Monday, May 11, 2009

Creative Composting

Just looks like a trash can, right?  Nope, it's my compost bin.
I'm a creative composter.  This means I don't obsess with doing it right...I just do it. And I don't use a fancy expensive composter either, just a homemade version that works.

Just in case you are not an organic gardener, or a gardener at all, composting is the key to a successful organic garden. So I take great pride in saving anything that can go into my compost pile.  Right now, I even have a book dedicated to composting checked out from the library.

I've been composting for years, and my favorite advice is still the simplest - from Paul James the Gardening Guy on HGTV.  Throw plants, non-diseased plant debris, fruit and veggie leavings, egg shells in - occasionally layer it with dirt, leaves, manure, or newspaper clippings.  That's it, really.  Nature has been "composting" for years.  Go into any forest and look down, and you will see great compost.  

When adding kitchen scraps bury them under clippings.
Paul did give more elaborate directions if you want faster or neater compost, but you can't beat the basics. Today I dumped a full garbage can full of compost into holes I dug in my garden.  It's amazing to watch the process - our pumpkins are still recognizable but now just orangish mush.   All the rain made for a very wet compost pile which means it was very "hot".  This is good because it kills bad things, but it smelled because it was too wet.  Good and bad, mixed together.  Often what we get when we are creative.

Compost bin blends right in with this ugly area.
My garbage can was made following Paul's directions: take a trash can (black draws heat if you can find a black trash can), and drill holes in the top and down the sides every few inches for circulation.  I keep my compost can in the corner by my a/c unit where it's out of my way but accessible.  It's that easy!  Buy a trash can, grab a drill, and give it a try.  I drilled the holes down 4 sides of the bin, but when I do my next one, I'll do it down 6 or 8 sides instead for more aeration.  Let me know how it works for you.

Drill holes down the side and on the bottom
Holes, and natural cracking, allows water in 

1 comment:

  1. I have always been fascinated by compost--Well, I guess it doesn't take much to intrigue me, but I enjoyed reading about your organic gardening.