Posted by admin on October 16, 2010
ComposTumbler 08001 Back Porch 5-Cubic-Foot Heavy-Duty Poly Compost Bin
This lightweight, portable composter is the perfect choice for people who don’t have a lot of room for a super duty composter. The Back Porch ComposTumbler is 37 inches high x 31 inches wide x 26 inches deep. It stands on a frame that rests on 6 inch wheels which makes it very portable.
It will hold up to 37 gallons of compost material. It has four mixing fins mounted on the inside of the tank which help the unit to break up large pieces of compost.
The combination of an aerator/drainage unit on the bottom of the composter and screened side vents makes sure your compost gets the proper amount of oxygen while at the same time, it prevents rodents and other animals from getting into it.
This model comes with a full 5 year manufacturer warranty.
Tumbleweed 200003 Rotating Compost Bin – Green
The Tumbleweed Compost Maker was member tested and recommended by the National Home Gardening Club.
The Tumbleweed makes compost faster and easier. There is no need to fork or lift when you use the Tumbleweed. You can make rich compost in as little as 21 days. It’s great for composting grass clippings and kitchen waste. Tumbleweed’s unique bin rotates around the stainless steel rod which runs through the middle.
During tumbling, the patent pending breaker bar breaks up tumbling contents. This creates an aerobic action that offers a quicker and odorless form of composting.
Lifetime 60021 75-Gallon Compost Tumbler
Why spend money on expensive fertilizers when you can create your own composting and reduce landfill waste as well?
With a Lifetime Composter you can easily reduce, reuse, and recycle kitchen and garden waste into a rich organic soil conditioner. Compost helps retain the moisture in your soil and adds rich nutrients for healthy plants.
The Lifetime Composter is designed with black, double-walled panels to absorb and retain the heat that decomposes the material. An internal bar mixes the compost and allows the flow of oxygen that is necessary to break down the material into a rich, black organic fertilizer for your garden.
The lightweight 75 gallon tumbler easily turns on its axis for balanced rotation—saving you the time and effort of turning a compost heap with a pitchfork! You’ll also appreciate the extra large removable lid for easy filling and dumping.
Achla CMP-05 Spinning Horizontal Composter
The environmentally friendly Achla Spinning Horizontal Composter lets you steer those table scraps and garden waste away from the local landfill and put it to work feeding the microorganisms in your garden. Inside ridges help break up big clumps.
The composter is made from 100-percent recycled plastic and resists pesky rodents. A sliding door provides easy access. The compster holds 7 cubic feet and rests on an included stand. It measures 33 x 39 x 36 inches and weighs 36 pounds.
- Made from recycled plastic.
- 7 cubic feet capacity.
- Minimizes landfill waste.
- Rodent proof.
- Features easy access sliding door.
- Mixing fins break up clumps.
RotoComposter Compost Tumbler
The RotoComposter Compost Tumbler takes the backbreaking effort out of turning your compost.
You won’t need to struggle with forks or shovels trying to tear apart a packed, root bound brick of material. With our compost bin you can make rich, high quality compost from your garden, yard, and kitchen waste in just weeks.
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.
Our composter arrives fully assembled so you won’t spend frustrating hours putting it together, and it’s low profile (on ground) means you won’t need to lift materials high in the air to fill it. With this simple design, you can begin turning your garden and kitchen waste into valuable organic material in just weeks.
Molded from recycled polyethylene plastic, it measures 36 inches x 28 inches x 31 inches and holds 12 cubic feet of material. The rotating drum can be removed from its base and rolled to your desired area for filling or dispensing. A 16 inch wide twist-on lid provides easy loading and unloading of small and large material. The vented lid and 72 end vents circulate air within the batch to accelerate composting, and three recessed handles on the side of the drum make turning a manageable task.
RotoComposter Compost Tumbler arrives fully assembled and is backed by a 1 year manufacturing defect warranty. Fully assembled for one minute setup. Made in U.S.A.
Urban Compost Tumbler 9.5 Cubic Foot
New Urban Compost Tumbler Makes Compost in Weeks Not Months with Revolutionary Central Aeration. System; Works 90% Faster Requires 75% Less Effort.
Lack of space and time to maintain a traditional compost pile neighbor complaints and unwanted pests… the UCT is the perfect fit.
This unit is the only sealed compost tumbler that allows appropriate amounts of oxygen to enter the chamber and mix with materials vastly increasing the speed and efficiency of composting and inspiring more people to take advantage of the benefits of composting than ever before. Wagon not included. Tumble end over end. Suspended on a pivot rod that allows the barrel to tumble freely. The UCT9 is black in color to maximize heat absorption and further speed the process of turning refuse into useable compost . 9.5 cubic foot 71 gallon barrel. 5 Year Warranty
Posted by admin on October 1, 2010
Black gold. Oil? Naw, new soil. Garden Composter turns garden waste into rich, organic fertilizer. SAVE BIG! Jumbo size! Holds approx. 11 cu. ft. Green Thumb alert! Here’s the ticket for your plants to be real “gushers”… healthy, lush and productive! Create your own fertile gardening soil by recycling yard greenery such as lawn clippings, leaves, weeds and natural kitchen waste into rich compost. It’s what gardeners call “black gold.” Composting is environmentally friendly. And it greatly reduces “trash” that’s normally sent to your local landfill. Right now, you can cultivate BIG bucks in savings, due to our volume buy! Details: 100% recycled plastic holds approx. 11 cubic feet; Easy access lid opens from either side (closes tight to lock out critters); Adjustable air vents; Slide bottom door for easy compost access; Compact footprint allows for placement in tight spots; Works best in a sunny location; Easy, snap-together assembly; 23 x 23 x 40 1/4″h., weighs 28 lbs. Recycle greenery the easy way. Act now! Garden Composter
Click here to buy from Amazon
Posted by admin on September 29, 2010
This composter not only blends in discreetly with your landscape, its dark color absorbs more of the suns heat, creating optimal conditions for efficient composting. Convenient, open-bottom design eliminates dumping” just use one of the four removable side doors as a scoop to distribute. Made of lightweight, 100% recycled plastic, its easy to move and simple to assemble. Size: 30″ sq. x 34-1/4″H. Found in Lawn & Garden , Garden Tools & Supplies , Yard Care , More Yard Care Tools
Click here to buy from Amazon
Posted by admin on September 28, 2010
Gardeners have long understood the importance of composting. It provides a cheap way to convert kitchen scraps and garden waste into food for microorganisms. They, in turn, enrich the soil with healthy nutrients which function as fertilizer for plants. Made from recycled plastic. 7 cubic feet capacity. Minimizes landfill waste. Rodent proof. Features easy access sliding door. Mixing fins break up clumps.
Click here to buy from Amazon
Posted by admin on September 27, 2010
To restate a popular phrase: “compost happens” and indeed it does. Make a pile of shredded leaves and grass clippings, stir it up every now and then and as long as it gets rained on occasionally you will eventually get compost. Worms and microscopic creatures will do their thing. While this process is simple enough it does have drawbacks. Not everyone has a good location for this pile of compost wannabe. Another problem is that it is hard to control the moisture level of an open pile of composting material which you do not want to wet or too dry. With the open pile design you can not readily remove some compost when you are ready for it, you need to wait until the pile has finished composting. Therefore you may end up with multiple piles of compost that are at various stages of completion.
To help address some of these issues we have come up with ways to improve the process. Many people use upright bins to compost. These can be as simple as a frame of shipping pallets on their sides to form a box. This type of composter will certainly help to make your composting more than just a spreading pile. This type of composting will also allow more critical oxygen to reach all areas of the composting material. You will also find it still fairly easy to mix up the composting material. Two problems still remain. First this is still primarily a batch process and second, moisture control is difficult unless you tarp the container.
There are newer manufactured bins that come closer to getting it right, with the idea being that you add the material in the top and remove compost from some type of drawer in the bottom as you need it. The concept sounds good but with many of these composters it is difficult to properly mix up and add air (aerate) the compost. Even if you are able to do a good job stirring it up you are back to basically a batch process without the planned downward and out flow. Yet if you do not stir it up well and just keep adding material to the top, the lack of oxygen will greatly slow or halt the composting process with this type of composter.
The next big step in composter evolution was to move to a simple drum style compost tumbler. Basically, a barrel was attached to some type of stand that allowed it to be rotated. This was a real leap in composting technology because you now could monitor and control moisture content, thoroughly mix and aerate the composting material and the composting could take place on a tidy enclosed space. For all of the advantages, one big drawback still remained. This was the ongoing problem of the batch nature of almost all composters. How could a composter be designed so that the composting would continue as an ongoing process with finished compost removed as it is needed? The answer was the development of a composter with a drum inside of a drum. This double drum system allows material to be added through a door in the side of the outer drum and as it breaks down into compost it will exit out a discharge port in the end of the rotating drum. This development has solved the last of the major hurdles to effective backyard composting. No more batch composting! With this type of composter, a good mix of greens and browns, and a little water, you will get your first compost in a few weeks and keep producing throughout the warm part of the year or all year long in warm climates.
If you are looking for the fastest most practical backyard composter, you really need to consider a composter that incorporates the double drum technology. Another benefit we have found is that children love to see how the compost seems to magically appear from the output port even though it was grass and leaves etc. that was added to the feed port moments before rotating the drum. This has allowed these high tech composters to be an interesting educational tool to help us impress upon children how they can be involved in the stewardship of our fragile earth.
Derrick Walters MBA has degrees in biology and chemistry. Derrick is a partner in a business that markets “green” products. To contact Derrick you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you would like more information about the newest in high tech compost tumblers you can visit http://midstatecomposters.com where you will find top rated composters and lots of composting information and tips.
Posted by admin on
Worm composting is an incredibly efficient way to convert kitchen scraps, junk mail and cardboard into nutrient-rich compost for your garden. Master gardeners agree that compost produced by worms will produce the best results and help your plants thrive. The Worm Factory’s unique stackable, multi-tray design makes it the most efficient worm bin composter around. Worms begin eating waste in the lowest tray, and then migrate upward as food sources in that tray are exhausted. By allowing worms to migrate upward, the worms separate themselves from the finished compost that is ready for the garden. Besides the worm castings that are produced through this process, the Worm Factory also produces a second type of compost. As waste is broken down, moisture filters through your Worm Factory, taking nutrient-rich particles with it. This liquid fertilizer, know as leachate is gathered in the special collection tray of the Worm Factory and can easily be drained from the spigot. Simply add a handful of worms and your organic waste to the bottom tray. The worms will start processing the food. Once the bottom tray is filled add another tray. The worms migrate upward to the newest food source leaving the bottom tray full of nutrient rich compost. As waste is broken down, moisture filters through the system taking nutrient-rich particles with it. You can drain organic liquid fertilizer right from the spigot. It’s compact square design gives the Worm Factory the smallest footprint of all worm composters. The Worm Factory’s tray stacking system allows it to hold the largest capacity of compost in the smallest amount of space, making it the perfect composter for anyone with space limitations. The Worm Factory is simple to operate. When full, each tray weighs only 12.5 pounds making lifting and arranging trays effortless. The included 16-page instruction manual makes setup fast and easy and gives tips on how to best manage your Worm Factory composter year-round.
Click here to buy from Amazon
Posted by admin on September 26, 2010
Put simply, compost is decomposed organic matter. So those leaves breaking down on the forest floor are compost, as too are the bodies at the cemetery. All organic matter lives, then dies and breaks down into different qualities of compost. That breakdown of organic matter is carried out by animals, plants, moulds, microbes, air and water, basically ‘nature’ or ‘mother earth’ depending on how whimsical you feel.
That was the easy answer, but the long answer is dependent on what kind of gardener you are. Do you make your own garden compost, and if so how? Or do you just buy it in bags from the store? Every gardener who is a fan of garden composting has a slightly different method. They will use slightly different ingredients in their garden composters. So everyone’s garden compost is a bit different!
Garden soil tends to be a combination of crushed rock and mineral mixed up with hummus (the end result of your garden compost bin). Compost is the bulk within the soil but not necessarily the nutrient provider. Hummus improves the soil structure, allowing it to hold moisture and air.
The more hummus the soil has the better the structure. The soil will not be compacted, as some clay soils are apt to do. Hummus opens them out leaving air pockets which are so vital for the micro-organisms and insect life so vital to the health and vitality of the soil and eventually your plants.
Hummus is spongy and great at holding water so is vital for those with sandy soils. But, any soil will be improved by the addition of more hummus. Home compost is free and easy to create. There is no reason not to compost waste from the home and garden. Much easier to trapse to the bottom of the garden with garden waste or kitchen scraps to compost, than sort them out and place in bins for a destiny in municipal landfill.
Brilliantly, many local authorities across Europe and the US are recycling organic waste on a commercial scale. But if you have space for even the smallest beehive compost bin it makes sense to keep your garden waste for yourself and make your own garden compost. Your compost will be a very locally sourced product and free to boot!
Compost or hummus provides the soil with slow release nutrients. The variety of nutrients will depend entirely on what the compost originally was. For example composting a nitrogen rich poultry manure, will give a nitrogen rich compost.
The very best garden composts are made from a wide variety of ingredients so the resulting hummus is full of the widest variety of nutrients. The hummus which is the end product of the garden composter should be spongy in texture and full of all the trace elements needed in the garden.
So when you are making compost at home the very best approach is to put as many different things in your garden compost bin, as possible. That way you will get the widest variety of goodness to put on your garden.
It is worth telling friends and neighbours if you are starting garden composting. That way you can get more ‘food’ for the compost bin from them. Composting is the ultimate in garden recycling. And, the more you can recycle to the composter the better the compost will be.
The biggest problem most people face is not being able to fill the garden compost bin fast enough. The whole point of garden compositng, is to improve on what nature does all day every day. The earth tends to compost slowly. Moulds, bacteria, insects, scavengers all slowly turning what was once alive, into hummus to feed the next generation. If you leave a pile of dead leaves in the corner of your garden, eventually nature will break them down. But since they’re dry and exposed to the elements, along with being one solitary type of matter, the process will be very slow. Indeed you may find they’ve all blown away before you get a decent leaf mulch!
Garden composting means helping nature out. Gathering all the dead matter you want to recycle into garden compost, and then protecting it from the elements will speed up the process no end. Also using as wide variety of ingredients for your compost bins will introduce lots of different organisms that work together to make your compost useful in no time.
When carried out successfully garden compost is a beautiful, nutty product that improves the fertility and productivity of your garden. To the successful gardener, composting is a way to save money, work with the environment, recycle and reduce waste. Perhaps most importantly it is a way of ensuring the garden remains productive over the long term. If we are forever harvesting crops we literally reduce the soil bulk and soil vitality of our garden. You can see this in practice as over the years the actual level of soil on a vegetable plot will sink. Maybe more importantly crop yields and performance will falter unless something is done.
Although garden compost is not particularly rich (say in comparison with an organic fertilizer) in nutrients immediately available to plants, it is a feeder as well as bulker for the soil. The nutrients locked up in the compost will be ‘slow release’ nutrients which means putting composted matter on the garden, means feeding in the long term. This will promote tough plants which are fully developed and strong, not the sappy growth susceptible to disease which quick release fertilizers can give.
The soil life; microbes, bacteria, worms and so on will pull down the compost into the soil where it can do even more good. Best of all you don’t have to dig it in!
See I said the answer to ‘What is Compost?’ was a long one! for some people compost is a sad pile of leaves and grass clippings, fermenting in the corner of the garden. But, for the successful gardener, compost is a useful, spongy hummus and a great way to recycle all manner of garden and kitchen waste. Make sure the latter is the answer to ‘What is Compost?’ for you by looking after your garden composter!
I have lots more articles on gardening. Please check out my page and go to my blog from there!
Posted by admin on
Let’s start our discussion of composters by establishing exactly what constitutes a composter. A composter is a bin or container in which organic waste material are placed to breakdown and decay through the process of decomposition. The result is a nutrient-rich compost, which is great to use in your flower beds or your garden. A composter can be as simple as a homemade compost bin made out of recycled pallets or it can be a manufactured compost bin or compost tumbler.
Two benefits of manufactured composters are they usually do a better job of keeping the critters out of your organic waste, and in most cases manufactured composters speed the composting processing by containing the heat generated by the composting process thereby speeding up the decomposition of your organic materials. Thus, you end up with compost for your garden more quickly than composting in a pile or heap and often with less effort.
What kinds of composters are available? Basically, composters come in three different types: compost bins, compost tumblers and worm composting bins. Each composter has its advantages and disadvantages.
The most basic composter is a compost bin. The average compost bin on the market is made out of heavy-duty plastic and is usually black or dark-green in color, which is great for retaining heat (remember heat is good to help speed up the composting process).
Compost bins are simple, easy to put together and are usually less expensive than compost tumblers. Most of the bins are no more than three feet high and are very unobtrusive and can be placed in a discreet location in your yard. Again, most manufactured compost bins have a lid to keep out varmints and some sort of door to allow access to the finished compost. One disadvantage is that it is sometimes difficult to turn or mix the compost materials. Turning or mixing the compost materials helps ensure more thorough composting. Compost bins hold an average of 80-160 gallons of compostable material and can produce finished compost in several months.
The next type of composter is a compost tumbler. A compost tumbler is usually a little more expensive than a compost bin, but it has definite advantages. A compost tumbler, as the name implies, allows the composting chamber to be turned on its axis, which makes for easy mixing of the organic materials. Compost tumblers can produce finished compost more quickly than most compost bins because of the ability to turn and mix the compost materials.
The only work required when composting with a compost tumbler is to give the compost tumbler a spin or two each week and when new organic material is added. Most compost tumbler hold similar volumes as compared to compost bins and can produce finished compost in several weeks.
The last type of composter is a worm composting bin. As you might suspect, worms are involved in the composting process with worm composting bins. The nice thing about a worm bin is that it can be used indoors. Now I know it sounds a little freaky to have worms in your house, but a worm bin is made to safely house the worms and compostable materials so that you don’t have to worry about a smell or a mess.
The typical worm used in worm bins is a red brandling worm-the kind of worm most people use for fishing. The worm bin typically has several trays. The bottom tray is filled with moist bedding materials, such as shredded newspaper. Worms are then added and another tray is placed atop the tray containing the worms. In this tray you place your organic materials. The worms find their way into the upper tray and begin feasting on your garbage. The worms leave behind castings or worm poo, which is some of the most nutrient-rich compost available. After several weeks, these castings can be harvested and used in your garden.
The only concern with a worm bin is that you need to avoid temperature extremes if you keep your bin outside. It does not need to be in direct sunlight and as the evening temperature nears 40 degrees, it will be necessary to bring your worm bin into the garage or basement.
How much do I need to spend on a composter? The typical price range for a composter is from under $100.00 to around $400.00 depending on which model you purchase. Most compost bins are in the $100-$150 price range, and most compost tumblers are in the $200-$400 price range.
What is the best composter for me? To answer this question, you need to figure out what kind of composting method you might prefer. There are basically two kinds of composting methods-I call them the “patient composting method” and the “results-oriented composting method.”
If you are the type of person who is not really in a hurry to have finished compost, and you are composting more out of a desire to do your part in helping the environment, you may want to consider some kind of compost bin. Compost bins fall under the “patient composting method” category because it usually takes several months before you have finished compost.
If, on the other hand, you are someone who wants to get on with things, you may want to consider a compost tumbler. Compost tumblers fall under the “results-oriented composting method” category because you can usually have finished compost in several weeks. For example, someone who is an avid gardener and wants a continuous supply of compost for his or her garden is one who should seriously consider a compost tumbler.
What composter do we recommend? I know you have a lot of information to think about, but we have some suggestions to help guide you in the right direction.
Cost Conscious Consumers may want to consider the Soil Saver Compost Bin
Value Conscious Consumers may want to consider the Tumbleweed Compost Tumbler or the Envirocycle Compost Tumbler
Quality Conscious Consumers may want to consider the Jora JK270 Composter, the Jora JK125 Composter
Start composting! We hope that you have found this information helpful in deciding which composter will suit your composting needs. As a final resource, we have compiled reviews of our top nine composters in our Composter Buying Guide.
There is a composter out there for everyone. Go find yours today! Good luck and happy composting. Remember, “Don’t throw it away, compost it!”
GoodCompost.com is your source for composters and composting equipment, as well as composting know-how. We are here to help you get started composting at home today. Come by for a visit. http://www.goodcompost.com/
Posted by admin on September 25, 2010
Perhaps more important than what type of garden composter you choose is where you actually put your garden compost bin. You need it to be somewhere that is beneficial to both the process of making garden compost AND, most importantly, to you.
What to Put Your Garden Composter On?
The key point is that any compost bin should be placed on the ground ideally on bare soil. Your garden soil holds all the micro organisms that will be needed to turn your garden waste into organic compost. The easiest way to ensure they make their way into your heap of organic matter is by letting it touch the soil. If you can face it, clear the ground of weeds or grass before placing your compost bin. If you don’t you may find weeds flourishing inside your bin during the initial stages of filling. Don’t worry though they’ll soon be smothered by the compost heap so this is not a critical job.
Placing the compost heap on bare soil means that as it cools, and decomposition slows, the worms can find their way in. Never put worms on your compost heap yourself. If the heap is too hot they will perish and then you have taken away a garden friend from your soil, with no benefit to the compost bin at all. Worms will find their own way in when the time is right.
If you do not have any bare ground on which to place your garden composter you can of course put it onto concrete or slabs. This will slow things down a little so either use a compost activator or throw a few spades full of soil into the bin at the start. Again do not add worms to the compost bin. Even sited on concrete those worms will miraculously make their way there when the time is right.
Do not site your garden composter on wooden decking unless you really do not mind it becoming damp, stained and likely to eventually rot.
Where to Place the Garden Compost Bin?
Obviously your garden is unique to you and so I cannot tell you where your garden composter should be located. But, there are a few things to keep in mind.
* Will the Garden Composter be an eyesore?
* Will the Garden Compost Bin be easy to use – both for filling and emptying?
* Will the Compost Bin be attractive to children or pets?
* What about fruit flies and gnats?
The initial choice is often to locate a garden compost bin as far away as possible from the house. That way you don’t see it (they’re often not the prettiest things to look at). But, are you the kind of person who is keen on traipsing through a muddy field with a bowl of kitchen scraps? If you are all well and good. If however you are likely to lapse in your composting duties if the bin seems too far away, put it somewhere closer to the house. A basic wooden fence blocking your compost bin from view can be an ideal place for some pretty climbers so that even the ugliest bin becomes a garden feature.
Whether you chose to compost all your organic household waste or just your vegetable peelings, make sure you get yourself some way of storing that waste indoors. A plastic bucket with a lid, under the sink makes a convenient holding ground for household organic waste which you haven’t got the time or inclination to dump in the compost bin just yet. There are even crocks designed specifically to hold kitchen scraps. These make composting kitchen waste a lot more attractive and many come with carbon filters which ensure no nasty smells surround the Kitchen Countertop Composter no matter how rarely you make it down to the end of the garden to empty.
In warm climates fruit flies and gnats can be a nuisance, attracted by the moisture and food in a compost bin. If you always try to cover any new kitchen scraps with garden waste such as grass clippings it will help. But, when you lift the lid of your garden compost bin the chances are you will get a face full of gnats during the summer months. If this is a concern to you make sure your compost bin is away from kitchen windows and doors to discourage any insects you disturb heading for the inside of your home.
Though you need that compost bin to be handy to fill, don’t forget about emptying it. If you are likely to want to turn your compost heap make sure there is plenty of room near it, to make the job easy. If all your composted material will be headed for a particular area of the garden, such as the vegetable patch, site your bin there.
Any compost bin which is working well because it is full of variety should not be particularly smelly to you and I. Some animals however have a much more advanced sense of smell, so are likely to be interested in your garden compost bins. I have lived with various dogs and cats, some of whom completely ignore the compost heap and others fixate on that mysterious bin continually. Most garden compost bins you can buy are pet proof. But if you have a particularly robust dog with a compost fixation think about siting it somewhere the dog does not have access to. Open compost bins, such as those homemade from pallets or other wood scraps, should be secured to prevent your pets gaining access. Chicken wire is cheap and easy to fix around the base, while the lid should be too heavy or even better hinged and clasped to prevent any pets getting in.
The main thing is to ensure your compost bin is not a ‘hassle’. Make it easy to use and you will use it more. The more you use it, the more goodness will be returned to your garden and the less waste you will send to landfill.
All to often, a poorly situated garden composter can become a neglected, expensive entity, ignored and forgotten. Composting your kitchen scraps and garden waste is a great thing to do, so do not give yourself any excuses not to continue doing it!
I have lots more articles on gardening. Please check out my page and go to my blog from there!
Posted by admin on September 23, 2010
I know I am very lucky. We have loads of outside space so can set up huge compost heaps without it affecting how much space we have to garden or entertain. But lots of folks have smaller outside spaces to work with. And, much as they may like to be a garden composter, they struggle to find the room. I know actually using the garden is likely to take priority over recycling garden waste. So what do you do? You don’t have to decide between composting waste and having room for the kids to play!
There are several options. Firstly go for a small purpose build garden composter like the beehive compost bins I’m such a fan of (purely for aesthetic reasons I admit). But, if even that size compost bin is not practical have you thought about inside compost solutions?
There are lots of worm-composting systems which it is reported can be used indoors. Now I have a bit of a thing about worms. And, as much as I see them as beneficial in the garden I have no desire to get up close and personal with a bucket load of the critters in my kitchen. Maybe you are less squeamish than I, in which case vermiculture, or worm composting is a serious possibility.
If however, you don’t want to invite any more life forms into your kitchen perhaps you should take a look into the kitchen composter. I was amazed by these products. Having never been in the market for a kitchen composter I didn’t really know a lot about them. But, more recently as my love of compost generally, and a desire to find out more widely about the subject has led me to research composting solutions more widely, I have to say I’m completely converted.
The kitchen composter doesn’t have to sit indoors but its so small that is where it is ideally suited to be. The only issue I have with the whole process is that it really isn’t a kitchen composter at all. It is in fact a kitchen waste fermentation system, which I think sounds much more exciting and techie! I know most people would be horrified about having kitchen waste fermenting indoors for weeks on end but every review of these has confirmed you don’t get any odours from the kitchen composters. But then they are sealed to keep out air and ensure anaerobic fermentation.
What is a Bokashi Kitchen Composter?
A Bokashi Kitchen Composter is a bucket with a really well fitting lid. At the bottom of the bucket is a drainage tap so you can drain off any excess moisture which is created during fermentation.
Commercial products are pretty cheap but you could make yourself one by looking out for cheap, quality buckets with lids and adding one of those cheap plastic water barrel taps.
Bokashi is Japanese for ‘fermented organic matter’. That’s what you end up with in your kitchen composter bucket.
Using a Bokashi Kitchen Composter
Using the Bokashi composter system is really straightforward. The whole idea of this kitchen composting system is that, you introduce helpful microbes, yeasts and so on to the kitchen waste. The simplest method is to buy Bokashi starter which will be sawdust, wheat or rice hulls innoculated with all the good yeasts and bacteria you want to work on your kitchen waste.
First you put a layer of the bokashi starter in the kitchen composter bucket. Now add a layer of kitchen waste and sprinkle over some more of the starter. You continue using the kitchen composter in this way till full. Ideally you would save all the kitchen scraps through the day and only put them into the pail once a day. That way you don’t keep opening the lid too often, which would expose the fermenting waste to the air. Also it means you layer the food waste and bokashi starter correctly.
Once the kitchen composter is full you seal and leave it alone for a fortnight. At the end of that time the kitchen waste will be fermented and pickled. It’s quite odd because it doesn’t look like compost at all. The physical appearance of the waste will be little changed, just a little pickled looking! But the waste is fermenting, and breaking down and will be full of the organisms to continue this process rapidly.
Once the kitchen composter has sat, sealed and full for a fortnight its time to empty the contents. Simply dig them into your garden soil (or indeed garden pots). Don’t worry you won’t need to dig huge holes every fortnight. Simply sprinkle the contents of the bokashi bin in a thin layer and cover with soil. After a month the area is ready for planting. The fermented kitchen waste will be broken down and the soil much enriched.
What is the Tap For?
As your kitchen waste ferments it is likely to produce liquid (think making sauerkraut, lots of cabbage becomes not so much cabbage and lots of cabbage juice). And, if you’re adding tea bags and coffee grounds, or other wet food items to the bin, you’ll end up with even more bokashi juice.
The tap, is so you can drain off the bakashi juice and either use it as a liquid plant feed, or tip it down the drain where its acidity will help it clean the pipes. If you have a septic system, the bokashi juice is said to be even more beneficial because you’re sending all the good bacteria that like to break up waste, into your septic tank.
What Kitchen Waste to Put in the Kitchen Composter?
This is the most exciting bit. Lots of garden composters advocate only putting certain types of kitchen waste on a standard garden compost pile. The thinking is that if you put certain items (such as cooked food or meat) on the compost heap you will attract vermin. Now, this isn’t the post to argue this particular point. Though I do feel very strongly that all organic kitchen waste should go on the compost heap and that the heap should just be made vermin proof. Otherwise I feel we’re wasting the opportunity and goodness of recycling all our kitchen waste.
I digress (I feel an altogether different blog post coming!). The point is, because the bokashi kitchen composter is a sealed unit, and that you introduce all the good micro-organisms in to make sure the waste is broken down quickly, you can put any organic waste in.
That’s great news. If you are using a Kitchen Composting System like Bokashi, you can put raw, cooked and processed foods of any kind in. Dairy, fish, meat, coffee grounds, tea bags, paper and tissues all go into your kitchen composter bucket. That makes a real difference to the amount of waste you’ll send to landfill.
Where to Bury the Bokashi Bucket Compost?
This is the biggest issue with bokashi new users. No one really wants to be digging holes every fortnight. If you have a well stocked vegetable garden or flower borders one method is to simply uncover shallow trenches between your plants and tip the contents of the bokashi bucket there and top with soil. The plants will all send their roots towards all this new goodness.
The second, lazier option is to hide a bottomless bucket in the garden. Simply empty the bokashi bucket into the bottomless bucket and sprinkle over some soil. One month later remove the bottomless bucket to uncover a bucket shaped pile of broken down humus. This sounds like a real winner to me!
Would I Become a Bokashi Kitchen Composter?
Definitely, if I had less space and if I didn’t already put ALL my kitchen waste (even the fish, meat, bones and dairy) on my outdoors compost bins. If we had problems with vermin I would consider the bokashi system, regardless of our space as a way of recycling the kitchen waste safely. But in that case I would just bung the contents of the bokashi bucket onto my compost heaps rather than bury them.
But would I buy a Bokashi Kitchen Composter? Honest answer is I’m not sure. They’re not all that expensive but I think I might get creative with a cheaper plastic bucket instead. Even the bokashi starter can be made yourself, though I’m really not sure that would be worth the hassle.
But, for those with no garden, or a lack of space for a vermin-proof compost heap I defintiely think the bokashi kitchen composter route is a fabulous option.
I have lots more articles on gardening. Please check out my page and go to my blog from there!