A Composting Guide for the Home Gardener
How It Works
What To Use
The Finished Product
A Bevy of Bins
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Compost BinsSo you want to get started composting, but you know you don't want to build your own bin. Fortunately, Planet Natural offers a wide variety of compost bins and tumblers that are perfect for backyard use. While each may vary in price, style and function, all are designed to help you compost more efficiently. They look good and provide some insulation against heat and moisture loss, too! Here are a few of the different types of bins that are commercially available:
Composting at its most basic.
Best For: Growers with limited space. Neat appearance and low cost make this the most popular bin available.
Advantages: Low maintenance, for example, you don't have to turn a holding unit. Lid keeps rain off compost and helps deter animals.
Downsides: Low maintenance means slower composting. The composting process can take from six months to two years using this kind of container. Decomposition can occur quickly if aerated.
As the name implies, a rolling composter can be rolled to your yard waste, loaded up and then rolled away. A quick tumble every day or two mixes and aerates the pile, eliminating the need to aerate with a pitchfork or compost aerator.
Best For: Homeowners and others with sufficient space.
Advantages: Low maintenance, plus they make aerating the pile easy. Lid keeps rain off compost and helps deter animals.
Downsides: Fully loaded bins can become heavy and difficult to roll.
One notch up on the evolutionary scale from the spherical and enclosed bins, compost tumblers are designed so that they turn their contents easily.
Best For: Homeowners with limited space that are willing to invest in a compost bin. Neat appearance and quick composting times make these units a popular choice.
Advantages: Energy-efficient design is relatively easy to aerate. Supplies bacteria with the oxygen it needs and consequently speeds up decomposition. Available in various sizes. Lid keeps rain off compost and helps deter animals.
Downsides: Once these units are full and the composting process begins, you have to wait before adding additional materials.
Tip: Store kitchen wastes in plastic buckets with tight fitting lids during this time, using sawdust or similarly absorbent materials to minimize odors.
Using redworms to compost (aka vermicomposting) is a convenient way to dispose of kitchen scraps and turns them into a rich, organic soil conditioner known as worm castings. If you supply the right ingredients and care, your worms will thrive!
Best For: Homeowners and apartment dwellers with limited space.
Advantages: Worm bins can be located anywhere from under the kitchen sink to outdoors or in your garage. Once up and running they require very little maintenance. A worm bin can be used year-round.
Downsides: Temperatures need to be considered. Ideally a worm bin should be located in an area where the temperatures are between 40-80 degrees F. In cold climates, bring your bin inside during the winter to avoid freezing. In hot climates, keep it wet and cool. On occasion, unpleasant odors may waft from the container when it's overloaded with table scraps. If this occurs, stop adding food until the redworms have had a chance to break down what is left in the bin.
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