4 compost bin alternatives to match your lifestyle

July 29, 2015

Composting is good for your garden and your garbage. These are some of the most popular composting systems available, so you can find one that works for you.

4 compost bin alternatives to match your lifestyle

1. The heap method

  • Although tumbling composters and other commercially-sold bins make for tidy composting, the easiest and most efficient approach is still to layer organic matter in heaps directly onto the ground.
  • The composting process requires moisture and air. During periods of little rainfall, water the compost weekly (it should be damp but not soggy).

2. The bottomless bin

  • Three bottomless boxes stacked one on top of the other make an easily adjustable compost container.
  • Make sure there's holes in the side permit proper aeration.
  • Shred the compost and turn it regularly to speed up the decomposing process.
  • When the bin's been full for a week or so, remove the top frame, shovel the top layer of material into it and repeat the process until the position of the frames is reversed.
  • After 10 to 15 days the compost should be turned again. Within two to three weeks it should be ready for use.
  • If necessary, use a commercial compost accelerator.

3. The three-bin solution

  • A three-bin composteris the classic way of handling the waste from a large garden.
  • Build it with guide strips in posts to hold removable slats for easy access to contents. Graded sizes allow for shrinkage as compost matures.
  • When in operation, one section holds rotted compost, another contains waste in the process of breaking down while the third is being built up with fresh organic matter.

4. Compost bins for smaller spaces

  • If you have limited space, make a compost bin or two from plastic garbage cans.
  • Punch approximately 10 holes in the bottom and five holes around the sides. This aloows both proper drainage and much-needed airflow.
  • Place a 10 centimetre (four inch) layer of sticks and twigs. Then, add a similar layer of garden soil in the bottom of the garbage can. Add compost.
  • A sprinkling of commercial compost accelerator will help the waste to break down.
  • Compost should be ready for the garden in approximately two months during in summer.

If you can't take your compost out to a pile, you can purchase or make your own compost bin. Pick a design or system that works for you and ensure there's plenty of drainage. Then you'll have great compost that's easy and convenient.

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