A Guide to Low Maintenance Composting: Top Tips & Methods

A small kitchen compost bin beside vegetable scraps

Do you feel intimidated at the idea of learning how to compost? Worried that you don’t have enough time, energy, or space to begin composting your kitchen scraps? If so, we have good news for you. Composting doesn’t have to be a stressful or drawn-out experience. As you learn the basics of composting for beginners, you’ll discover plenty of low maintenance compost bins and tips that will help speed up the decomposition process.

So, how long does composting take? The answer depends on what composting method and bin you choose. If you choose the right combination, you can build a compost pile that’s low maintenance, healthy, and efficient. To help you get started, here are the informative topics we’ll be covering in the guide below:


Before we get into detail about compost pile maintenance, tips, and products, let’s explore a question most people have on their minds before they start composting. 


Is composting hard?

Composting can be hard, but it can also be simple with the right approach. To make composting easy, you must choose an efficient method. You’ll also need a year-round, indoor bin that requires little interference. That said, adding compost activators, heat, or moisture when necessary will speed things up.

If you’re new to making compost and don’t know about all the different ways of going about it, check out our top methods for reducing compost pile maintenance below!


 


 

Top 4 methods to reduce compost pile maintenance

Wondering how to speed up composting with minimal effort? Once you know what methods are the most straightforward, you can purchase the proper compost bin that’s simple and efficient. To help you find the right fit for your lifestyle, let’s explore 4 composting methods that help reduce compost pile maintenance. 


1. Tumbler Composting

A Miracle Gro dual chamber compost tumbler
Image Credit: Amazon

Tumble composting involves the use of a tumbler, which is essentially an outdoor compost bin that can rotate. To use a tumbler, you pour your yard waste and food waste into the bin’s compartment. You then rotate the compartment about twice a week to allow oxygen, moisture, and nutrients to be evenly distributed throughout the large pile. The ability to turn your compost so easily will speed up the decomposition process and it requires less effort than if you had to turn it with a shovel or pitchfork.

It should be noted, however, that tumble composting is not the easiest method on this list. This approach requires very little in the form of physical exertion, but you do have to go outdoors to turn the crank somewhat regularly. You’ll also need to make sure you maintain a proper balance of green materials and brown materials, which isn’t as important with some products. Still, tumble composting is a very efficient method if you intend on creating compost outdoors.

Why this method is great

Where this method falls short

  • It produces minimal odors
  • The crank makes the pile easy to turn
  • It can keep out rodents
  • It requires sufficient outdoor space 
  • It’s too hot an environment for worms

2. Electric Composting

Lomi composter filled with vegetable scraps

Electric composting is the fastest method there is. Electric compost bins like Lomi can break down organic matter within a day. This is a far cry from other low-effort methods that take days or weeks to produce garden-ready soil. Electric devices work so much faster because they use an anaerobic composting process and can add oxygen, heat, and moisture as necessary to speed things up.

Most electric composting devices are compact enough to be kept on a kitchen counter, so you can use them year-round. Once you’re done cooking, you can just scrape all of your leftovers into the device, turn it on, and move on with your day. Can’t decide between different brands? It always helps to read reviews and hear from customers.

Why this method is great

Where this method falls short

  • It’s simple one-button interface is exceptionally user-friendly
  • It can break down material that other compost bins can’t (like meat and bones)
  • It doesn’t require a lot of space
  • It doesn’t attract pests
  • It’s better suited to large families than small households.
  • The best brands sell out quickly

 

Lomi by Pela

Lomi

★★★★★

Lomi allows you to turn food waste into plant-ready nutrients in under 24 hours. Boost your plants while reducing your waste.


 

3. Aerobic Composting

A woman scraping waste into indoor compost bin

If you want an easy way of how to compost at home, aerobic composting is a great choice. This method involves the use of oxygen to decompose organic materials. The microorganisms that turn kitchen and garden waste into finished compost need oxygen to thrive. This is why a compost pile in a tumbler needs to be turned regularly.

Of course, you can use the aerobic method inside without the use of a tumbler. All you need is a well-ventilated bucket of some sort. This method is one of the easiest and most affordable methods, but it’s not one of the fastest. If you produce large amounts of organic waste, so you may want to consider having a larger pile outdoors to dump the bucket into after a week or so.

Why this method is great

Where this method falls short

  • It doesn’t take up much space
  • It’s very affordable
  • You don’t need a back yard
  • It takes some time for waste to break down
  • May give off an odor

4. Vermicomposting

A person with a handful of worms in soil

Vermicomposting is the use of worms, namely red wigglers, to decompose yard waste and food scraps. Worms will quickly consume scraps when added to a pile of organic material. These scraps are then converted into compost as they pass through the worm.

Before you start composting using this method, however, make sure you’re using something  that’s well-ventilated. Like all living things, worms require oxygen to survive. You’ll also want to bring the compost bin inside during the colder months. This is a fantastic method of composting in spring, summer, and fall, but winter’s low temperatures could be fatal for the worms.

Why this method is great

Where this method falls short

  • It’s faster than most methods
  • There’s little to no odor if done correctly
  • It’s unsuitable for large amounts of waste
  • The bin may need to be brought indoors during the colder months

 


 

8 tips for fast compost with little effort

A large garden filled with healthy green plants

Do you want to create fresh compost quick? No matter what method you choose, there are proven ways to speed up the decomposition process. Here are several tips that will help you produce compost fast with little effort.

  1. Turn your compost: Turning your compost is one of the most effective ways to create healthy fertilizer faster. By turning your pile, you’re introducing more oxygen into the mix to aid the process.
  2. Add red wrigglers: Did you know red wiggles can eat their weight in waste in a single day? Adding a few of them into your well-ventilated compost bin is sure to help move things along.
  3. Balance green and brown materials: To create fresh compost faster, you’ll need to maintain a proper carbon to nitrogen ratio using brown and green scraps. This includes grass clippings and tea bags for the latter and dry leaves and pine needles for the former.
  4. Use a hot water bottle: Heat can help waste decompose faster. If you don’t live in a hot climate, you can just add a bottle filled with hot water to the compost pile.
  5. Purchase a compost activator: You can purchase a compost activator to help your compost heap break down waste faster. You can use a DIY recipe to create your own activator or buy some online or in gardening stores.
  6. Maintain proper moisture: An easy way to create fast compost is to ensure that your compost isn’t too dry or too wet. Simply add dry materials to wet piles and water to dry piles. 
  7. Chop up scraps: You should always be chopping, dicing, and slicing your kitchen waste before adding it to your compost pile. What better way to speed up the break down of your food scraps than by actively breaking it down yourself?
  8. Learn what to compost: Taking even a few minutes to learn what to compost is key to maintaining a healthy compost pile. Adding things like meat could attract rodents and create long-term issues. 

The 4 best low maintenance compost bins

The key to creating compost with little effort lies largely with your choice of compost bin. Some products require a lot of time, energy, and learning to be used properly. There are alternatives, however, that are specifically designed to be user-friendly and straightforward. To help you make an informed decision, here are a few of the best kitchen compost bins on the market. 


1. Lomi

A lomi electric composter filled with kitchen waste

If you’re looking for a simple, easy to use, low maintenance bin, then you’ll adore Lomi. Unlike traditional bins, Lomi can create nutrient-rich soil in a matter of hours. So, how exactly is this possible? Lomi can provide everything your food waste needs to break down quickly, including heat, moisture, and aeration. This allows the device to break down waste significantly faster than other options.

A major benefit of using Lomi is its compact design. Lomi is countertop-friendly, meaning you can place it in your kitchen next to your other appliances. Another notable advantage Lomi has over other products is that it can break down waste that others can’t, like meat and bones. You can just scrape all your food waste into one place, turn on the device, and forget about it.

Price: $499 | Shop from Pela

Perfect for: Gardeners who want a consistent supply of nutrient-rich dirt for their plants. It’s also fantastic for people living in apartments who want a simple compost solution. 


2. Bokashi Bin

Someone opening a bokashi bin lid
Image Credit: Bokashi

The Bokashi is considered one of the best compost bins out there - and for good reason! The Bokashi has been carefully designed to make composting easier than ever. Unlike many indoor compost products, the Bokashi breaks down organic waste through an anaerobic composting process. That’s why each Bokashi comes with an air-tight lid to keep oxygen out.

The standard Bokashi can be filled with 20 liters of food waste, which is enough for about 2 weeks of food for one family. By using an anaerobic process, the Bokashi can break down this much waste in just a few weeks. This can be hastened by adding some Bokashi bran compost activator into the mix. Like with Lomi, all you really have to do is scrape your waste into it and wait!

Price: $75-$95 USD (starter kit) | Shop from bokashi living

Perfect for: Families that need an indoor method that’s straightforward and relatively low cost.


3. Bamboozle Composter

Bamboozle bin on kitchen counter with food waste
Image Credit: Amazon

The Bamboozle Composter is another effective and easy-to-use compost bin. It’s small enough to sit on your kitchen counter and has a filtered lid to prevent excessive odors. Its bamboo handle makes it easy to transport from place to place. This is an important addition, as the Bamboozle bin is meant to be emptied into a larger pile outdoors. This sets it apart from both Lomi and the Bokashi bin, which create usable soil on their own.

A key feature that distinguishes Bamboozle’s products from other compost bins is that it’s non-plastic. This dishwasher safe bin is made from biodegradable bamboo fiber. This makes it more eco-friendly than most options and very visually appealing as well. Like the two aforementioned products, the Bamboozle solution can be used for coffee grounds, tea bags, plants, and other organic matter.

Price: $40 USD | Shop from Bamboozle

Perfect for: People who don’t have gardens and simply want somewhere to contain scraps before transporting them into an outdoor bin or community garden. 


4. The Essential Living Composter

A black essential living vermicomposter indoors
Image Credit: Amazon

The Essential Living Composter makes vermicomposting easier than ever. Each unit is carefully designed to help worms thrive, with a moisture control water retention channel, 360-degree airflow, and 52 migration tunnels. The tunnels allow them to travel between the trays, which helps prevent parts of your yard waste or food scraps from being neglected.

If you’re interested in vermicomposting, investing in a product like this is a wise choice. Trying to create your own bin can lead to problems if you don’t know how to manage the moisture or ventilate it properly. By opting for Essential Living’s product instead, you get a durably constructed new bin that’s safe for red worms and can be used to create compost year-round.

Price: $82.49 USD | Shop from Amazon

Perfect for: Gardeners interested in creating healthy finished compost quickly and with minimal effort. It’s size and attractive design make it suitable for small apartments.


What is the most low maintenance way to compost?

One of the most low maintenance ways to compost is using an electric composter. They’re efficient, compact, and create finished compost on their own. That said, the right method could be different for each person based on a few factors. This includes where they live, their budget, and how much organic waste they produce.

If you select the right method and bin for your preferred lifestyle, you’ll have no trouble producing compost with little effort!

Now that you know how to easily make compost, you can begin enjoying the benefits of composting without all the effort! The methods discussed above are far from time-consuming. Instead, they allow you to save your waste from being dumped into a landfill with little to no physical exertion. If electric composting sounds like your kind of thing, then order your Lomi today. But even you opt for worm or hot composting, you’ll still be a step closer to having an entirely zero-waste kitchen.


Written by: E Sawden