Types of Composting
Before you start piling on, recognize that there are two types of composting: cold and hot. Cold composting is as simple as collecting yard waste or taking out the organic materials in your trash (such as fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds and filters, and eggshells) and then corralling them in a pile or bin. Over the course of a year or so, the material will decompose.
Hot composting is for the more serious gardener but a faster process—you'll get compost in one to three months during warm weather. Four ingredients are required for fast-cooking hot compost: nitrogen, carbon, air, and water. Together, these items feed microorganisms, which speed up the process of decay. In spring or fall when garden waste is plentiful, you can mix one big batch of compost and then start a second one while the first "cooks."
What to Compost?
Composting is a great way to use the things in your refrigerator that you didn't get to, therefore eliminating waste. Keeping a container in your kitchen, like this chic white ceramic compost bucket from World Market, is an easy way to accumulate your composting materials. If you don't want to buy one, you can make your own indoor or outdoor homemade compost bin. Collect these materials to start off your compost pile right:
What NOT to Compost?
Not only will these items not work as well in your garden, but they can make your compost smell and attract animals and pests. Avoid these items for a successful compost pile: