How to Make the Most of Your Compost at Home

How to Make the Most of Your Compost at Home

An increasing number of cities and municipalities are collecting compostable materials. But did you know that you yourself could also make good use of this compost?

Composting is a natural process in which organic matter (fruit peels, eggshells, table scraps, etc.) is transformed into humus. This substance resembles soil and can be employed extensively in the yard.

The Benefits of Using Compost

The primary benefit of composting is that it reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill sites.

In landfills, organic waste releases nutrient-laden water which, as it runs off, picks up metals or chemical contaminants. It also produces greenhouse gases such as methane, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In short, if the proper conditions for composting are not present, the organic matter cannot turn into humus. This is why composting this type of material instead of sending it to the dump is so important.

In addition to being good for the planet, composting offers homeowners with yards several advantages:

  • It is an excellent lawn fertilizer
  • It enhances soil quality
  • It makes the soil more water and nutrient retentive
  • It improves drainage
  • It supports biodiversity in the garden
  • It adds nutrients to the soil and supports plant root development
  • It can also repel certain pests attracted by the garden’s flowers and vegetables

Moreover, because it is both a soil improver and fertilizer you won’t have to keep purchasing such items in stores, thus saving money!

Home Composting

Most homeowners opt to compost with a large bin placed outside, in their backyard. It is inconspicuous and, usually, doesn’t emit any odours. The only drawback is that the decomposition process of organic waste into humus is interrupted in winter because of the low temperatures. Quicker results can therefore be achieved with a container designed for indoor use.

There are attractive containers available for this purpose. Many people even leave them on their counter as part of the kitchen decor. This form of composting is called vermicomposting as it requires earthworms to break down the waste.

No matter the chosen method (an outdoor bin or an indoor container), the organic waste you can compost remains the same: skins, peels, raw or cooked fruits and vegetables, coffee, nutshells, dead leaves and plants, dried flowers.

To prevent the appearance of white grubs and a repulsive odour, don’t compost dairy and animal products. However, if you are composting with your city or municipal brown bin, you don’t have to worry about this kind of annoyance thanks to the regular collection schedule.

Maintaining you bin is straightforward: turn or mix its contents twice a month to ensure they are properly aerated. They must also be kept damp, but not soaking wet.  

How to Use It

Once the compost has developed an earthy smell, after approximately 12 months, it is ready to use in the garden. Ideally, you should prepare a mix comprising about 5 centimetres of compost for every 15 centimetres of soil you already have on hand in your garden. You can then spread this mix over your vegetable garden to increase your harvest.

This mix can likewise be employed in your planters and pots to keep your flowers and plants healthy. Compost can equally help them resist parasites and diseases. It can also be spread over your lawn to help it stay lush and green.


If you want to start composting at home, there are many websites offering step-by-step guidance in achieving a good mix. Once you have mastered the basics, composting will be a piece of cake!

RE/MAX Québec

By RE/MAX Québec

By RE/MAX Québec

A leader in the real estate industry since 1982, the RE/MAX network brings together the most efficient brokers.