7 Mistakes To Avoid With Compost

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 09:04 pm

Composteur: pour le jardin, balcon, cuisine. Comment faire un composteur? -  e-jardins

Do’s and Don’ts of Compost

Composting is a good way to get natural nutrients to mix with garden soil for beautiful plants, flowers and shrubs. But to get compost that makes an excellent fertilizer, it is important not to do just anything under any conditions. To help you see more clearly and to obtain a quality compost at home, here are the mistakes to avoid with compost.

7 Mistakes To Avoid With Compost

Mistake #1: setting up the composter too close to your house
Mistake #2: Composting without thinking about your neighborhood
Mistake #3: placing your compost in a bowl
Mistake #4 : letting pets in
Mistake #6 : composting weeds
Mistake #7 : placing your compost in the open air

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Mistake n°1: installing the composter too close to your home

The right place to install your compost bin when you are lucky enough to have a garden? Close enough to your house so that you can easily access it… But be careful, not too close either! Indeed, in case of hot weather, the smell of decomposition emanating from your fruit and vegetable peels can sometimes be very unpleasant.

So place your compost in a strategic location, and if you think big, in an area that you can easily reach with your wheelbarrow! Compost should be placed in the shade and out of the wind, especially if you do not have a bin.

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Mistake #2: Composting without thinking about your neighborhood

To maintain good relations with your neighbors, never place the composter on your property line. Remember that your neighbors don’t have to like the sight and smell of it. Just as you do for yourself, spare them!

Mistake n°3 : placing your compost in a bowl

Beware also of basins that may fill with water in case of a storm or heavy rain. This water will quickly become stagnant, which will result in the rotting of waste and the proliferation of flies and various insects in your composting area.

Mistake #4: Letting pets in

If you have pets at home or live in the country, you should compost in a bin. Indeed, a compost heap in the open air would be at the disposal of the animals of the household but also of the rodents which can possibly be attracted by the kitchen remains.

Moreover, exposed to rain, wind, sun and cold, your compost will have difficulty decomposing properly and the process will take longer. It usually takes six months to a year to get usable compost!

Mistake #5: composting anything and everything…

Plastic, synthetics, the contents of a vacuum cleaner bag, newspapers and magazines with varnished or laminated covers, treated wood waste do not degrade or are not suitable for your compost. They are to be avoided absolutely. The same goes for cat litter, which is not always 100% biodegradable.

On the other hand, it’s a “yes” for: fruit and vegetable peelings, wilted flowers, coffee grounds, tea bags, grass clippings, fruit and vegetable cores and remains (tops, stalks, etc.), crushed bark, fresh or dried leaves and flowers…

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Mistake n°6 : composting weeds

For example, weeds with their seeds, perennial weeds such as bindweed or thistles with their roots that could come back to life, residues of diseased plants as well as all the various plant waste that could contain treatment products.

Mistake #7: improperly placing your compost in the open air

If you don’t place it in a bin, the compost pile should be placed on the ground to facilitate colonization by micro-organisms and worms. If you place the compost in an airtight box, it will rot and develop very unpleasant odors.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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