New to composting

karan_in_oregon(Zone 8 Oregon)March 26, 2011

Hi, I have a plastic garbage can that I am using for old leaf mold and used potting soil. I would like to make this into a compost container. It is a regular sized garbage can. I want to put vegetable peels, egg shells, coffee grounds etc. in it. How can I keep it from having an odor and what can I do to use it as a compost bin.

Thank you for all ideas. Karan

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Karan, the website linked below should be of some help in your pursuit of composting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Online Composting tutorial

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 8:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bin composting is not always the best way to go. It depends on what and when you want to plant.

Here is a link that might be useful: When to Compost

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 3:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The basics:

Compost needs to breathe. If it doesn't get enough air, it goes all gooey and you get anaerobic bacteria, which STINK. So you will need to put plenty of small air holes in your bin, and you will need to stir it up fairly frequently (every 3 days or so) to get air into the center. A Compost Crank or a garden augur electric drill attachment are helpful for this.

You also need the right ratio of carbon or "brown" material to nitrogen or "green" material. Generally, the ratio is 3 parts brown to 1 part green. Some examples of browns are shredded newspaper, dead leaves, wood shavings/chips, straw. Greens are fresh lawn clippings, kitchen waste, manure. Cover your greens with an adequate amount of browns and you will avoid bad smells.

Other tips: the smaller and finer your materials, the faster they will break down. I tear my banana peels into multiple strips, crush up my eggshells (I just use my hand), and put my garden waste and even my dirty chicken bedding through a small chipper/shredder before composting. It really speeds up the process. Oh, and your compost should be as damp as a wrung-out sponge. Too dry, and the bacteria can't grow well; too wet, and you get the stinky anaerobic bacteria.

Good luck, and have fun!


    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 8:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
karan_in_oregon(Zone 8 Oregon)

Thank you for the posts and links to follow. They have helped.
I live in an attached 'mother-in law' apartment. No relation to the couple in the house in front. I have to be careful so thought the garbage can would be the best way to go.
I just can't throw out peels, egg shells etc. any more.
All of my plants are in big containers - 5 hydrangeas, 8 or 9 roses, lots and lots of lilies. I started them from seed and are 2 years old. I have at least 30 and ordered more from B & D lilies. More perennials and vines and shrubs.
Happily the property management and the neighbors don't mind.
I will put the holes in and start putting green things in with the brown material.
Thank you again,

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 2:04PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
How can I get my soil to hold water longer?
I live in Augusta and I just bought a bunch of Bricko's...
Can I compost black walnut shavings and safely use the compost?
I do wood working and I use a lot of black walnut wood....
Gorilla hair?
I'm wondering about pros and cons of using redwood...
The case against compost tumblers
I am complete against tumblers. They don't drain well...
Please move this OUT of "Organic" gardening drop-down list
It's possible to have soil, make compost and use mulch...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™