Do you compost?

MoonShadows

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
410
Likes
624
Location
Stroudsburg, PA
First Name
Jim
Hardiness Zone
6a
#1
Do you compost? How do you compost? Compost barrel? Self-made bin? Just toss stuff in a corner? Do you turn it over or forget about it? Do you use a compost starter? Inquiring minds want to know! ;)
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2017
Messages
33
Likes
42
Hardiness Zone
8b
#2
I compost. It's a huge money saver and cuts down on our garbage. Close to the house we use compost drums the critters can't get into, but further away from the home we use chicken wire which allows the air to circulate easily. All get turned and I don't use a starter. It's not a chore I enjoy, but it helps with erosion, water retention, and feeds our garden, so it's just something I do anyway. What about you?
 

waretrop

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
270
Likes
286
First Name
waretrop
Hardiness Zone
5b
#3
I had a compost pile in the corner of my veggie garden for many years and just loved it. I have no more veggie gardens so all of that have been removed.
 

MoonShadows

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
410
Likes
624
Location
Stroudsburg, PA
First Name
Jim
Hardiness Zone
6a
#4
We have been composting for years. I know there are tons of information on the internet about composting and how to do it "right", but we have always just thrown yard and kitchen debris into a pile, turned it when and if we thought about it, and have always had a very good final product. There is all sorts of advice out there on ways to get it started, the "correct" mixture of "greens" and "browns", and so forth, but mother nature does not follow all these "rules" and she makes great compost naturally. Starter products, compost tumblers and the like may hasten the process, but I look at them as basically a waste of money.

Our present compost pile sits outside our greenhouse. It is in a "natural" bin surrounded on two sides by a natural rock outcrop and a man-made rock wall. Here's a picture of it after I recently emptied it.
042-Oct_23.jpg

I got two garbage cans of good compost about two months ago.
041-oct_23.jpg

One thing our compost usually does lack is "browns". Leaves, a great source of carbon, just don't collect on our property; they blow off into the woods. One thing we have in abundance is cardboard from our boxes. Cardboard is an excellent source of carbon, but who wants to sit there ripping it into little pieces or wetting it down to more easily rip it up. Enter the heavy duty paper shredder! Cardboard shredders are very expensive, so we bought a Royal Cross Cut Paper Shredder for about $100 that is capable of shredding 16 pages in a single pass. It goes through corrugated cardboard with no problem, so now we have tons of "browns" I also use the shredded cardboard in my vermicomposter in my kitchen. Worms love cardboard.
 

jordan

Gotta get a Greenhouse!
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
37
Likes
60
Location
NY
First Name
Jordan
Hardiness Zone
7a
#5
Gramps never really composted, but he would get all the leaves he could find. Not only the ones from our yard, but he would go up and down the block with a big bushel basket and collect leaves in front of houses where the owners put them at the curb to be picked up. He would dig big holes in the garden, bury the leaves and cover them up. To this day, the garden in our backyard is still higher then the rest of the yard from all the leaves he buried.
 

waretrop

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
270
Likes
286
First Name
waretrop
Hardiness Zone
5b
#6
@jordan That is a great idea. Glad you shared this about your gramps. I guess that would be called composting. LOL I have never heard of anyone doing that. Not even my grandmother and she was always doing something odd with gardening. Ideas brought with her family from the old country.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
245
Likes
262
Location
Arenas Valley, New Mexico
First Name
Karen
Hardiness Zone
7b
#7
My dad always composted in Arizona. He had a lot of lawn area, so he had a lot of grass clippings. He just tossed it all on a pile in what we called 'the back half' of his property. Within a year the bottom layers were beautiful compost. Fast forward and I have tried composting with a tumbler composter I purchased. I read books on composting. I tried to have a good mix of materials, watered it occasionally, turned it faithfully, and 2 years later everything in it looks just like when it was put in. I'm ready to give the darn composter away. Any tips?
 

waretrop

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
270
Likes
286
First Name
waretrop
Hardiness Zone
5b
#8
@plantmanager Why don't you try a little area and give it time. Just throw some compost material on the ground and cover with a little soil. Make it really small, thin and simple. Give it some time and see what you get. Maybe you just need to do things more naturally in your neck of the woods. I don't know of many places on this wonderful earth that composting doesn't work.... LOL