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3 Ways to Compost

12/14/2011 6:29:28 PM

Tags: compost, composting with worms, tumbling composter, leaf pile, Angela Blackerby

Some people might use living in the city as an excuse to skip composting. You might not think you have enough space. Maybe you think it takes too much time and effort. Some of you might think it is a smelly, dirty process. The truth is, there is a way out there that will work for everyone. The following are three easy ways that I compost in my own backyard and home. I hope you will give one of these a try!

A Leaf and Greens Pile

Leaf and Greens Pile

No need to build a structure if you are only putting mulched leaves and greens in your compost pile. This is a pile of leaves from last year. I mix in my pruning and clippings, as well as any healthy plants that I remove from my garden. This spot doesn't get full sun, but still receives enough heat to break things down during the spring and summer. You may have to mix or turn this pile occasionally to get quicker results. However, if you aren't in a hurry, let nature take its course. Give it a quick water every time you are out watering your garden, and voila! Instant compost with no smells! (Remember the 3:1 browns:greens ratio. So, 3 parts leaves to 1 part plant waste.)

A Tumbling Composter

Tumbling Composter 

You can buy these from a variety of places. I ordered this one online, but have seen a few in home improvement stores.  You can also make one yourself, if you are handy. (Search "make your own tumbling composter.") This method is great because it requires little space and effort.  Simply put food scraps, leaves, grass clippings, and other compostable materials into the tumbler. Give it a quick spin when you are out in the yard.  Again, easy composting with little effort from you!


 Worm Farm 

By far the easiest, and my favorite way to turn fruit and vegetable scraps into liquid gold fertilizer is composting with worms. This worm bin was ordered, but I have also seen many ways to make your own worm bin online. You can order worms by mail, which is admittedly, a little weird. However, they arrive right alongside your bills and other mail.  Simply put your food scraps into the bin and cover with moistened paper.  The worms will break down your scraps with a little time and no effort from you!  You never need to turn it, and the worms are fine when left alone for a few months. One reason this is my favorite method is because I live in a cold climate. By putting the red wigglers down in the basement, I have compost and compost tea to give to my plants year round. There is a slightly earthy smell when you open the bin, but otherwise, you would never notice the worms were there! If you would like more information about composting with worms, you can visit my blog post.  There are also a variety of other resources online that you can check out.  

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Mitzy Cruzen
2/19/2012 5:08:37 PM
I am a teacher and we have two composting bins that we collect and compost the school lunch food scraps. We have considered introducing a vermicomposter into our classroom. I am concerned with what I could do with the worms during the summer months. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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