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15 Best Books On Composting For The Complete Beginner

Looking for the best books on composting for beginners? Get started composting with the help of these books about composting!

Hi there – welcome to Hydrangea Love!

Are you looking to learn the best composting method so you can have a great garden and help the earth, too?

You’re in the right place!

Even though this is a site dedicated mostly just to hydrangea tips and information, there’s always a need for general gardening info.

And learning how to compost is a big part of becoming a great gardener!

In my opinion, getting started composting doesn’t have a super steep learning curve, but there are definitely some helpful things to know.

I find that composting is generally pretty forgiving, but it’s certainly helpful to read up before getting started.

Luckily, I’m about to share the best composting books for beginner composting so that you can enjoy that beautiful “black gold” in your garden. 🙂

Related Reading: 7 Easy Backyard Composting Tips For Your Garden

What You’ll Find In This Post About The 15 Best Books On Composting For The Complete Beginner

I want you to know all there is to know about beginner composting, but if you want to scroll straight down to the list of books, feel free! Here’s a quick overview of everything you’ll find in this post:

  • A little bit about my gardening background and experience with composting
  • Why you should get into composting (including the advantages and disadvantages of composting)
  • The best composting books for beginners just getting started (and maybe some intermediate ones too)

So let’s get to it!

Not Exactly A Green Thumb

While I’ve pretty much always been a garden lover, I wasn’t born knowing how to build an epic compost pile. I certainly didn’t know anything about the latest techniques for soil fertility using organic materials.

And I definitely didn’t know the science of composting or the best way to use my kitchen waste.

How I learned to garden was a super slow process that included a lot of trial and error.

You Might Also Like: The Main Types of Hydrangeas – Hydrangea Varieties 101

It started with my grandfather, who was a master gardener with a passion for sprawling organic vegetable gardens.

From as young as two years old, he would let me help out in his garden. I distinctly remember digging up potatoes and pulling carrots from the ground with Grandpa by my side.

But it wasn’t until I got much older and had my own home that I started to garden on my own.

While Grandpa did give me his best organic gardening books, the green thumb I was hoping to inherit wasn’t immediately apparent.

It took years and years of trying (and killing lots of plants) to figure things out.

Maybe that’s why I love hydrangeas so much. They’re so easy to grow!

Even now, I consider myself a student of the art of gorgeous perennial beds and luscious vegetable gardens.

That is really the short version of the story, but you should know that “doing” is the best way to start learning. Secondly, you should be aware that failing is inevitable.

Just get started!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Composting

Honestly, there are far more benefits of composting than there are drawbacks.

Learning how to compost is one of the best things you can do if you’re interested in organic gardening.

Chemical fertilizers seem convenient and safe, but it’s my opinion that they just aren’t worth the risk.

We just don’t fully understand the implications of the chemicals that are in those products. If you’re trying to eat healthier or help the earth, it’s just not in your best interest to use them.

Seriously, if you’re trying to grow vegetables or other food, it’s just safer to use compost to feed your plants. It’s just natural!

That being said, here are some of the top advantages of composting:

  • Less food waste – the earth will love you (and you will feel less guilt for accidentally letting food go bad)!
  • Amazing soil for whatever you choose to grow – compost is filled with vitamins and minerals to feed your plants! It’s not just for veggies!
  • It feels good! Leveling up your skills and knowledge is always rewarding.

Of course, there are a handful of disadvantages. But honestly, not many!

Here are a couple of disadvantages of composting:

  • It’s not always convenient. You have to remember to add to your compost piles. You also have to spend some time turning your compost every now and then depending on your method.
  • You have to learn what is compostable and what isn’t. This takes some time upfront but gets easier as you go.
  • It’s a bit messy at times and requires patience. Good compost takes many months to build.

That’s not so bad, right? Now that I have you convinced to get started with backyard composting, let’s get to the best books on composting!

15 Best Books On Composting For The Complete Beginner

1. Composting Made Easy

This book is a great place to start if you’re a true beginner. If you’re only looking to read one book, I would recommend starting with this one.

You don’t want to get overwhelmed when you’re just getting started. If gardening and composting seem like a big puzzle to you, grab this book to start you off. It’s a really good guide if easy composting is your priority.

2. The Complete Compost Gardening Guide

Need a go-to guide for anything and everything? This is one of the best books on composting for you! Get started composting with this guide, and you’ll be confidently composting in no time.

Grab this comprehensive book on composting and you’ll be a master composter before you know it.

3. Worm Farming

This is the kind of book you’ll want to reach for when growing healthy food is your top priority.

Worm farms are all the rage in my home state, but you don’t have to have a large operation to enjoy the benefits of worm castings! I know this is a super-specific composting book, but it has a lot to offer.

Check it out if you’re interested in taking your composting a bit further!

4. Composting and Worm Farming

Here is another worm-specific composting book. This is one of the best books on composting if you’re wanting general composting tips as well as worm help. It might not be best for the absolute beginner, but it will help you understand different ways to get started with composting.

If that’s too specific for you, check out my next suggestion.

5. Composting for a New Generation

This book on composting is a forward-thinking read that considers the changing times and will give you a new perspective on things.

If you’re interested in different composting methods beyond the typical bin and pile methods, you’ll definitely want to grab this composting book. There are so many different ways to compost, so grab this book if you’re looking for something other than the typical compost bin!

6. Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof

Goofy titles aside, this is a great read for anyone wanting to take their composting to the next level. You may see a common theme here (worms!) but if you’re really, seriously interested in composting, you’ll quickly realize why.

This book is a family-friendly read that will help you set up a worm composting system no matter what your garden and living situation might look like. It has 10 compost system ideas – one is sure to work for you!

7. No-Waste Composting by Michelle Balz

If food waste is at the top of your list of things to remedy, this is a great book choice. It’s really one of the best books on composting if your top priority is minimizing food waste in your household.

This book specializes in small-space composting and takes a look at 10 different composting projects you can DIY. It really is a wonderful book full of in-depth information!

8. The Secret’s in The Soil by Jessie Kelias

I love this composting book because it takes a science background and turns it into easy-to-digest info and instructions. It goes over soil testing, soil amendments, fertilizers, mulching, and more. If healthy soil is your goal, this is one of the best composting books you can get!

You can grab this great composting book here! So much information!

9. Humanure Handbook

Don’t worry, this book isn’t as gross as it sounds but it IS about poop. This step-by-step guide to composting is super highly rated despite being self-published. If you’re curious about composting toilets and extreme composting, you’ll want to grab this book. Check out the Humanure Handbook to see for yourself!

10. Composting: Nature’s Recyclers

Are you still looking for the best books on composting? You’ll have your own compost in no time with this book. It’s full of everything you need to turn your organic matter into amazing “black gold.”

11. Composting Made Easy by Jacob A. Moore

This is a really popular composting book featuring easy methods like compost heaps, the trench method, and more. It has over 200 5-star reviews!

This book not only goes over the basics of composting (even if you’re an apartment dweller), it also teaches you how to troubleshoot common composting problems like insect infestations and more.

Grab your copy of Composting Made Easy here!

12. Let it Rot! by Stu Campbell

Organic gardeners will love having this in their home library. This is one of the oldest composting books on the market. Originally published in 1975, it there are three editions of this go-to composting book. The last edition, published in 1998, has over 1,000 positive reviews on Amazon.

This is a great book for those who are looking to learn more about overall composting, from getting started to the basic science behind it. People say it is easy to read and well-organized, too.

So if you have food scraps and garden waste that you want to turn into compost, grab this book and get started!

13. Compost: A Family Guide to Making Soil from Scraps

I like this composting book because it addresses the whole family and gives kids the opportunity to be involved. It’s one of those books with many illustrations and pictures that will help you understand what you’re looking at.

In my opinion, it would make a really good book to add to any homeschooling curriculum or a school gardening project. Get your own family compost book here!

14. The Rodale Book of Composting

Want to learn how to make compost tea and really take your soil to the next level? This is one of the best composting books for you! It has lots of information and is perfect for beginner composters who are in it for the long haul.

But be warned – reviewers say that this book is truly comprehensive. If you’re a casual composter, it might just have too much information. 🙂 You could say that it’s the ultimate guide to getting started with your own compost system.

Get The Rodale Book of Composting here.

15. Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth

This book is a beautiful children’s book that would be a perfect read for Earth Day or any educational purpose! It’s one of the best books on composting if you’re just wanting to introduce your children (or students maybe?) to the concept of composting in general.

Well, there you have it! Now you have a ton of good books to choose from if you’re wanting to get started composting.

Regardless of whether you are interested in composting for your hydrangeas, veggies, or general gardening purposes, I hope this helped you out!

Until next time,

Your Fellow Gardener

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