Growing a greener garden is easy when you add your own homemade compost to the mix. Gardens Alive! can get you started with trusted, organic composting supplies. Give your garden a boost of essential nutrients by adding a layer of rich, dark compost. Our Gardener's Gold™ Premium Compost comes ready to spread on ornamental beds or edible gardens. We also offer all the composting tools you need to make your own compost from kitchen scraps and yard trimmings. Our compost bins and tumblers make the process cleaner and more efficient, and our Compost Alive!® Activator with Quick-Start™ helps to break down materials quickly for even faster results
Browse our selection of compost supplies and make whatever vegetable plants, fruit trees, or flowers you grow more beautiful and bountiful than ever before — without the use of chemicals and harmful additives.
Gardens Alive has decades of experience in organic gardening and has been one of the country's most successful mail-order gardening companies for the past 30 years. Beginning in the home of our founder and expert gardener, Niles Kinerk, Gardens Alive has been committed to offering the most effective and environmentally responsible gardening solutions since day one. We've spent many years learning and testing to find the most natural products that truly work and are never genetically modified. Learn how to begin composting below.
Getting started with composting is a lot easier than you may realize. You'll first need to decide which method of composting is right for you: kitchen composting, large-scale composting, worm composting, etc. Consider how much waste you generate and how much compost you want to produce, as well as the amount of space you have to store your composting supplies and the amount of money you want to invest.
Before we explore more of the how to compost, let's look at what composting is and why it's important.
Composting is the method of decomposing organic matter into simpler organic and inorganic compounds. Instead of simply disposing of certain waste materials, they can be recycled into nutrient-rich fertilizer. This fertilizer, or compost, can be used to enhance soil health and grow stronger, more vibrant and abundant plants.
Composting is a natural, environmentally friendly way to improve garden health. Instead of using chemical fertilizers that can actually harm plants or wildlife and disrupt soil pH levels, composting recycles waste that can reduce plant disease and pests while producing beneficial bacteria. It's safe, effective, cost-efficient, and sustainable.
Compost is made from two types of organics: "greens" and "browns." Greens are wet, nitrogen-rich materials and browns are typically dry, carbon-rich materials. This combination is needed to create quality compost. Greens can include vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, tea leaves, garden waste, fresh weeds, and grass clippings. Browns include waste like dry leaves, straw, woodchips, sawdust, twigs, and shredded, bleach-free paper. Eggshells, plain rice or pasta, bread, wool, and cotton can also be used.
The larger your composting pile, the more heat and moisture it will generate, which will speed up compost production. Proper ventilation and aeration for your pile will also generate compost more quickly. Including high amounts of waste from the "browns" list helps as well. Keep your compost pile properly moist, and mix it up every three to five weeks to distribute materials and oxygen throughout.
There are several routes to choose from regarding compost tools when you begin your composting journey, depending on how much time you want to dedicate to composting and what your goals are. Below are a few common composting supplies, all of which are offered by Gardens Alive.
A kitchen compost crock is ideal for those who want to try composting on a minimal level, as they're one of the simplest composting tools you can use. You can set the crock on a countertop for convenient composting of coffee grounds, eggshells, vegetable scraps, and more. Kitchen crocks don't hold very much material, but they're an easy, space-effective way to begin composting.
If you're seeking out composting because you want to increase soil health and plant growth around your garden, bagged compost is a great option. Quality compost can take a while to produce, but Gardens Alive's bagged compost shows up at your door ready for use and full of the best plant-based fertilizer.
Worms are an ally to composters. A worm composting system is an easy way to recycle food wastes and paper scraps. Red worms, the type of worms used for composting, break down plant fibers and turn them into nutrient-rich compost, which can then be used to add nourishment to soil. Worm-based composting supplies can be used indoors or outdoors, so they're great for apartment dwellers.
Large compost bins allow you to generate large volumes of compost. Keep one in or near your garden for easy transporting where compost is needed. A bin that allows for airflow and worms and other microorganisms to enter helps to speed up composting so you can see results quicker.
A barrel design allows you to wheel your compost bin where you need it. Garden Alive's Rapid Blend™ barrel-style composter includes built-in mixing fins to break up large chunks and circulate materials. The easy-open lid also helps you remove the compost without any hassle.
Your primary compost tool will be your compost bin. If your composting bin is going to be kept outside, ideally you'll want to keep it in a sunny or at least partly sunny spot. Your compost bin will need air, which not only reduces odor but also helps your compost to mature more quickly.
You'll also want it to include moisture to maintain the right environment in your bin. The microorganisms in your compost need some moisture to survive, but not so much that they drown. If you take a handful of your compost and squeeze it, your hand should be a bit damp and a few drops of water may drain out. This is the ideal moisture content. The materials you put in your compost bin will add moisture, but you may need to add a bit of water to reach the desired saturation. If your compost bin does not have a lid, you'll want to cover it during rainfall. If you plan to compost with worms, the amount of moisture you need to add will differ a bit, so be sure to consult with the recommendations provided with your system.Back to Top