Steps for Backyard Composting

Written By Mehak Kashif

April 1, 2023

Backyard composting is a simple and effective way to turn household and yard waste into a valuable resource for your garden. Composting allows you to recycle organic material, reduce waste, and create a rich, nutrient-filled amendment that can improve your garden’s soil structure and fertility. 

Whether you have a small urban backyard or a large rural property, backyard composting is a sustainable and eco-friendly solution to managing waste. This guide will outline the essential steps for successful backyard composting. Stay tuned and learn step by step guide for backyard composting.

What does it composting mean?

Composting breaks down organic matter, such as yard waste and food scraps, into a nutrient-rich soil amendment called compost. During composting, microbes, such as bacteria and fungi, break down the organic material, transforming it into a dark, crumbly, and earthy-smelling substance that is high in nutrients and beneficial for plants. Composting is a natural, environmentally friendly way to reduce waste, create nutrient-rich soil for gardening, and improve soil structure.

Backyard Composting- [Easy step-by-step guide]

Here are the essential steps of backyard composting: Take your time to read the steps below and follow them to turn your backyard waste into compost.

Step 1- Choose a location

Select a sunny, well-drained spot for your compost bin or pile. It will help to turn the waste into compost quickly. A well-drained spot ensures your compost is safe from damages such as smell etc.

Step 2- Assemble materials 

Arrange for the essential materials for composting. Your composting will require a balance of carbon-rich “brown” materials (leaves, twigs, and paper) and nitrogen-rich “green” materials (fruit and vegetable scraps, grass clippings).

Step 3- Layer materials

Arrange for the alternate layers of brown and green materials for the compos. You must ensure that each layer is about 4-6 inches deep for better combustion of waste.

Step 4- Moisten the materials

It is a must to ensure that compost is moist but does not waterlog. A good rule of thumb is to moisten each layer as you add it. So the entire pile is as damp as a wrung-out sponge.

Step 5-Turn the pile

Regularly turn your compost pile with a garden fork to aerate it and help speed up the decomposition process.

Step 6-Monitor temperature 

A hot compost pile should reach temperatures between 131-170°F, killing harmful pathogens and weed seeds. So, during the composting process, ensure the temperature is never downs to 131 °F. 

Step 7- Maintain balance

If the compost starts to smell or becomes slimy, you may need to adjust the ratio of green to brown materials, add more air, or adjust the moisture level. So immediately check for the compost; if you feel the smell, make an essential adjustment.

Step 8- Harvest compost 

When the compost has cooled and has a rich, dark color, it’s ready to use. Spread it around your plants, or use it to amend garden soil.

Following these steps can quickly turn yard waste and kitchen scraps into valuable compost for your garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

What materials can be composted in the backyard?

You can include many things, such as yard waste, leaves, and grass clippings. You can also add food waste, such as fruit and vegetable scraps, for backyard composting.

How do I know compost is ready to use?

When the compost has cooled and has a rich, dark color, it is ready to be used. It should also have an earthy smell.

Is backyard composting better than municipal composting programs?

Backyard composting allows for more control over the materials used and the composting process. It makes it a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option.

Do I need a compost bin, or can I compost in a pile?

Either a compost bin or pile will work for backyard composting. But a bin can help control odors and pests and make turning the compost easier.


Backyard composting is an easy, sustainable, and cost-effective way to reduce waste and create valuable soil amendments for your garden. Following the essential steps outlined above can turn your household and yard waste into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. It will help to improve the health of your plants and garden. 

It is an easy and effective way to improve the environment and reduce your impact on the planet. So, start your composting project today and enjoy the benefits of rich, fertile soil for years to come.

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