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Compost Guide

What Is Compost?

Compost  is an earthy, brown mixture rich in nutrients that you can use to fertilize household plants, enrich the soil of your garden or lawn and prevent erosion.  As the end product of decomposed kitchen and garden waste, compost is part of the natural cycle of life that you can experience in your backyard.

Compost isn’t something humans came up with, but a natural process that happens all over and all of the time. In forests, for example, leaves fall to the ground and mix with other organic material to decompose over time.  Worms, fungi and millions of microorganisms together break down this material into what we call compost.  This compost contains all the nutrients from the decomposed material to enrich the soil for living plants, grass and trees.  Composting in our backyard, aside from having to distribute it by hand, duplicates this process in a much more efficient manner.  

When composting at home the most important thing to understand is the combination of the right ingredients and time. 
This time can be significantly reduced through the use of a compost tumbler and other composting equipment.  
In order to effectively compost, you need to mix oxygen with both brown and green material.  Brown material is high in carbon while green material is high in nitrogen.  The carbon-to-nitrogen ratio depends upon the proportions and types of waste that you use, as well as your local weather conditions, temperature and moisture.  Below are some examples of nitrogen and carbon wastes:


Fruits and Vegetables

Wood pellets

Grass Clippings


Coffee grounds





Shredded Paper


Corn cobs

We usually recommend using 10% wood pellets (carbon) to the amount of kitchen waste you put into the tumbler.

As you can see from this table, kitchen waste is filled with nitrogen, which means when you are composting at home you need to add carbon such as leaves, sawdust or wood pellets.  We recommend wood pellets because it is a high source of carbon and it absorbs moisture better than any other material.  Picture three cups of water.  Put sawdust in one, leaves in the second and wood pellets in the third.  Which one absorbs the most water?  It’s very important to know the absorption properties of your carbon source to assure you have the space in your tumbler.  Oxygen, the final ingredient, enters through the ventilation holes of the tumbler when it is turned. This gives the waste mixture a good proportion of oxygen.

​Once the materials have been mixed, millions of microorganisms start to break down the waste to convert it into nutritious compost soil. Microorganisms will work at different temperatures, from 35 degrees Fahrenheit to 170 degrees. The higher the temperature the more hygienic the composting becomes.  It is important to get a composter that helps create heat so that you won't experience flies and unpleasant odors. 

When you compost at home, liquid can drip from your compost tumbler.  For some, this is annoying and the solution is to pour wood pellets into the tumbler. The liquid that comes out is called “compost tea,” and many companies sell this as a fertilizer.  You can place a tray underneath your compost tumbler to collect it and distribute it in your garden.

Why Should You Compost?

For your garden, and for the environment!

By gathering your garden and kitchen trash you can compost the material into a rich and nutritious fertilizer while reducing household wastes that go to the landfills.

It’s Great for Your Garden!

Compost soil is great for your garden because it has all the essential nutrients that your plants, flowers and lawn need to grow. Not only will you experience faster growing periods, but you will also see a brighter color in your plants.

Compost soil will not only give plant the right nutrition to grow, but will provide nutrients over

time that will help your plants in the long run instead of store-bought fertilizer that only meets

their immediate needs.  This way, you don’t need to keep giving your plants fertilizer since the

compost soil will provide what they need for weeks and even months. Compost also improves

your soils structure, which enables it to take in the right amount of water, nutrients and oxygen. 

It’s Great for the Environment!

It's not hard to understand why we need to start and keep composting in America as well the
of the world. Each person who composts on a daily basis can reduce the size of our landfills

significantly.  The average American produces 4.3 pounds of waste per day.  Twenty-six percent

of this waste is being sent to landfills, which we could easily compost at our homes.  These

numbers do not include meat and bones from kitchen waste, which you can also compost in 

a Jora Composter because it creates high heat. Decaying waste in landfills produces greenhouse gases such as methane, but if your waste is being composted in a tumbler at home or work, the waste decays with oxygen, producing carbon dioxide instead of methane.

How to Compost

There are many options for composting; you can choose compost bins, a compost pile, or a compost tumbler. You may also choose to compost with or without worms. 

Choosing a compost tumbler is a great choice if you like the convenience of getting nutritious compost soil without the fuss and mess of dealing with a compost pile. With today’s compost tumblers it's as easy as taking out the trash. You can buy biodegradable corn bags for composting, and these bags will decay with the rest of your kitchen waste inside the tumbler. You no longer need to get your hands dirty because it’s as simple as throwing your trash away!

Things to Consider When Composting    

Even though it’s easy to compost there are things to consider before you begin. 


The location of your compost tumbler is important because you are going to fill it up on a daily basis.  You don’t want it to be a hassle to compost.  Although the Jora Composter is visually attractive, most people want to hide their compost tumbler.  Some people put their tumblers next to the trash cans on their property to simplify waste disposal, while others like to put it near their garden or hide it under a bush or roof.  The best solution is whatever works for you - put your Jora Composter somewhere that you are sure to use it! 

Consider choosing dual chamber compost

No matter what you choose to use for composting you should use dual chamber.

With two chambers you never need to stop composting while you’re waiting for the waste to decompose. While the waste is decaying in one of the compartments you fill up the other one. When that chamber is full the other compartment is ready to be emptied. This way you can maintain your daily composting.

Useful tools

You really don't need to buy a bunch of tools to get started with your compost tumbler. The tumbler mixes materials easily.  Simply turn the tumbler and you mix the compost inside with new kitchen waste. This is a great advantage compared to a compost pile or bin that needs to be mixed by hand to circulate the oxygen. 

The only tool you might need is a small hand fork or a hand shovel to clear the air holes or smash some lumps in the tumbler.  These tools can also come in handy when emptying the tumbler. In addition, a wheelbarrow or a large bucket is useful when you want to empty the tumbler to distribute the compost soil throughout your garden or lawn.