Sunday, March 8, 2015

Expensive Compost Bins are not necessary

For the ones that use compost or have at least thought about it, you probably know what I mean when I say "expensive compost bins." Good grief, some of these things are outrageous in price. Out of curiosity, I was just checking and seen a lot of them listed from 100 to 200 dollars, and some of these bins were even in the 300 to 400 dollar price range! I'd build my own before buying those. Plus, I don't think they are necessary anyway. To me, at least, compost bins are more of a convenience than a requirement. Sure, these expensive contraptions help churn, turn, stir, air out, mix, etc., but so does a pitchfork; ha!

Anyway, I use various types of organic soil amendments for my garden every year, but I've never did the compost pile thingy. During the non-growing season I'll periodically dump a lot of used tea bags, vegetable waste, etc., on top of my garden area. Of course, if you have a commercial lot or a giant corn field, for example, this will not be sufficient; ha! However, if you are only growing enough food for a single family, it is very easy to accumulate enough organic material during the fall, winter, and early spring, for your small to medium-sized garden.

Another method is to simply save a lot of the waste in buckets, dump the smelly stuff out in early spring, and till/plow the waste into your soil a month or so beforehand. At any cultivating rate, I'm going to try the compost pile thing for the next couple of months, just to see how it smells, oops, I mean goes. If you want to reduce the odors, adding more brown matter than the green matter to your pile at a ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 will help a lot. Brown matter is stuff like dried leaves, dried grass trimmings, etc. Think 'dead' for brown, and fresh produce trimmings and fresh manure for green, etc.

Well, anyway, I'm going to modify some extra large plastic containers for the compost bins, and manually stir the crap as it rots. One must remember, compost is just decomposed organic matter. This ain't rocket science, as they say. I also like to spread a fair amount of wood ashes over my growing area once a year, as a soil amendment. Wood ashes will raise the pH a bit if you overdo it, so only use 'em in moderation.

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