Compost containers are bin or bucket-shaped containers that are used for turning used organic waste, such as scrap food, peelings, used soil, and plant matter into rich, fertile humus, otherwise known as compost.
A typical composter will be open-bottomed and sit on the ground in direct contact with the earth. This allows nature to come in – in the form of earthworms, etc, and get to work on breaking down the organic matter into a rich and highly nutritious compound that you can use in your garden.
Great for the Ecosystem!
Composting is a fantastic way to recycle organic waste and keep it out of polluting landfill sites, benefiting you, your wallet, and the ecosystem. Depending on how you do it, you can have some fantastic organic compost in as little as a few months.
When you compost correctly, you will end up with a very rich, dark soil-like material that smells sweet, and will do wonders for your plants.
In order to make compost the rules are quite simple:
* Anything that is/was living will compost.
* Try to strike a 50/50 balance between greens and browns.
* The softer the material, the quicker it will compost – grass clippings, for example, are great. Woody plant matter will take more time but will eventually be broken down.
* Cutting it up or shredding it before adding it to compost containers helps immensely.
* You can also add cardboard, paper, egg boxes as well as just about all of your kitchen scraps.
We should point out here that you don’t actually need a container, as compost can be made in a pile with a polythene sheet over it; however, they do make things much more neat and tidy and are a huge advantage if you have limited space.
Our New Composter
The picture here on the left shows the tiny area of our garden behind our potting shed. It is the only part of our garden that isn’t cemented or concreted over. For the past few years we have thought that this would be a perfect location for a compost container, so this year we decided to go for it, clear the area, and install one!
In the next picture, you can see the composter we recently installed in our garden. We were very limited by the amount of space we had available, but as you can see, it utilizes what would have otherwise continued to be a “dumping ground” for disused pots and containers. Now it is a highly useful and productive area.
This was the largest Composting bin we could find – note how perfectly it fits! This was a lucky bonus, as we’d only measured by eye when we brought it!
We had many pots full of compacted old soil and compost from previous years that we wanted to get rid of, so we were pouring the old soil into the composter along with green waste to get it started – a bad mistake which we have subsequently rectified.
It only ‘worked’ in so much as it gave us a place to dump the old soil and compost while we sorted out the garden and pots, but there was no way the correct composting ‘rotting’ process could even begin to take place with all that soil in there.
Once we had filled up the raised beds with compost, soil, and vermiculite, we were left with a number of large heavy-duty bags, so we opened the hatch at the bottom of the composter and dug out all the old soil, and bagged it up using those bags.
The old soil/compost we dug out from the composter is actually not that bad. We were originally intending to get rid of it, but we may just add some manure to the bags, mix it all up, seal the bags and let them sit behind the shed for a year – hopefully, by next year they will be useable.
Nowadays, all we are putting into the compost container is kitchen scraps and old plants with just the occasional handful of old soil and sawdust. The key is to only put things that are uncooked and are unprocessed in there. We suspect in the autumn, It will be filled to the brim with the remains of the annual plants we have been growing this year. The composting process should now have a good chance to get started and this time next year, we’re hoping to have some excellent nutrient-rich compost to mix into the garden.