I really want to be successful at composting – I really do. I’ve tried a few times, and lost interest once it became too much work or (more likely) had to be thought about too often. In my latest attempt, the ingredients turned into a great attraction for fruit flies, which caused me to send the “kitchen scraps” ceramic container to the deck. Where I promptly forgot about it. And where it eventually cracked – ceramic does not do well in the winter around here.
With my current attempt, I’m thinking through the details before I step one foot into that, well, wasteland.
Here’s a Recipe for Compost. A pretty easy way to remember it is by color.
Right now, I have an abundance of leaves that I’ve raked up from the yard and shredded with the lawnmower. Funny side note – none of these leaves came from trees in my yard! Thanks, neighbors! I also can prepare some newspaper by shredding it with the office shredder. So there’s my brown stuff. I will keep my extra brown in a covered pile beside the composter.
The green materials seem to be easier to come by. Kitchen scraps (including egg shells, coffee grounds, tea and tea bags) will be saved and stored in this handy-dandy trash can I picked up at WalMart.
I have biodegradable plastic liners from a former composting attempt. I read somewhere that you can freeze these scraps so they are available when you need them. Not sure about the practicality of that, but it’s an idea.
Yard scraps (grass clippings, weeds that have not turned to seed) can be stored behind the fence, out of sight and out of smell range, hopefully.
I have a composter that tumbles. It’s very easy to turn, and makes compost in as little as 4 weeks. Or so I’m told.
I have added layers of ingredients – 2 inches of green + 6 inches of brown then sprinkle with some water – to the composter . You aren’t suppose to fill it up, so I made 3 layers. I also added a scoop of soil that contained a few earth worms from one of my flower beds. Those worms will get the process started. Be sure to save a scoop of finished compost to add to your new batch, again, with a few worms.
Now I will need to turn the composter once a week. So I will add a (yet another) reminder to my smartphone to remind me to turn the composter. Turn it Tuesdays!
It’s a little disappointing when you open the composter and find this itty bitty amount of compost, but I have used the small amounts to amend a few of my borders. It does feel pretty special to turn waste into something so useful.
And bonus – it’s free!
My “C” entry in the A-to-Z Challenge.
Chugging right along!
- The Lazy Gardener’s Guide to Composting (kcet.org)