I love to compost! Making beautiful dirt from “garbage,” it’s amazing. It’s also one of the easiest ways of adding value to your soil.
Lets Start with the Basics:
With composting, you need a special mix of "greens" and "browns". Greens and browns are just an easy way of telling what adds mostly nitrogen and what adds mostly carbon. Typically you want a 30:1 carbon:nitrogen, or brown:green, ratio. Any more greens and your compost will start to smell, or attract pests; any more browns and it will decompose slowly. So what is consider green and what brown?
Here’s a quick list:
There are a multitude of ways to compost. Here’s the low-down on some of the most popular.
Compost made using a small store bought, or homemade, container. This one of the types of compost I use, mostly in the winter because here in New England, everything freezes. Here's how I made mine.
This method uses special worms, called red wrigglers. These beauties munch on your kitchen scraps and turn them into, what some people refer to as “Black Gold”. If you decide to use vermicomposting, you’ll need to create a home for your new livestock. Check out this site here for a tutorial.
This is the simplest, and probably least effective type of compost. Basically, you just throw everything into a pile in the corner of your yard and let it be. As a kid we had one of these. I honestly don't think we ever actually used any compost from it.
Essentially, you dig a 12”-18” deep trench or hole, and deposit you organic material there. This method is typically utilized in existing, or soon to be, garden beds. I have been known to do this in the warmer months.
Three Bin System
This is the system I hope to have someday. I keep trying to get Caveman to bring me some pallets home so I can make one for myself. With this method, you build 3 connected containers, like the image here. Then, you start by filling the first bin. When that’s full, you turn it over to the second bin. There it’ll sit until the first bin is full again, at which time you move bin two’s contents to bin 3, and bin one to bin 2. According to the design, by the time you fill bin 1 up again, your compost should be complete, and ready to use in bin 3.
There you have it. So, which system or method do you use, or want to try, and why? Let me know!
Kita , Caveman, Goomba, Gummy Bear and Peanut are native New Englanders, who are working to live more self sufficient and sustainable lifestyle.