Composting for Small Spaces: A Presentation with Diana Liga

Small Scale Composting; A Presentation with Diana Liga!

Small Scale Composting is presented in partnership with the City of Houston to promote sustainable and green practices!

This presentation is for the backyard and community gardener. Composting is a method to recycle vegetable and yard waste into rich organic matter to feed your yard and garden plants.  Composting requires the presence of 4 components

  1. Organic waste (ex. Newspaper, fruits, vegetables)
    Organic waste falls into two categories 
    • Ratio of – 1/3 Green Nitrogen Component – The kitchen scraps, grass clippings, green leaves, fresh and green. 
    • Ratio of 2/3  Brown Carbon Material – Brown leaves, cardboard, straw or hay. 
  2. Decomposing microorganisms (from soil)
  3. Water
  4. Oxygen

Getting Started​

To begin, you want to pick a site that is downwind from your house to keep odors away and has sufficient drainage to prevent water from accumulating.There are two primary types of composting:

  • Passive: Items are basically thrown in a heap. Requires little attention, but is usually messy and attracts animals. Also takes longer to decompose.
  • Active: Items are put in a structure which is rotated daily to keep the soil saturated with oxygen. This type of composition is much more contained and efficient but takes a little more effort
  • What can you compost?

    • Kitchen waste: Produce trimmings, Coffee grounds, Tea bags, and any vegetable matter.
    • Yard and garden waste: Grass clippings, Dead leaves, Straw, and Sawdust

Methodology

  1. Collect your compostable material and add it into your bin/pile
  2. You can add to the heap every day until the pile or bin is full. Then, STOP. Do not add more material. 
  3. Keep moist. In the meantime, while following steps 4-6 on this pile. Start another pile for new materials
  4. Rotate your compost pile daily if you have a bin. If you have a pile, use a shovel every month to stir the soil around.
  5. When you don’t see any more recognizable material in the compost, it’s time to harvest. 
  6.  Harvest by digging in and remove rich compost from bottom of the pile.
  7. You may use a screen to remove larger sticks and branches to add back to the new compost pile. 
  8. Spread your humus onto your garden beds.

Learn More in our Composting Sustainable Living Guide.
Plus! Other ways to participate in and around Houston.

Tips:

  • Break down your composting material into smaller pieces. It will take way less time to decompose. 
  • Use enough soil in your compost. The soil you add provides the microorganisms which drive the composting process.

For more classes, see our Classes page

Find us below at our upcoming Mobile Market events for fresh affordable local food.