Why is my compost not breaking down?

When I first got a compost tumbler I checked on it every single day. Sometimes multiple times per day. It didn’t take long until I came to the conclusion that composting is just like baking cookies: nothing happens while you’re watching. However, if your compost isn’t breaking down (or isn’t breaking down as fast as you want), there are several things you can do to either fix your tumbler/pile or speed up the process. Composting takes a long time. The most common that your compost …

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Homemade Compost Starter Recipe to Kickstart Your Pile

It is perfectly normal for new composters to be impatient. I know I was ready to spend a good chunk of change when I first got started in an effort to expedite things and ended up buying two different tumblers, an aerator, and several compost starters. I was dumb. When it comes to kickstarting your pile, there is a simple way to do it: a homemade compost starter. In truth, there’s an even simpler way: patience. But if you’re like me (impatient) and want something …

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Can I Compost Pistachio Shells?

When I first started composting I had two main issues, one which caused the other. First off, I wanted to compost everything in my kitchen. This meant that, not only did I add a lot of weird things to my compost, but that I always found myself short on browns. One of the ways I decided to combat this was to try composting pistachio shells. In my mind, pistachio shells were pretty much wood. They looked like wood, they felt like wood, heck, maybe they …

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Is Composting Hard? Well, not if you do these 4 things…

Is composting hard? Yes, if you want it to be. Getting started with composting was a major leap for me. For some reason, I had built it up in my head to the point that I didn’t make the jump…for years. I always thought that I needed a tumbler, a three-bin pile, an aerating system, etc. Looking back this seems to be ridiculous but I remember thinking that I would just wait until I had more time (eg I was retired) so I could figure …

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How Long Does It Take To Make Compost?

When my wife and I moved into our current house we were super excited to plant a garden. That is until we saw the soil. Sandy soil with nothing at all to offer vegetable plants. We knew that it would need some serious amending to start producing well for us and composting would be the answer. The problem is, how long does it take to make compost and amend a large space? Well, the answer really depends on how good you are at composting. Reaping …

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10 Compostable Household Products You Should Be Using

If you’ve been composting for any period of time you’ll know that it’s addicting. I hadn’t had a compost tumbler very long before I started throwing in bones, old yogurt, plasticized cardboard, and all sorts of other dumb things. Long story short, my first load of compost was a total waste that I ended up throwing away (looking back I might have been able to screen it and save it). However, my addition of tons of uncompostable things came from a wholesome place. I had …

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Can I Compost Dead Animals?

Mother nature has been composting deal animals for millions of years. Every time an animal has died, it has made it back to the soil through decomposition. Until humans go into the mix. Now, however, people are trying to keep the natural order of the world running as smoothly as possible, many are wondering about the feasibility of composting dead animals such as roadkill in the garden compost pile. The good news is that you can do it. Most dead animals can safely be composted …

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Bear Proof Composting: Is it Possible?

Composting in bear country is a unique experience. The possibility that you might go out one morning and find your compost tumbler torn open like a tin can is not an enjoyable one. An even less enjoyable prospect in would be to find a bear mid-rummage through your tumbler or pile when you’re headed out to it with a bucket of food scraps. While there’s not an easy solution, there are several things you can do to make you compost a bit more bear-proof. Or …

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Can You Compost Chicken Bones? (Yes, here’s how…)

When I first got into composting I wanted to throw everything I could find into our tumbler…and I did. I kept our “compost” moist, turned it regularly, and even put in a compost accelerator. It was about that time that I learned that just because something is “food-waste” and came out of my kitchen doesn’t mean it can be composted. Obviously. After my poorly thought out experiences (and a bunch of time sifting out the uncompostable stuff from our tumbler) I decided that, before adding …

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How big of a compost tumbler do I need?

I have a problem. When I start shopping for something, I keep looking at the next size up, the next price point, and the next quality level instead of sticking to my original plan. When I started shopping for compost tumblers, I first saw FCMP’s 37 Gallon Tumbler (the most popular backyard tumbler by far) – and within an hour I was looking at commercial tumblers that can produce tens of thousands of compost per month. Why? I don’t actually know. Which obviously leads to …

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