What do I do to make a compost bin?

I have a plastic bin about 3 ft high and 3 ft. high. I am saving food scraps from the house and adding some leaves. Do I add anything to this like dirt, grass clippings? Does it need to be turned from time to time?

  7 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Oct 17, 2017
  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Oct 17, 2017
    You need to have both green and brown, green being grass clippings and such, brown would be leaves and such. Food scraps are good, just no meat and I would avoid milk type products. It is just easier to use fruit and vegetable scraps. You need to water and turn the matter occasionally for good break down from the heat generated inside the pile. You can look up composting for any other things you may want to add.
    • Rosemarie Fe Rosemarie Fe on Oct 17, 2017
      Thanks for taking the time to answer this. I'm hoping for some nice compost next spring. Is it difficult to turn this in the winter?
  • Ken Ken on Oct 17, 2017
    One more thing to add; the bottom should be open to the ground. Earth worms are just the best but you cannot get them into your compost unless they can come up from the soil. Another thing. Okay, I lied. If it starts to be too stinky, increase brown matter, like leaves. Your household stuff is the green matter. I have found that a bag of grass clippings, if you don't have leaves and do not use pest or herbicides on your lawn, will also serve the role of brown matter.
  • 27524803 27524803 on Oct 17, 2017
    Like she said.... things like coffee grounds, egg shells, tea bags are good in your compost... but NEVER put in dog or cat poop... their foods are based on meat... we add our horses and chicken manure too... it needs to be turned over and mixed up at least every week or two.
    Keep an eye out for "volunteer" plants like tomatoes... (we have had some great tomatoes from some of them )
    • Rosemarie Fe Rosemarie Fe on Oct 17, 2017
      Thanks for taking the time to answer this. Looking forward to some nice compost next spring. Is it hard to turn this in the winter?
  • Flipturn Flipturn on Oct 17, 2017
    You are in Saint Paul? Yes, it will be very hard, with a "normal" MN winter, it will probably freeze solid. Depending on where you have the composter, you might even have too much snow to make it worthwhile to try to maintain in the deep of the winter. This physical commitment decision is totally yours.

    Reread everyone's tips; they are all sound. With spring thaw you can start building it up and working it again. Depending on how early the freeze comes to you there, you might not get too much actual rich compost to put on your spring planting in 2018 as it usually takes a full year to really get organic. However, the next year should be rewarding.
  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Oct 17, 2017
    They are not allowed in our neighborhood, so I don't know, but with the heat it generates with the break down of the matter, I wouldn't think so. You may want to cover it with something to keep the snow off if possible so that you can turn it. I have a corner in my garden that I keep a pile of shredded leaves and grass in that gets covered by my squash and nobody sees it. By spring it is ready to be tilled in and nobody is the wiser.
  • 27524803 27524803 on Oct 17, 2017
    I really cannot say... we live in Phoenix, AZ