming compost (Photo credit: SuperFantastic)




2. You Can Put Anything into a Compost Bin 


There are plenty of things that you shouldn’t put into the bin, actually.


  • For example, if you’re composting outside, you should avoid adding meat, bones, pet manure, or anything with a dairy signature. If you do this, then the compost pile may actually begin to smell, and attract animals from nearby.


Compost making class
Compost making class (Photo credit: Milkwooders)




1. Only Perfectionists Can Compost


Actually, composting is hardly an exact science. It’s true that there should be distinct layers in the compost, but making the layers perfect isn’t necessary. Putting grass on top of kitchen waste will often be enough to help make the process happen.




Learn to Be Patient and You Will Master Compost Gardening






While composting does require some care and research, it’s not all that much. And those who do compost reap the benefits.


Next, you should be able to start learning about Vermicomposting and the effectiveness between compost and Vermicomposting. There’s a number of excellent online free tutorial, tool, media, software based sites for you to search through, happy gardening!


– Phil @ Go Garden Guides





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