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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Your Questions About Garden Compost Bins

Posted by admin on July 29, 2011

Richard asks…

what can i put in a garden compost bin?

apart from veg/fruit peelings, dead flowers & garden waste, tea bags & egg shells? any thing else? thanks all who reply -Lou

admin answers:

Basically nearly everything. All food waste with the exception of meat products (meat encourages rats) All garden waste with the exception of long rooted weeds like dandelion, bindweed, nettles, etc. I personally don’t put in soft weeds if they have gone to seed.

All garden plants and clippings and some house waste like shredded paper and cardboard and the contents of your vacuum cleaner and sawdust. If you have a bonfire the wood ash is brilliant, lots of potash that improves fruits and flowers.

Don’t forget used compost when you re pot your plants tubs and baskets and pet waste from pets like rabbits, hamsters, etc., the soiled bedding, like paper or sawdust, really make your compost heat up destroying weed seeds as does pet droppings.

The things I don’t put in is anything woody, unless shredded, weeds with long roots or seeds, plastic or cloth.

The secrets of composting are are keeping it stirred, not adding too many grass clippings unless mixed in well, and use an accelerator like garrotta or any fertiliser you use in the garden.  I use a lot is chicken manure pellets from the garden centre and the best accelerator of all, horse manure, even a shovel full mixed in gives wonderful results.

So remember, keep it stirred, use an accelerator, and the worms and biological activity will do the rest.

Happy composting!

Laura asks…

I got a compost bin in the garden. It is a colony of cockroaches.How can i make agood compost without cokrchs?

admin answers:

I have a compost pile as well but I have not seen any cockroaches.  I make sure that I don’t put any cooked food into my pile though – just grass clippings, old mulch, fresh produce scraps, leaves and various trimmings and such from outside no fats animal or vegetable of any kind.

Grass clippings when added to the pile, sprinkled with lime and then watered really speed the compost process up- at least it worked well for me last year.  Good luck and don’t mind the bugs too much.

Chris asks…

Should I put live snails and slugs from the garden in my compost bin?

admin answers:

They’re not just going to stay in the compost.  They like fresh food, and will find their way back to your plants. They should really be destroyed.  If you have difficulty bringing yourself to do that, just relocate them by throwing them into the nearest field.  Lol! I’ve been know to do that!

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Good Ideas 7-Cubic-Foot Compost Wizard Jr.

Posted by admin on June 13, 2011

Good Ideas 7-Cubic-Foot Compost Wizard Jr.The EZ Composter Jr. provides you with the tools to turn your scrap vegetables, grass clippings, and leaves into ready to use compost within just a couple of weeks. This composter turns easily and maintains an environment that is conducive to the rapid breaking down of the material you place inside the barrel.

The composting drum is created out of molded recycled polyethylene plastic which is positioned on the turning base and holds 7 cubic feet of material. This size drum is ideal for heat generation and quick material breakdown.

In order to get the most out of your compost barrel, you need to turn the compost regularly. The large capacity compost drum rotates on a stable base providing quick and easy mixing. Just turn it about once a week to keep oxygen, nutrients, microorganisms and moisture evenly distributed throughout the developing batch. Glide posts on the base allows the composting drum to rotate freely, while keeping it cradled in the base. There are recessed handles on the sides of the composter to provide gripping points for turning the batch.

A large 12 inch twist off lid provides easy access for filling and dispensing the composted material when it is finished breaking down. This threaded lid is easy to remove, yet prevents animals and pets from getting at recently added kitchen and garden scraps.

A good batch of compost needs air to accelerate the process. There are air vents and a two-way breather valve on the lid to provide air movement from end to end and throughout the composting batch.

This composter will arrive in two pieces and it is easy to set up; just set the drum on top of the base, and you’re ready to start turning your yard waste and kitchen scraps into beneficial compost for your garden. The EZ Composter allows you to easily turn material that would have originally ended up in the garbage, into nutritious, beneficial fertilizer that will produce luscious healthy plants within just a couple of weeks.

The size and durability of this compost tumbler, combined with the low cost compared to other competing models, make this one of the best values among compost tumblers on the market today.

Price: $159.99

Click here to buy from Amazon

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Small Garden Composters Start With a Beehive Compost Bin

Posted by admin on June 11, 2011

If you are new to garden composting and have little space for a Garden Composter you may be concerned with what impact the garden compost bin will have on the garden. I would recommend new home composters with small gardens to start with a beehive compost bin if possible. It is true that in many gardens the home made compost pile is often a rather untidy affair, and the purchased garden compost bin is often not a beautiful option either, all brown or green plastic. In many situations this is fine, and indeed appropriate. But in smaller gardens particularly, where things cannot be hidden and every garden fixture and fitting has an impact on the whole, it is nice to achieve the garden recycling dream of home composting without detracting from the beauty of the garden. A wooden beehive compost bin will provide you with an effective garden composter while improving the beauty of your outside space.

It makes sense, in a small garden to have a relatively small garden compost bin. But it must still be practical. The compost bin must be large enough for you to take at least three to six months to fill. Then you should leave it alone for three to six months to decompose. During that time you need another compost bin to fill. If you only have one compost bin, you will need to take out the decomposed contents from the bottom of the bin regularly, while still continually adding to the top of the bin. This is possible but far from ideal. Two garden compost bins, or a dual chamber compost bin, is best. But I admit once you get the home composting bug, you well want more. Indeed we have four at present but in the future, who knows!

My first foray into the world of home composting was with a municipally sponsored, 200 litre capacity, plastic compost bin. I have to say it worked really well. The plastic stops the compost drying out and keeps things warm. The garden compost we got from our plastic bin was fine and crumbly and really gave me the garden composting bug. But that big plastic compost bin didn’t look that great in the small urban garden we then had.

Local councils often sponsor compost bins and water barrels. Check with yours. That was how we got our first water barrel and plastic compost bin. It made both very cheap indeed.

The ugliness of those plastic compost bins is a turn-off for some though. Indeed I have friends with small gardens who just would not have one in the garden to spoil the view. Even though they like to be ‘green’ and ‘eco’ in other ways they couldn’t bring themselves to recycle kitchen waste and recycle garden waste via such an eyesore! Daft I suppose, but true and far from rare thoughts, I imagine. Lets face it, as much as many of us like to lessen our impact on the earth we still have certain wants and needs. And, if yours is keeping the garden pretty and/or plastic free, the plastic compost bin and water barrel combo is not for you!

This is why I am such a fan of the wooden beehive composter. They are beautiful. Indeed I would love one, even though it would be totally impractical as we compost vast quantities of organic matter. They are just so attractive!

I think being able to buy a beautiful product is a great thing. If you aren’t one of life’s natural garden composters, happy with bins made of pallets, plastic and chicken wire, a touch of glamour may well motivate you. I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t want to visit and regularly top up such a pretty garden compost bin! Surprisingly they aren’t as expensive as I assumed they’d be either, and really do make a feature out of whatever spot in the garden they appear in.

I would always advise having as large a compost bin as possible and indeed composting as much garden, kitchen and animal waste as practical. I am the proud owner of a dry compost loo, so I know whereof I speak. But, for small gardens and just those new to home composting, I think getting a pretty compost bin is a great idea.

So many people think making garden compost is dirty, or difficult, or hard work, that for them, building an array of compost boxes is never going to be even a thought. But for anyone who starts home composting even just a few kitchen scraps and lawn clippings in a relatively small prebuilt compost bin, it is still a reduction in commercial composts sold, peat bog destroyed and landfill filled.

Thus, even though I will never have one, I thoroughly see the point of the beautiful, rustic wooden beehive compost bins and still lust after them in my girlier gardening moments. But for me the whole point of garden composting is to make as much hummus as possible so they would never be practical here.

I think they would make a great gift for someone (with a pretty garden) who is yet to be converted to the merits of composting garden waste or kitchen scraps too. For those people will see ‘what is compost?’ quickly and through the rose tinted spectacles of someone with a particularly beautiful compost bin!

Sealed garden compost bins are great for composting without worrying about vermin or indeed children getting their hands on the kitchen waste. In wet climates your sealed bins mean you don’t get the whole heap too wet (which would stop the microbes being able to function). They also prevent all the goodness leaching away. Sealed compost bins are equally fabulous in hot climates where the heap could dry out (microbes do need moist conditions just not saturated ones).

If I was just starting out garden composting or looking for a small garden composter, I would definitely look into the wooden beehive compost bin option. Whether to improve the look of a small garden or because you are only composting kitchen waste on a small scale, they work well and look great.

I have lots more articles on gardening. Please check out my page and go to my blog from there!

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How to Compost the Lazy Way

Posted by admin on December 16, 2008

The time I”m willing to spend on yard work is very limited, so all my landscaping planning centered around “ease of maintenance.”

Putting in a garden and planning to compost my yard waste goes way beyond the scope of my planning.

I’ve been doing a significant amount of research in preparation for composting my yard, garden, and kitchen waste.  I had resigned mysef to the belief that composting is a very scientific and complicated process. 

I’ve finally found the information that I’ve been looking for.  Anthony at The Compost Bin blog has described a process of composting that fits my M.O.  Furthermore, it is a process that he has tested and determined to be effective for producing quality compost

Thank you, Anthony.  Now I can sleep.

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Compost Bin

Posted by admin on October 20, 2008

Building a garden compost bin doesn’t have to be difficult.  I found on Instructables, a very simple design for building your own compost bin.  This is a very simple project that anyone can easily do for very little money.

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