Gardeners know good compost is more valuable than gold. Some gardeners call rich compost black gold. All of this praise is for a good reason, compost is very important to the growth and health of your garden. Regardless if you grow vegetables, flowers or shrubs, this organic mixture will benefit the plants in your yard and garden.

If you are new to gardening with compost, you may be overwhelmed with all of the choices available for various types of systems. All compost systems use basically the same method of decomposing leaves, vegetable and fruit scraps, grass, coffee grinds, tea bags etc for the purpose of using those important and beneficial nutrients for your plants. The differences are based more on aesthetics and the laws and ordinances of the city you live in. Some cities or towns won't allow open compost piles or open bins within a certain distance from you house or your neighbors' house because open compost piles and bins can attract unwanted rodents or other nuisance animals and insects. Check all local laws and ordinances when choosing a composting system.

The Most Basic Compost-System:

The most basic compost-system is simply a pile. A compost pile is exactly what the name infers. It is a pile on the ground where you throw your composting materials. Compost-piles need to be situated far from your house because they will attract unwanted animals and bugs. An open composting pile will also have a none too pleasant odor especially on a hot day.

Compost-Pit or Compost-Trench:

A compost pit or trench is also a very basic method of composting. Again, this needs to be far from your house. To use the hole or trench method of composting, dig a large hole or long fairly shallow trench and throw your compostables into the hole or trench.


There are many type of compost bins available to buy in home improvement stores, garden centers, hardware stores and online. These composting bins can be as inexpensive as a plastic garbage can or plastic storage container to the very expensive custom concrete poured in ground compost bins with large metal lids and everything in between. There are  bins that look like garbage cans mounted on a tripod with a handle so you can easily turn your compost pile. If you are actually going to spend money on a composting bin, this is a great one, but if you use a plastic garbage can with a tight fitting lid, you can just as easily roll the garbage can on its side to toss your compostables.

The bottom line is composting has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years, no special systems are required to make your garden happy.