If you have read my previous posts on the why and the what of composting, maybe you are ready to think about trying it yourself. This is part three of this series (sorry for the delay – I was busy enjoying a great vacation and some needed downtime with the family).
Photo via normanack
Here are some methods and products to help you start composting:
Basic Method – If you have a large yard, a low-cost, hassle-free, mess-free method to composting is to simply bury the kitchen scraps a shovel length or so deep in the garden (or in another low-traffic area of your yard) and then cover them back up with the soil and mulch. You can even plant immediately right on top of your buried compost.
Build it Yourself – You can build a compost bin yourself out of chicken wire and wood or metal posts. For instructions to building your own compost bin see this article from backyardgardener.com or this one entitled “How to Build a Compost Bin”.
Compost Bins – Compost bins are the most traditional and reliant composters. They are the tried-and-true models of compost production. Whether your gardening or composting activity is passive or active, the compost bin accommodates both methods. Compost bins come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from slatted mesh and wired pens, to conical models. Here are some examples:
Compost Tumblers – If you have a small space, this is the composter for you. I have this type of compost bin for two reasons. First, it takes up very little space in my yard. Second, I live next to an open area that houses lots of little critters. This raised, closed system keeps them from accessing my compost material and stealing my food scraps before they even have a chance to turn into compost. These tumblers also make it super easy to rotate your compost material to allow airflow to the waste material. Here are some examples:
Pet waste composter – As I mentioned previously, you cannot compost pet waste in your food waste composter, but there are composting systems available just for this material. For example, this Doggie Poo Eliminator installs in the ground, for clean, convenient waste disposal and odor control. You just drop in dog waste, and then occasionally add digester powder and water for continuous waste breakdown. This unit works by a leach-style system. It has an open bottom so that as the fast acting enzymes and bacteria action break the waste down, the liquid is absorbed into the ground. This unit also has a foot operated Lid Opener. So no more smelly trash can – you can compost your pet waste right in your own backyard.
To make your composting even easier and mess free, also check out these compost accessories:
Countertop collection bin – To reduce the hassle and mess of composting, I use this kitchen counter-top composting bucket and Biobag biodegradable compost bags. So, when my collection bin gets full, I just remove the bag and tie it at the top, then toss the whole thing into my composter. The bag biodegrades along with the food – no mess!
Compost Accelerator – Although you can make compost perfectly well without a compost accelerator (also known as compost starter), a lot of people like to use them to speed up the composting time.
These are just a few of the many products on the market today that can help make composting easy and affordable for everyone – no matter how small a budget or a yard you have. So if you are ready to start reducing your household waste and creating fertilizer for free in your own backyard, go ahead and take the leap. You will find it easier and more enjoyable than you think. Happy composting!
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