Composting in the desert is a must if you are going to grow spectacular plant specimens. Learning how to compost is easy with the simple ingredients and steps.

It takes about 3 months to break down your ingredients start to finish. These are the items that you need to create a successful compost.

Brown Ingredients                                         Green Ingredients
Newspaper Green leaves
Dead or dry vegetable plants Veggie Scraps
Dry leaves Manure from vegetarian animals
Dry grass Green Grasse
  Weeds not gone to seed
Additional Ingredients 
Volume of each item
Container to mix it all up in

The ratio of ingredients can vary but this is a good rule of thumb. 1:1 to 1:3 ratio of browns to greens.

Compost in Bins or Piles

Green Compost


In the center bin add:2-3 inches of browns in the bottom of the bin Get it wet and stir. When it’s completely mushy it’s ready to add the next ingredient Add greens and mix the 2 two layers together to help jump-start the process of fermentation.

You May need to add more water as you are layering Keep layering and repeating the process until you reach the top of your container or pile
Place a layer of brown over the top and water it to moisten Cover with a piece of a used carpet square or something that will reduce evaporation Wait 48 hours- Stick hand into the pile up to wrist. The mixture should be warm but not hot.

This means your mixture is breaking down. I like to call it cooking.

You will want to do a weekly first test. A fist test is taking a fist full of compost and seeing if it holds a ball. It should feel like a wrung-out sponge. Damp. Stir and add water as needed.

You can add more kitchen greens by burying them deep into the pile and cover. Never add more browns after the first day.

After 2 months the pile is not warm. The mixture starts to resemble dirt.

During the last month check for moisture and keep stirring. It should at this point start looking like really good dirt. It may have worms, grubs, and plants growing.
The next step would be to sift the compost with a wood-framed wire square.

Good compost is like black gold in any garden. Use it as a fertilizer, side dressing for your plants, mulch, and making compost tea. Better food production using compost is an easy way to grow vegetables organically.

There are many sites that show you how to create compost bins. They can even be created in plastic drums or large plastic trash containers.