Bloom Blog

October 23 - 3 min read

Composting 101: How to Get Started

Composting 101: How to Get Started

Did you know that every year, each Saskatchewan resident generates an average of 842kg of waste? That's the second highest amount per capita in Canada! Composting is one of the easiest ways to decrease the amount of garbage we make. 

Composting doesn’t have to be complicated. In its most simple form, composting means breaking down food and yard waste into a useful soil amendment. Over the past year, we’ve partnered with local Soil Scientist Ashley from @gardeningincanada to share some helpful tips so you can get started yourself! 

Choose a Compost Bin or Pile: 

  • Select a suitable location for your compost bin or pile. It can be in your backyard, garden, or even on a balcony if you're using a smaller composting system. 

  • Most residential homes have a small compost bin in the kitchen under the sink to catch food waste throughout the day, and then empty these scraps into the larger outdoor bin every few days. 

  • There are a variety of options for outdoor compost bins. Continuous composters are enclosed bins made to handle materials such as kitchen scraps or yard waste, composting slowly over time. These are great for larger spaces like your backyard. Batch composters use a tumbling motion which efficiently turns the materials into compost. This option can be a quicker way to compost and is great for your yard or deck.  

Collect Brown and Green Materials: 

  • Brown materials: These are organic materials that are rich in carbon. These materials provide structure to the compost pile and help create a balanced environment for the microorganisms responsible for breaking down organic matter. They are usually dry and include items like dried leaves, twigs, paper towels, napkins, straw, shredded cardboard, and newspaper. 

  • Green materials: In composting, "green materials" refer to organic materials that are rich in nitrogen. These materials provide essential nutrients for the microorganisms responsible for breaking down organic matter in the compost pile. Green materials are typically fresh, moist, and include items such as fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, weeds, green leaves and grass clippings. 

Maintain the Right Balance: 

  • Aim for a balanced mix of brown and green materials. The ideal ratio is generally considered to be about 3 parts brown to 1 part green. 

  • The "lasagna method" in composting, also known as "layer composting," involves creating compost by layering different types of organic materials in a specific order. This method mimics the layering of ingredients in a lasagna, hence the name. The lasagna method is a simple and effective way to build a compost pile without the need for turning or frequent mixing. 

Chop or Shred Materials: 

  • Smaller pieces decompose faster. Chop or shred larger items like branches or cardboard to speed up the composting process. 

Moisture Level: 

  • Your compost pile should be moist but not waterlogged. If it's too dry, add water; if it's too wet, add more brown materials. 

Turn the Compost: 

  • Regularly turning or aerating the compost helps speed up decomposition and ensures that all parts of the pile receive oxygen. You can use a pitchfork or compost turner for this. 

  • If you’re using the lasagna method, you shouldn’t need to turn your compost. 


  • Composting is a natural process, and it takes time. It can range from a few weeks to several months for compost to be ready, depending on factors like the size of the pile, materials used, and environmental conditions. 

Odor and Pest Management: 

  • Avoid adding meat, dairy, or oily items to your compost, as they can attract pests and create unpleasant odors. If you're composting kitchen scraps, consider using a closed compost bin to minimize odors and keep pests out. 

Use Finished Compost: 

  • Once your compost is dark, crumbly, and has an earthy smell, it's ready to use. You can mix it into garden soil, use it as mulch, or add it to potted plants for added nutrients. 


One of the most compelling reasons for us to compost is to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. When organic waste decomposes in landfills, it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. By composting organic materials instead, we significantly reduce methane emissions, helping to combat global warming and its associated environmental impacts. 

Composting transforms kitchen scraps, yard waste, and other organic materials into nutrient-rich compost. This "black gold" serves as a natural fertilizer, closing the nutrient loop and reducing our reliance on synthetic fertilizers. By returning essential nutrients to the soil, compost enhances agricultural productivity, promotes healthy plant growth, and fosters more sustainable farming practices. 

Are you ready to Lüm?