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It has to be simple

Posted by barb_roselover_in 5A IN (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 8, 14 at 13:57

I am pretty much confined to my living area any more,(as far as outside work) but I would like to compost what is possible. The kids have provided me with a big trash barrel with holes for aeration. i would like for some of you to provide me with the simplest method of doing this, I would think it should be more or less peelings and just not everything, but with some other material added. Would it make compost because I could not turn it or "stir" it. I would appreciate any hints you could give me. Maybe there are others like me that want to do my part but are restricted. Thanks. Barb

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: It has to be simple

Have you considered worms? Take a look at "vermicomposting" next door here on GW. Conventional wisdom tells me you likey have pot plants. While any planting soil benifits from addition of compost,it's usualy mixed throughout the soil. The product of vermicomposting is a nice soil addition as well but is especialy great for occasionaly top dressing potted/container plants.

RE: It has to be simple

You can compost anything that's not alive that used to be alive.

sour milk
sugary drinks that have gone flat
tea leaves & coffee grounds

If you just put these things in a barrel or bucket, they'll turn into a slimey stinky gooey mess & you'll wrinkle your nose & throw the whole thing out.

Carbon is the magic material that turns that stuff into compost;
you can use
dry autumn leaves
cardboard (tears easily if you dunk it in water first)

Other materials add nutrients & minerals-
for instance, eggshells add calcium.

If you add a mix of nitrogen & carbon materials a little at a time, turning isn't really necessary.

You might want to cut the barrel in half or start with a smaller container if you have mobility problems, though.

It seems to me that harvesting the compost from the bottom might be hard for you to manage.

Just remember that pretty much nothing about composting is rocket science (unless you want it to be);
nature has been doing this for millions of years without measuring & weighing & turning & watering, just using whatever lands on the ground.
My main advice for composting:

Have fun!

RE: It has to be simple

  • Posted by babyg U10 S20/21 (MtnTop L (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 8, 14 at 20:16

I too think worms are ideal for you. The compost is made faster and it's a much more compact system. It's also easy to have indoors. It should never smell bad -- if it doesn then you know something needs adjusting -- usually bury the food, feed less or make sure the whole thing is mixed with and covered with shredded paper.

The homemade bins work fine, if you can figure out a good way to harvest the compost. Otherwise you can consider a premade worm composter like the one in the link. It has a drain for excess moisture (the "tea) and bins that easily separate the different stages.

Here is a link that might be useful: Worm Bin

RE: It has to be simple

Conventional wisdom tells me you likely have pot plants

Klem, around these parts, pot plants are marijuana! LOL! You might want to say potted plants or container plants! LOL Nancy

RE: It has to be simple

"You might want to say potted plants or container plants! "LOL Nancy

Around here potted is the condition resultant of pot plants. LOL

RE: It has to be simple

I have found over many years that trash barrels full of holes tend to retain too much moisture and you end up with material that is in anaerobic (absence of air) digestion that really smells bad. Since you are in zone 5, somewhere in the United States, that tells me that your winters are cold and that most likely that trash bin composter will not have enough volume to keep working through the winter. Since you plan on just composting mostly kitchen waste vermicomposting would be a better solution.

Here is a link that might be useful: Composting Tutorial

RE: It has to be simple

Around here potted is the condition resultant of pot plants. LOL
LOLOL! Nancy

RE: It has to be simple

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 21:41

I just collect everything in a trash can, when the can is full I dig a hole in the garden and bury the contents. If it is winter and will not smell, I dump them on top of the garden. If your kids visit, they can do this three or four times a year.

RE: It has to be simple

The problem with a barrel like that is what to do when it gets full. Ideally you want to be able to turn the batch at least once, which will help mix, break up and aerate the materials. There are commercial bins that are basically a barrel cut in half vertically, with side clips that hold the two halves together, and no bottom. When it gets full you take off the clips, remove the bin, set it up next to the pile, and fork the pile back in. Usually at the bottom there is some compost ready to use. You might look into that or see if your barrel can be modified. Otherwise you pretty much have to tip it over and dig the stuff out sideways.

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