How to - Organic Gardening

Choose a style that will suit your garden to produce a rich soil amender

composting-bin2.jpgBin composting
A compost bin is tidier and more pest-resistant than an open pile. There are various types of bins both DIY and ready-made, from stationary ones of wire mesh, wood (recycled pallets are ideal), plastic, and even concrete or hay bales to tumbler types that turn or roll. Each has its pros and cons.

Any bin should be sited in a sunny to partly shaded spot that’s easy to access (otherwise you won’t use it). Some experts recommend placing stationary bins on bare soil so the worms can get in easily, but I’ve had composters sitting on a driveway and no shortage of worms.

Whatever the bin, the process remains the same: layering greens and browns and keeping everything middling moist. Many composters allow you to get finished compost from the bottom while adding fresh material to the top, but it’s easier to stop adding stuff and let everything break down. Pull the bin off, cover the pile of partly finished compost with a tarp, and start anew, or simply get a second bin. Finished compost can take a month or so if you’re really hands on (chopping the ingredients, aerating the pile every few days, monitoring moisture and temperature, and correctly balancing your greens and browns) to a year if you’re totally laissez-faire.


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