Making Your Own Organic Compost

12 Months

This is our third season to have our raised bed gardens. We decided the first year we built them that we should be composting so that each season we would have nice soil for our veggies. This year, we are using our very own homegrown compost in our gardens!
This organic compost was made over a planting season's time. This is our first try at making our own compost and we think it turned out awesome! It looks very lovely as dirt goes. Ha, ha!
My honey did all the research and decided to use this old trough we had for our compost. It may be a bit too large for what we are doing, but hey, it worked for us just fine! I failed to snap a picture of the cover he uses, but its just a hinged (in the center) piece of plywood that he cover in plastic to help guard it a bit from the elements. He hinged the cover so it would be easy access for adding our saved organics, stirring and watering.
This is our yield for saving all of our kitchen organics plus some yard trimmings from one season to the next. One wheel barrow full, and its a large wheel barrow too! Here's a list of things we save and add to our bin:
Vegetable trimmings or peels
Fruit trimmings or peels
Coffee grounds (including the filter)
Tea bags (I remove the staples from the tags)
Paper towel rolls
Toilet paper rolls
Dried leaves
Small tree or bush trimmings from the yard
In case you're interested, I use a Rachael Ray Garbage Bowl to save all my kitchen organics in. I got mine at Walmart. We do not put any cooked food in our compost, that's just a preference of ours.
Also, we live in Texas, so it's neccesary to water your compost in the summer here. Like now in the Spring, if we know its going to rain, we just open one end of our bin and let it rain in. Make sure your bin has drain holes, because too much water is not good either. If its not the rainy season, we water and then stir about once per week or when it needs it.
We have four raised bed garden sections and my honey added a little of the compost to each bed and then thoroughly mixed it in. Some beds still needed more soil, so this year we added Miracle Grow's Gard Soil because it was on sale at Lowe's. Bargain!!
See that luscious green stuff there on the right? That's our cilantro. Once you plant it you have it forever! It really needs no help at all to keep going! There were even a few plants growing in the rocked area, so I pulled those up and put them back in their correct spot. Even though they looked wilted the day I transplanted them, they are perfectly fine now!
This is our tomato and pepper section. We planted the marigolds in the center isle to help keep bugs away! Just a tip I learned from Pinterest!
We use a soaker hose system that my honey hooked up so that all four beds are fed by one connection. We have this hose connected to our condensate water collector that you can read about HERE:
This view is all four beds. You can see the water hose hooked up to the PVC line that feeds all the connected soaker hose. He's pretty smart that honey bun of mine!
Do you compost? If so, do you have any good tips for us? Please leave a comment.

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Felicia Grant
    on Apr 26, 2019

    can you put oatmeal in compost uncook I have a big jar I got from the store didnt like how it cook down but can I just put the whole thing in there and yes its not cook yet lol

    • DeeDee
      on Apr 27, 2019

      Hi Felicia! Yes, you can put uncooked food like oatmeal in there! :)

Join the conversation

4 of 21 comments
  • Roger Crawford
    on May 9, 2017

    I, too, am from Texas and am into the raised beds. One of my son's gave me a worm farm so I could raise my own bait now that we live on a lake. My composting has taken on a new hobby and I don't have to wait long for the kitchen and yard scraps to be broken down. You would be amazed at how fast the worms break everything down. I had to make arrangements with a local hamburger joint to get their kitchen scraps, including egg shells, to keep the worms fed. The worm farms has several layers that you rotate out. I don't sell my worms, but could, as they multiply quickly. There is a catch basin at the bottom to catch juices produced by the worms. This fluid is concentrated fertilizer you can use on houseplants or in you garden. I recently bought some composted soil at Wal-Mart that is produced from food scraps and other organic materials. I don't remember the name, but it wasn't a Miracle Grow product. I used it as a soil enhancement around some fruit trees. I came back two weeks later and dug next to one of the trees and it was packed with large earth worms that had sought out the rich ingredients. The raised beds with this soil are going crazy, so if you don't have composted soil to start your bed this year, I would highly recommend this product. Lowe's had it as well. Comes in a purple bag in 1.5 cu. ft. size. If you need the product name, let me know. Roger, Scroggins, TX.
    • DeeDee
      on May 9, 2017

      Roger, that is awesome! Good to know for sure! Yes, please, if you have the name of the soil I'd love to have it so I can search it out. Sounds great! Thanks so much for the information!

  • Roger Crawford
    on May 11, 2017

    Hi Dee Dee. The brand is "ecoscraps". The 1.5 cu. ft. bag is purple in color and is for raised garden beds. I have also seen it at Lowe's. Just picked our first green beans and had forgotten how good fresh beans taste. The granddaughters said they didn't like beans, but I got them to try anyways. Now they are hooked on Gradpa's beans.
    • DeeDee
      on May 12, 2017

      Aww, that's awesome Roger! We will look at our local Lowe's to see if they carry it, thanks o much for responding! Happy gardening!

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