How To Make Compost Fertilizer At Home | The Ultimate Step By Step Guide

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How much food waste do you use for recycling purposes? How good will it be if we use food waste to make decent quality compost fertilizers? This is not only eco-friendly; we are also saving some money too. A natural solution that we all should practice!

But the question is how to make compost fertilizer at home?

By collecting the materials and mixing them with a proper amount of water you can make the mold. After that following proper processes, you can make compost fertilizer at home.

Many people think making compost fertilizer is a hassle and not so easy. Yes! It is hard only we follow the wrong approach. But when you know how to make compost fertilizer at home correctly, it is super fun.

In this post, we will guide you on the best way to make compost fertilizer at home. Let’s jump in!

How To Make Compost Fertilizer At Home?

Natural things are the best source to make organic fertilizers at home. As they don’t contain any harmful chemicals, you are not harming your beautiful plants.

So, why use food waste and kitchen leftovers to make compost fertilizers? These food remnants contain various nutrients that your plant needs for proper growth.

Before knowing how to make compost fertilizer at home, you should know the food waste you can use to make compost fertilizer and which you can’t.

Compostable Materials

Compostable Materials

Most of the compost fertilizers come from food remaining. Making organic fertilizer from them is much better than simply throwing them out.

If you are making compost fertilizer for the first time, we suggest using a special container, such as OXO Good Grips Compost Bin, to store the food waste. However, making a DIY compost bin is also okay if you don’t prefer to buy it.

So here are foodstuffs you can use for making compost fertilizers at home. Whenever you think you don’t need them anymore, keep them inside the compost bin.

Serial No Foodstuffs to make compost fertilizers at home
1 Fruits leftovers
2 Vegetable leftovers
3 Coffee filters
4 Bread
5 Grains
6 Cooked rice
7 Dry leaves
8 Shredded Paper bags
9 Straw
10 Eggshells 
11 Sawdust 
12 Old herbs and spices
13 Peanut shells
14 Old oatmeal
15 Stale candy 

Non-compostable materials

Non-compostable materials

Apart from damaging your compost fertilizer, these foodstuffs cause a bad odor. So, as a part of knowing how to make compost fertilizer at home, you make sure you don’t use them.  Composting success requires the avoidance of these items:

  • Ill-healthy plant materials
  • Cat or dog feces
  • Whatever comes from grease, oil, fat, or meat
  • Milk-based products
  • Seedy weeds
  • Highly acidic foods
  • Baked goods

So, you have already learned things you can use for making compost fertilizer and things you can’t use. Let’s now know how to make compost fertilizer at home step-by-step.

Step 1 — Collecting Food Waste From The Kitchen

Collecting Food Waste From The Kitchen

We use a lot of foodstuffs in our everyday life. The first wastes of food you should keep aside are fruit and vegetable peelings. Take as many fresh (unnecessary) items as you have. Avoid taking non-compostable food items, which we have listed above.

So, why should you avoid using non-compostable food items? They not only make the formula ineffective but also spread unpleasant odor.

After collecting all the compostable materials, you want to stack these items on a well-drained, level, and well-ventilated area. You can use speed up the composting procedure by adding some wood ash. Studies showed they boost soil fertility and increase soil PH.

Step 2 — Including Extra Organic Materials To The Formula

Including Extra Organic Materials To The Formula

Apart from sprinkling wood ash, adding some powdery particles of wood (sawdust) will accelerate the composting procedure.

Not only this, you are free to add some manure from your livestock. It is enriched with nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients, making the compost fertile more effective.

Purchasing it from a nearby superstore is okay when you don’t have any manure or sawdust at home. However, make sure they are organic and don’t contain any harmful chemicals.

Step 3 — Collecting Some Garden Waste

Collecting Some Garden Waste

Your garden waste can be one of the most reliable natural sources to enrich the nutrition of the compost. But the question is, what type of garden waste can you use for compost fertilizer? Grass clippings, dead leaves, branches, and twigs are the most easily accessible things you can use.

You can collect grass clippings from the lawnmower bag where they are accumulated while cutting the lawn. Take everything out of the lawnmower and keep them inside the container.

Step 4 —Making the Compost

Making the Compost

You want to keep both kitchen waste and garden waste inside the compost bin. If you prefer to grab a typical container instead of a compost bin, ensure it has a handle. This will assist you in turning the bin while mixing all the items properly.

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While mixing the items, some liquid may generate. In that case, it will be better if the compost bin has some hole under it. The extra fluid will come out through the holes while rotating the mixture.

According to most garden experts, you should rotate the compost container 2 or 3 times every day to get the most effective results.

Step 5 — Using The Fertilizer

Using The compost Fertilizer

Before using the fertilizer for your garden, you want to give the compost some time to transform it into a dark color. You can apply the mixture to your garden once it comes to this state.

Take a garden fork to Sprinkle the compost fertilizer on your garden field evenly. Make sure you neither apply too much nor too little fertilizer to your garden. Give some time to your garden soil to let it absorb the fertilizer. You can add more gradually once you notice a better result.

So, this is one of the best simple ways to learn about “How do you make compost fertilizer at home?”

How To Make Compost Fertilizer At Home In A Hot Form?

There is a difference between a hot compost fertilizer and cold compost fertilizer. Wondering how to make compost fertilizer at home in a hot form? Making hot compost fertilizer requires some extra items, effort, and time.

So, why should you use hot compost? Hot compost fertilizers not only provide nutrition for the soil but also kill weed seeds faster. Here we are mentioning how to make compost fertilizer at home in a hot form correctly.

Step 1 — Mixing Brown And Green Items

Mixing Brown And Green Items

Collect an adequate amount of brown and green items to stack them at least three feet high. You will mix up the dry, brown things with moist green materials together.

You can include different brown items in the compost fertilizer, such as dry leaves, tree limb (shredded), paperboard, chaff or hay, etc.

You can also add a wide range of green items, such as coffee powder, grass clippings, fruit remaining, vegetable remaining, animal manures, etc.

But the question is, what should be the ratio of brown and green items? Will you mix them equally? No! According to most garden experts, you will use one portion of green materials and three portions of brown materials.

If you notice the mixture becomes too damp and smelly, you can add more brown items. Similarly, you can add some green items if the combination seems excessively dry.

Step 2 —Watering The Mixture

Watering The compost Mixture

Spray water by using a garden hose on the mixture every day to achieve the consistency of the moist sponge. However, avoid adding an excessive amount of water.

When your heap becomes flooded, microorganisms will drown. This will result in the mixture rotting instead of composting.

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It is imperative that you check the mixture’s temperature. Either you can use a thermometer or directly put your hand inside the pile to see whether it is rotting or not. You should feel warm while touching the mixture.

Step 3 — Activating The Mixture

Activating The Mixture

You want to ensure sufficient oxygen on the mixture by stirring it up regularly in the growing season.

So, when should you rotate the mixture? If the temperature of the mixture reaches 130 to 150°F, it is time to turn the compost. While using your hands, you should feel warm in the center of the compost.

Apart from that, rotating the mixture actives the formula and prevents it from developing any unpleasant odor.

By stirring the formula properly, it ensures an ideal mixture of green items and brown items. Aside from regular stir-up, make composting faster by cutting and shredding fresh items.

Step 4 — Feeding The Soil

Feeding The Soil

How will you know if the compost is ready to feel the soil or not? If the mixture becomes completely dry, friable, and doesn’t generate any heat, you have finished the cooking.

You can feed the compost to the garden soil. You are free to use them for both pots and flower beds. Make sure you use 4-6 inches of compost when the growing season starts.

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Compost tea is another option. Under this method, compost must be soaked in water for several days to establish a natural pH balance. Then, it will transform into homemade liquid fertilizer.

So, this is another way you can learn about “How do you make compost fertilizer at home?”

What Is The Best Homemade Fertilizer?

Are you wondering about this question: what is the best homemade fertilizer? Since many materials and options are available near at hand, you may feel confused about which one to use.

So, while wondering about “What is the best homemade fertilizer?” don’t forget to give a check about these options.

1. Seaweed Tea

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Don’t let the title scare you off. Just because you live far from the ocean doesn’t mean you can’t make this best homemade fertilizer.

So, why is seaweed tea one of the best homemade fertilizers?

  1. They contain multiple nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphate, and magnesium.
  2. They stimulate the natural growth of plants.
  3. The plants also become more resilient to diseases, pests, stress, and other illnesses.
  4. They boost crop yield.

Here we are mentioning how to make compost fertilizer at home from seaweed tea easily.

  • Get some Freshwater and saltwater seaweed from your location. As you plan to forage for seaweed in your area, be sure that all the rules are in place. In the state where you live, the laws could differ according to the species and the land.
  • Take a stroll along a regional pond, lake, or ocean shoreline and try to find seaweed that is deposited by the tide on a shore.
  • Wash off the dirt, grease, or salt from the seaweed (If you live near the ocean).
  • Cut them properly and soak them in a container full of water. Make sure the water is sufficient to drown the seaweed for several few weeks.
  • In the procedure of decomposition seaweed, most nutrients are absorbed by the water. Once 3-4 weeks passed, separate the liquid tea from the solid seaweed by filtration. Then, mix 50% regular water with the tea for your plants.

So this is a simple yet effective homemade fertilizer if you wonder about “What is the best homemade fertilizer?”

2. Compost Tea

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Another best homemade fertilizer is compost tea. In the process of brewing compost tea, compost is steeped in water. As we have already mentioned, normal compost fertilizer, we are now talking about compost tea.

So, what are the benefits of using compost tea?

Serial No. Benefits of using compost tea
1 They are inexpensive
2 They are simple to make
3 They make the plant healthy
4 They improve soil quality
5 They prevent root diseases
6 They don’t contain excessive carbon foods

Are you wondering about “How do you make compost fertilizer at home from compost tea?” Let’s learn them and stop thinking about “What is the best homemade fertilizer?”

  • Keep a container near your kitchen.
  • Pour about ⅓ – ½ of freshwater into the container.
  • Put different types of kitchen waste inside the container (checkout compostable materials from above). Make sure to crush them properly before putting them.
  • Add more clean water to make sure all items are soaked under the water.
  • When the kitchen wastes reach almost the top of the container, fill it up with water and shake it each day for seven consecutive days.
  • Avoid taking it from the direct sunlight. Also, make sure the container cover is not too tight.
  • Make sure the composting doesn’t begin to ferment. If you notice any sign of fermentation, feed the liquid to your garden soil as early as possible.

How Can I Make Compost At Home Fast?

Wondering about this question: how can I make compost at home fast? You have already learned how to make compost fertilizer at home correctly.

What is the best way to accelerate the composting process? You can apply several techniques to answer the question of “How can I make compost at home fast?” Let’s learn them!

1. Choose A Large Compost Bin

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In general, a larger bin will enable you to produce more heat. Plus, moisture is better retained in larger piles. So, try to create a mountain of compost.

Though medium size container is enough, it is best to choose a bin with four feet of height. However, it is not easy to fill up this bulky container within a short time.

2. Show Creativity While Collecting Materials

collect selective materials for compost

You have already learned that compost fertilizer requires both green and brown materials. As we mentioned earlier, try to add more brown materials and less green materials.

It is because green materials are prone to be rotten easily, while brown materials ensure dryness. Brown items such as pruning debris, shredded brown cardboard, shredded sticks, unprinted newsprint paper, etc, are a good choice.

Most importantly, brown items ensure the reach of oxygen inside the compost items and prevent them from germinating.

3. Collect Some Solid Wastes

Collect Some Solid Wastes for compost

Adding chicken coops, bedding stuff, and other solid wastes will make the compost more effective and boost the composting process.

Using straw bedding is one of the best things you can use, answering back the question of “How can I make compost at home fast?”

However, make sure to add some extra brown items while adding solid straw. This will balance the entire composting ratio.

4. Regular Watering

Regular Watering your lawn

When you want to learn about “How can I make compost at home fast?” don’t forget to water the compost regularly. The composting will slow down without an adequate amount of water. But that’s doesn’t mean you will overwater it. Follow consistency!

5. Rotate The Mixture

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It is essential to rotate the compost mixture regularly after adding water. It will ensure an even combination of all components.

6. Aeration

The process will be accelerated if you make your pile airy with shredded sticks and other materials. Using shredded cardboard and paper is completely okay, and they boost oxygen involvement.

Use these materials, rotate the mixture to ensure sufficient aeration inside the pile, and help create spaces for it.

7. Temperature Monitoring

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You want to know how much heat is generated from the pile’s center using a compost thermometer. The goal of it is to help you determine whether or not you are on the right track.

In addition to letting you know what temperature will kill weed seed, it also displays how long the temperature has been high.

8. Don’t Be Late!

You may think you should wait more time and let the composting process takes more time. But this doesn’t seem right. Your pile will not decompose equally as each ingredient breaks down in its own time.

Many brown items that you include inside the mixture will help you speed up composting process, but they actually take more time to decompose fully.

Instead of letting them get mixed fully, you want to separate the composed items from the decomposed items. Put the decomposed things back inside the bin so that you can use them for the next composting process.

So, these are the practical solution you can apply to get a clear view about “How can I make compost at home fast?”

Which Is Better Compost Or Fertilizer?

Have you any idea which is better compost or fertilizer? Is there a similarity between them? If not, how do they differ, and which is better compost or fertilizer?

What Is Fertilizer?

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Fertilizer contains both organic and inorganic components. But, they are available in both natural and synthetic forms. Fertilizers include nitrogen, manure, potassium, phosphorus, and many other elements.

Plant growth can be fostered by spreading fertilizer onto the soil or working it into the soil. So, Plant growth is stimulated by fertilizer applied to the soil, right? The reason is that we grow various plants as per our needs. By absorbing nutrients from the soil, plants reduce soil fertility.

So, when you want to grow plants again in the soil, you need to ensure sufficient nutrients for the plants. That’s why fertilizer is required for the plants.

What is Compost?

Various organic substances decompose into compost. They can be food waste, animal waste, garden waste, and many other things.

As you already know, you need to follow a certain procedure to make compost. It will take time to form. Once the composting process is completed, you can use them to feed the soil.

Fertilizer VS Compost: Which Is Better?

Which is better compost or fertilizer? The effectiveness of these two substances varies. The result of compost is long-lasting compared to fertilizer.

The nutrients in fertilizers are “ready to use.” These nutrients get mixed with the soil quickly, and the plant can absorb them rapidly.

However, like the way it absorbs quickly, it also gets away fast due to heavy rainfall. As a result, the nutrients transform from one area to another.

A rise in nutrients can result in environmentally destructive and problematic algal blooms in freshwater systems nearby.

In addition, drinking water has been found to contain fertilizer-based chemicals. The nearby communities may suffer from various health issues due to this.

Furthermore, fertilizers do nothing to improve the health of soils. They can’t also prevent water drainage or retention issue for the soil.

On the other hand, compost takes time to provide sufficient nutrition for the soil. But, the longer it is done, the better the quality, the greater the yield, and the more resilient the soil becomes.

When you apply compost several times for your soil, it improves the soil quality gradually. As a result, it boosts crop yields on a long time basis.

But you can understand that applying compost to the soil requires patience as the process is time-consuming. You want to gather a lot of stuff and use it several times to the soil.

So, what do you think: which is better compost or fertilizer? No doubt, both substances have pros and cons.

If you want to get quick results with readily available items, you may want to choose fertilizers. But be aware that they may contain many inorganic materials, which may harm your plants for use on a long time basis.

On the other hand, if you have enough patience and prefer to choose a low-cost option, compost will be a better choice for you. Most importantly, they provide effective results for a long time basis.

How Do You Compost For Beginners?

Are you wondering about this question: how do you compost for beginners? No matter if you are just starting out or have already attempted composting several times, the process is the same.

But, beginners need some guidelines to prevent doing mistakes. Also, they should know some creative ideas to boost the composting process. Here are some basic tips you should check out while thinking about “How do you compost for beginners?”

1. Using The Right Ingredients

Make sure you have a basic idea about compostable materials and non-compostable materials. We have already listed them above; you can check them out.

2. Maintaining A Perfect Compost Ratio

As you already know, we use two types of items for making compost fertilizers: green and brown items. The ratio should be brown: green items: 3:1. However, it may vary slightly based on the type of materials you are using.

3. Regular Turning

How often should you turn up the compost mixture? There is no specific rule regarding that. However, your compost pile will become finished compost faster if you turn it frequently.

4. Perfect Spot For Keeping The Compost Bin

Keeping your compost bin on a flat surface where the excessive moist can go under the container easily is important.

Choosing a ground space area is better to keep the compost bin instead of any concrete surface. The extra moist will directly into the ground soil.

5. Using Materials Sequentially

You can’t add all materials at the same time or anything randomly. Instead,

  • Add straw, brush, and hay at the lowest part of the compost bin
  • Next, include a 4-inch layer of brown items
  • After that, add a 4-inch layer of green materials
  • Don’t forget to spray water for each layer
  • Add garden soil for each layer too, with the materials

So, these are the most common things you should note down to know about “How do you compost for beginners?”

Final Thought

Are you still wondering about this question: how do you make compost fertilizer at home? All essential points have been discussed to learn about how to make compost fertilizer at home. Hopefully, you have learned all the necessary things from this post to make compost fertilizer at home. Thanks for reading!

Last update on 2021-10-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API