How To Compost Cardboard

Cardboard is the perfect addition to your compost bin. It helps keep your compost aerated and full of nutrients that your plants crave. With just a few simple steps, you can easily turn cardboard into rich fertilizer for your garden!

How To Compost Cardboard

Put the cardboard in a composting bin.

When you’re ready to begin composting your cardboard, start by laying it out in a single layer. You want to make sure you don’t have too much or too little material, so that you can properly monitor the process and ensure its success. If you feel like this is going to be a big job, consider dividing up large pieces of cardboard into smaller ones before adding them to your bin. This will help with aeration and moisture levels in the bin overall and should keep it from becoming soggy or stagnant over time.

Nail wooden planks on three sides of the bin.

  • The bin should be at least three feet square, so you have enough room to place the cardboard in a single layer.
  • Use a hammer to nail wooden planks on three sides of the bin (so they overlap), which will keep in moisture and provide ventilation for your compost pile. You can use nails or staples; either are fine as long as they hold well enough that you’re able to lift the lid later on when it’s time to turn your compost pile over (more on this later). If you don’t have any planks lying around, you can buy them at any home improvement store or salvage yard for about $5 per 4×8 sheet of ¾-inch thick lumber—or make sure to ask if there are any scrap pieces available from people who’ve done remodeling projects in their homes!
  • If using plastic sheets instead of wood planks: measure out sections with masking tape where each side should be cut; make sure there’s enough overlap between pieces so that no light gets through when assembled together (see photo example below). Then use scissors or an utility knife equipped with new blades (this part may take some trial and error depending on how much skill one has) so that each seam lies flat against one another without any gaps visible between them.”
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Add 2 inches of soil in the bin.

Add 2 inches of soil in the bin. The soil will help to break down the cardboard and keep it moist, aerated, and warm. Soil also keeps compost free of pests (like rodents) as well as makes it more attractive to beneficial microorganisms that you want in your compost pile.

Leave the compost bin out in the open.

To compost cardboard, you’ll need to leave it out in the open. This means placing your bin in a spot that gets plenty of sun and is away from animals, children and rain.

In addition to leaving your bin where it will get enough direct sunlight—a south-facing balcony or patio is ideal—you should also make sure that there’s no way for anyone (or anything) to disturb the cardboard inside. That means keeping it away from wind, dust and pests too.

It’s important not only because these things can affect the quality of composting but also because they can cause fires if they come into contact with high temperatures during decomposition.

Sprinkle water on it occasionally.

  • Use a hose or watering can to sprinkle water on the compost.
  • Sprinkle water on the compost, not the bin.
  • Water when it feels dry, not when it’s wet. If you over-water, it could make your bin smell bad or even moldy.
  • Don’t water if it’s raining (rain provides enough moisture for your garden).

Mix the contents of the bin every week.

Mix the contents of your compost bin every week.

  • Mix with a shovel.
  • Use a pitchfork or other long-handled tool to turn over any large pieces of cardboard that have settled into the bottom of the bin.
  • Turn over smaller pieces as well, but be careful not to turn them into mush—you want them to remain somewhat chunky so they don’t break down too quickly and spoil your compost.
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After about two months, use this compost for your plants, and make a fresh batch.

[After about two months], use this compost for your plants, and make a fresh batch. You can add new cardboard to the bin or new soil to the bin. You can also add new plants to the bin!

Cardboard is an important part of creating rich compost for your garden

You can use cardboard to make a rich compost that is filled with nutrients for your garden. Cardboard is a great source of carbon, which is one of the two main ingredients in compost. Carbon is needed to break down organic matter and create healthy soil.

Cardboard also provides nitrogen, which helps to break down cardboard and other organic materials. The more nitrogen you add, the faster the decomposition process will work!

Last but not least, cardboard can help you provide water for your garden by acting as a sponge inside your compost pile or bin during rainy days when there may not be enough natural moisture in your yard for plants to thrive on their own without some extra help from us humans who like growing things too 🙂

That’s all there is to it! If you’re feeling ambitious and want to go even further, you can make your own compost bin out of wood. However, if this isn’t really feasible for you then don’t worry—there are plenty of places where you can get one made specifically for the purpose of composting cardboard.

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