No room for a compost pile

splendificaOctober 26, 2013

As I don't have room for a compost pile, all kitchen scraps, (bar citrus and meat) and all weeds, well chopped, the finer the better, grass clippings, fresh horse or cow manure, whenever and whatever comes to hand, I put into recycled plastic shopping bags, and leave in the sun for 2/3 weeks, by which time the heat has gone and is ready to feed to the worms or lay a thin layer under the mulch or dug into holes between the plants or into the temporary paths between the beds. I regard my whole garden as a worm farm, and now only keep 3 styrofoam boxes to breed the worms, and as each box becomes crowded, I remove the mature breeders to a newly prepared box and empty the rest, bedding, castings, capsules and immature worms, straight under the mulch. Works a treat.
It would be interesting to learn how others get around the space problem for composting in small back yards.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

I'm sure it works for you but I always wonder, when people say they have no room for a compost heap, just how small their gardens are. I can't help feeling that I prefer to have my single discrete small wooden bin than several shopping bags of rotting kitchen scraps lying about. And it seems like a lot of palaver with the bags, the styrofoam boxes and the procedures. I fill my bin through the year and twice a year I empty it out, remove finished compost and return unfinished to the bin. It takes all the trimmings from my tiny garden as well as the kitchen waste.

What are the dimensions of your yard? Is it smaller than 15 feet by 20?

Can you spot the compost in the photo? No? It's in the back left hand corner completely invisible behind the green shrub.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 4:19AM
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A good compost pile has a foot print of 4 feet by 4 feet, or 16 square feet, and most people can find enough space to tuck one in. A compost bin would not take up much more room then those bags of material placed out in the sun.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 6:22AM
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There are many ways to make compost, so whatever works for you. I would agree with the other posters though. My enclosed bin is only about 2-1/2 ft. in diameter, not even 4x4, and it makes splendid compost.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:33AM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

ours goes direct into gardens as we get it, the worms do their work where it is needed.


Here is a link that might be useful: lens garden page

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 3:22PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

I have a very small yard and I bought theses 3 bins to use. Works for me!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 7:53AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I do have a pile for aging manure and veggie scraps, but I return residues, cover crops, and add things to the garden to compost there.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 11:26AM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Mine's about the size of Kenstar's, but I did move it away from the house due to some dry rot and vermin being too close to the house.
Now the cats, owls and hawks get all of the little vermin guys! Nancy

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 9:21PM
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I just read the original posting again, and splendifica said s/he was not putting citrus in the compost. There is no reason not to compost citrus, either peelings or whole fruit. I seem to recall that worms in indoor worm bins may find it distasteful, but it is quite compostable.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 12:31PM
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I second Floral's comment about a gardener not having room for a compost pile. Always makes me wonder just how small the garden is.

A garden bench can do double duty as a composting bin system, although two I've read about ranged up to $

A trench for winter composting in place might work well for some.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 4:54PM
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I've made compost indoors with a 5 gallon container. Ground up leaves and coffee grounds and BINGO I had compost. Slow to make and of course it's a tiny amount but it's a fun winter project and works for indoor gardening.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 1:26PM
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I agree with you... about 12" worth (100 large 36x50 bags)direct into the garden (60' x 60') a quick pass with tiller to break them up and bury about half the leaves and let ma nature to her thing for 5 months. this method has done wonders for a clay garden in just 5 years. I mound all my rows 12' high by 12' wide and put down all the grass clippings my neighbors drop off in between the rows every week(3 ft spacing), the grass dries fast and helps keep the weeds down and that way Im adding all season long, in the fall every thing gets tilled and leveled with the leaves and then in the spring im ready to roll. I have to admit that I do broad cast 20lbs of 20-20-20 when I till in the spring.

this works for me.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 10:26PM
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I have lot of room for a compost pile, but, I purchased 2 Compost tumbler single barrel tumblers.
I emptied one last summer and used the compost in a few garden (veggie) plots. I never did empty the other. It is still full. That is fine, but the empty one fell apart after I emptied it. I can see that I need to replace a couple of the threaded rods that went horizontally from one end to the other. The length is not available in most hardware stores or the local big box store. I would have to buy a bigger length and saw it down and hope the end is smooth enough for the cap or nut to easily join up the end. I think if next spring gives me time to look for a nut that fits the rod on this barrel composter, It will be a miracle. I will be mad if I can't make the barrel composter fit together right again, but I think if you have enough land to move your garden plots around well enough, direct composting may be the best way. You make your mound in the eventual garden plot. The nutrients stay where needed. But with any compost pile, you may start out with a giant pile, but end up with a smaller pile.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 3:22AM
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