Garden and Yard Care

Published on July 12th, 2011 | by Guest Contributor

5

Composting for the Masses

How do you compost?

How you choose to compost will vary widely depending on where you live.  For those with a small amount of land or even just a yard, an outdoor compost area works wonders.  You can purchase a bin at one at your local home improvement store, or build one on the cheap using a pallet or some old wood.  The basic premise is a box that allows lots of airflow.  Even better is two boxes – one to use to add new compost and one to be reserved for compost that is close to being completed.  A hint from experience: if you have land, it may be in your best interest to make your bin animal proof.  We attempted to raccoon proof ours only to find out that it wasn’t beagle proof and had to rescue a stinky (but quite happy) dog more than once from the bottom of the bin.

Don’t want to be able to see the compost?  No problem.  A compost tumbler may be just the thing for you.  Add your waste, ensure it stays moist, turn it periodically, and in no time you’ll have a beautiful soil amendment ready for use.

Still too much work and expense?  A regular old pile will work just as well.  It may take a bit longer to breakdown, but the process is the same (and it’s free!).

Live in an apartment or condo and don’t have any outdoor space?  Don’t fret, there are still tons of options available.  A personal favorite of mine is vermicomposting or composting using worms.  Ages ago when I first start vermicomposting I was living with my parents.  Imagine my mother’s surprise to find a Tupperware box full of worms in her laundry room!  It took some convincing, but after experiencing the lack of smell and the small amount of upkeep involved, the worms were allowed to stay.  Setting up a vermicomposting bin is easy, takes little space, and is kinda fun (think about it – hundreds of tiny pets all in one box).  Google vermicomposting bins for options you can purchase, or you can easily (and cheaply) building one yourself.  For more details, the book Worms Eat My Garbage will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the squiggly creatures and what they can do for you.

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