Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 1 - Let's Start Composting (Ground-based method)

After doing some research - I want a tumbling composter. However, at around $200 it's not in the budget for me right now. But I'm not willing to give up on my quest to learn to compost this year so that when garden season next year comes around I'm ready to put my expertly decomposing scraps to my garden.

If you are in the same position that I am in - you might want to consider doing this with me. We'll build a composting hole in the ground and cover it with a tarp. I'm not going to go big this year...just start learning.

"The easiest way to make compost is to start a pile of yard and kitchen waste in a hole in the ground. Dig a hole approximately three feet in diameter and two feet deep. Pile the dirt next to the hole, as the dirt will be used during the decomposition period. Alternate layers of waste and dirt. The dirt dug from the compost hole is beneficial as it already contains microbes, earthworms, and other beneficial critters. Within a few months, the bottom of the pile will have broken down enough to be used in the garden.

Turning of the compost pile will speed up the decomposition of the materials. A pile that is not turned periodically may become overly wet and oxygen intolerant bacteria will create a sewer smell. Use a garden fork to turn the compost pile. This tool will break up any matted material and will grab more compost than a shovel. Compost should only be turned when it is ready. If turned while the temperature in the center of the pile is at least 130 degrees F., the decomposing may slow down. At this temperature, the microbes are actively breaking down the material. When the temperature in the center of the pile has dropped to the same temperature as the top of the pile, it is ready to be turned. When turned, air and new material is moved to the center of the pile and the decomposition cycle starts over again." - Source

Cheers to getting started. I'll post pictures once I've begun my dig and I'll start saving the plethora of yogi teabags I drink daily immediately.

Who's in?

1 comment:

  1. You need to get in touch with LEAF (Lakewood Earth and Food). They offer community gardens and support on composting.