Methods of Composting
Compost is the ultimate garden fertilizer, and a great way to contribute to a sustainable lifestyle. There are several different methods of composting to choose from. The most important considerations when choosing your method is time and space. Some methods require the more hands-on approach of flipping and stirring the pile. Others only require a balance of green and brown materials for compost. Composting can be done on a small-scale inside a home or apartment with a worm bin, or an elaborate three-bin compost system.
For pit composting, holes or trenches are dug to bury kitchen waste. The organic material breaks down over six months to one year. This method is great for areas between rows of existing gardens, or in areas where you want to add a future garden bed. Pit composting is not labor-intensive, but is hard if you want to harvest the finished compost.
Depending upon what you want to achieve, you can employ several different methods of pit or trench composting. You can as dig random holes, fill trench rows in garden beds, or rotate trenches over a three-year period to improve an expanded planting area.
The most laid-back approach to composting is heaving stuff onto the heap and walking away. If you’re not in a hurry, this can be perfectly satisfactory. It can be hard to keep the pile neat, and such piles may be vulnerable to the invasion of wildlife. I have this type of pile behind my barn. It is great for large quantities of landscape material such as weeds and leaves, and the chickens find it irresistible to dig and scratch through. As the material decomposes, this pile of compost will gradually shrink. Finished compost often takes up about 30 to 50% less space than the original ingredients.
A compost bin solves the neatness problem and helps keep the new stuff on top, separate from the finished compost at the bottom. Compost bins come in a wide variety of designs. As for easy access, some compost bins are built so that you can get at the stuff at the bottom of an active heap. However, if you keep two or three compost piles going, you’re adding to this year’s pile, ignoring last year’s, and using the one you built two years back. A three-compartment bin makes this remarkably neat and simple.
A compost tumbler is a fully-sealed container which can be rotated to mix the composting materials. The sealed container also helps contain the heat generated by the composting process, thereby speeding the process of converting kitchen and yard waste into compost. Compost tumblers were invented to make composting simpler and faster. Thanks to their sleek designs and clean operation, compost tumblers are suitable for urban and suburban residential properties.
Worm Bin Composting
Worm composting, also known as vermicomposting, is a simple way to reduce household garbage, and can be done whether you live in a tiny apartment or a large house! By layering your food scraps with dry materials like scrap paper and cardboard and adding red wiggler worms from a trustworthy source, you can convert it into compost gold, while reducing your reliance on the landfills. It is easy to make your own worm bin, or there are a variety of worm bins for sale. I got one on-line for a very reasonable price that also separates out the “compost tea” otherwise known as liquid gold fertilizer from the solid compost.
Don’t have the time or space, but composting is important to you? We have our own composting operation on site and will accept your lawn clippings, leaves, brush, and branches. Call Alexa for more information.