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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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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The Best Small Composters For Small Gardens

Posted by admin on October 1, 2010

When gardening in a small backyard it is crucial that all the components be perfect, or as near to perfect as we can manage. With space at a premium we need to choose the best small garden composter suited to our needs. After reviewing both conventional small compost bins and backyard tumblers here are my top three garden compost bins for small gardens.

All of my top three compost bins for small spaces will give you great garden compost. All are ventilated, vermin proof and made of dark plastic. This gives all three the ability to produce fast, hot compost from your garden waste and kitchen scraps. Plus all should prove durable enough to last through the years of composting to come.

Your budget and just how small your small backyard is, will of course determine which is more suited to your needs. But all the top three small garden composters are a good place to start before making your decision.

The Envirocycle Compost Tumbler

This is a great little backyard tumbler. It comes in a choice of colours. In a small space black appears further away so that is the one I would choose. Also being black has the advantage of increasing the heat inside the drum, so helping to make your garden compost faster.

This is an ideal backyard tumbler for small gardens because it sits low to the ground so having much less impact in a small space. Because the design is low to the ground there also is less of an issue if you have a less than perfect place to site the bin. Whilst those on high metal frames will have to be placed somewhere completely level and out of the way to prevent knocks, this one isn’t going to go anywhere even if it does get the odd knock from running children or pets.

Being a relatively small drum which spins on its short axis, this is one compost tumbler which remains easy to spin no matter how full it gets. All that spinning means you never need to turn or mix the composting material in any other way.

One of the things I particularly like is that it comes with a decent warranty. Some of the more expensive tumbling compost bins come with far shorter guarantees which makes me worry about there more complicated designs. The Envirocycle compost tumbler has a manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years for the drum, 2 years for the base.

Another feature is that the material is 50% post consumer, recycled plastic which means buying the Envirocycle helps the environment that little bit.

Although creating compost in 4 to 6 weeks is extremely quick, I would emphasise that ideally (space permitting) you would need two of these bins to provide a year round home to all your organic waste.

The SoilSaver Compost Bin

This is as basic as manufactured garden compost bins tend to get. This is cheap but it is also durable, simple to install, and square which means it is even more suited to small spaces. Being a static bin, means this composter will not usually produce garden compost quite so quickly as the Envirocycle. But, it is well insulated and black so it will still produce quality compost within a few months.

The only point which needs ot be remembered about the SoilSaver compost bin is that it will only work correctly if sited on level ground. This is because it is square with sliding sides (making removing compost easy) and a locking lid (to keep out vermin). If you do not place this on level ground the corners will be under stress and the lid is unlikely to remain tightly fitted.

This is simple to put together and made from 75% post consumer, recycled plastic. So even though the name isn’t as ‘green’, this is actually the most environmentally friendly garden composter of the three.

This small composter is very cheap but strong and sturdy. So much so that it comes with a 25 year warranty, proving the faith the manufacturers have in their product. Again, space permitting you really would need two of these garden composters to ensure year round collection of your organic waste.

The Earthmaker Garden Composter

This looks like the ideal garden composter for a small garden because you should never need any additional compost bins. This system incorporates three bins into one. You add new organic waste to the top. Then once a month use a tool to slide the chamber base so that decomposing materials fall down into the lower chambers.

Once the system is set up, and you’ve been using it a while you should have a non-stop supply of finished garden compost in the bottom. At the same time you should also always have a space at the top in which to deposit more garden waste and kitchen scraps.

This is significantly more pricey than the two options above but if space is your paramount problem, it could provide an answer to your composting needs. This is a very efficient, hot, method of producing compost. Once established your waste should become garden compost within a month. The makers suggest you’ll be creating 10 gallons of compost every 4 weeks but obviously that depends very much on how much waste you have to put in it.

It is disappointing that there is no information available regarding any extended warranty either on amazon or other (more expensive) stockists. Though as it is made from sturdy plastic, without any complicated metal framework or wheels it at least looks very durable.

This continuous composting system is the one I would choose if I really could not accommodate two composters into my garden. However if your small garden isn’t quite that small I suggest the Envirocycle compost tumbler for easy use or the Soilsaver for no-nonsense, long lasting garden composting.

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

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Kitchen Composters – A Look at Kitchen Composting

Posted by admin on September 30, 2010

Composting has been practiced by gardeners for centuries as a great way to not only get rid of garden and yard waste, but it’s a very cost effective way to improve and enrich the soil in a garden or even an indoor container. Almost all gardeners value the “black gold” of compost as one of the best additives to the garden soil.

But many gardeners, especially “indoor” gardeners, don’t have a place to build and maintain a compost pile of any sort. And the idea of building a traditional compost pile indoors is not really feasible. But it turns out there are some options for making compost indoors. Let’s take a look at a couple.

Vermiculture (or How About Them Worms?)

At first blush, the idea of a worm bin or worm farm sounds like the last thing that you would want to have in your home, especially your kitchen. But it turns out that worm composting (the technical term is vermiculture) is one of the cleaner ways to make compost. The worms are contained in a plastic bind, and you can successfully make the compost without ever even seeing or touching the worms.

The bin is built with multiple layers, and you add the worms, and then add the kitchen waste to be composted. One of the advantages of worm composting is that you can add materials that would never do well in a traditional compost bin, like citrus peelings and the like. You let the worms do their magic, and add another layer or bin and the worms move on to the fresh kitchen waste.

Worm castings are among the best forms of compost, and do wonders for the composition of the soil. Take a look a the pictures of a worm bin and you may find that it’s better than you think.

Bokashi Composting

One example of a bokashi composter is the Happy Farmer composter. This is an indoor composting technique that has been used for years by the Japanese and Koreans.

Bokashi is a mixture of bran and sawdust which is mixed with microorganisms. The kitchen wastes are put in the composter, and a mixed with the bokashi. After a couple of weeks the mixture can be buried outside, where it will finish off into compost in just a few more weeks. The process is more similar to fermentation than it is a traditional composter, in that it’s an anaerobic process (not requiring oxygen) and the finished product has more liquid. In fact many bokashi composters have a spigot that allows you to drain the liquid off separately, and you can use it to fertilize your plants.

Advantages of indoor composters

Both of these approaches have some common advantages:

1) You don’t need a lot of waste to start the bin. With a traditional compost pile, you need enough mass to get the pile to heat up. With these indoor composters, the active agents can get to work right away, you don’t need to wait for a big pile of waste to get going.

2) You can compost many things that won’t work in a traditional compost pile. Don’t think of meat or dairy products in a compost pile, but small amounts of these in these kitchen composters can do OK.

3) Compost in a hurry – These active composters can give you compost in four to eight weeks, much faster than a traditional compost pile.

So, if you want to adopt more of a green lifestyle by composting your wastes, but thought that living in an apartment or condo without a yard kept you from doing so, there are options.

To see a complete review of kitchen composters like the Can O Worms worm farm or the Happy Farmer Kitchen composter you can go to http://how2compost.com

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Small Garden Composters Start With a Beehive Compost Bin

Posted by admin on September 22, 2010

If you are a new to garden composting and have little space for a Garden Composter you may be concerned with how the garden compost bin will impact 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 bought 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 leave 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 pressie 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 fab 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 a 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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