Composting Tidbits

Composting on a Small Scale


Many people live in small apartments, or neighborhoods with small yards, and therefore think composting is not for them…. but I beg to differ. A plastic trashcan, with a tight-fitting lid can be placed just outside the patio door. Line this with a heavy-duty black trash bag. Whenever you have food scraps (NO meat), small amounts of white paper (shredded), coffee grounds, old potting soil, plant debris from potted plants, etc… place into the can. Every so often shake, turn over, stir…whatever to mix the contents. After a few months you have great compost for your plants!

What Do I Put in the Compost??


When you think about compost you visualize yard waste (grass clippings, weedings, wood chips, etc), manure, outside stuff; but composting can be all recycled stuff from inside when done on a small scale. When you peel veggies for dinner the peels go in your compost bucket. When you repot your houseplants, the old soil that falls out can be placed there also. Old newspapers or other white paper (colored papers have dyes and inks) shredded can be added, but try not to make it a large source of material. When breakfast is being made, take the empty eggshells (a source of calcium) and microwave them for 40 seconds (this kills any bacteria), crush them fine, and add them to the compost. Coffee grounds can be added and they make the resulting soil more acidic. Used tea bags can also be added, paper, and all!

You need to keep the brewing compost damp, so if it seems dry blend up thick fruit peels (banana, orange, etc) with a little bit of water…. add this to the compost.

In other words you can add anything that is plant-based!

Winter Composting Without a Pile


You can accomplish two things though the winter with one job done in the fall! Build yourself a raised bed garden. Make a rectangle approx. 3 ft by whatever length your yard will accommodate out of recycled (or bought) wood. Make this between 1 foot and 2 feet deep. Place this frame right over the grass or patch of dirt where you want the bed.

Line the bottom with corrugated cardboard (several layers of newsprint can be substituted), place a layer of yard waste (grass clippings) over the cardboard, followed by a layer of manure if it is available. Water well. Now continue repeating the layers until your bed is filled to the top. After approx 6 months of rain and shine, cold and heating you will have great soil ready for planting in the spring!


One response to this post.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Todd and Todd Inman, Karol Rowe. Karol Rowe said: Composting Tidbits: […]


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