I do it MY way ~ Composting 101

I do it MY way ~ Composting 101

I am  not an expert at composting. However, I do have a system that is working for me and I’d like to share that with you. I dream of a fancy composter like this one from HOME DEPOT, which will turn waste into gold in a few weeks, but to be honest, I’d rather spend my money on shoes! So I am patient and it takes a year for my compost to be ready.

Gardening

I have this really cute kitchen counter composter. The idea behind it, is that you can keep your kitchen scraps in it for a few days until you get time to take them out to the compost pile. Because of that whole “out of sight, out of mind” thing, I tend to leave scraps in it for too long and they begin to smell. So. I don’t use it much any more. I am sure it works great for some people but not really for me.

I just gather my kitchen scraps in one of the throw away containers from the grocery store, that held my fresh produce.

Gardening

You don’t want to put meat or bones, but any and all vegetable scraps. Here I have turnips, cabbage, zucchini, eggplant, and asparagus scraps. I also usually have onions, potato skins, banana peel, egg shells, etc. You can also add coffee grounds, but I don’t drink coffee and Mr. Menace just drinks it at the office. I try to get these scraps taken outside every other day to avoid fruit flies, gnats, and smells.

Gardening

This is my current compost pile. It is nothing fancy. I had extra fence panels, like are around my garden, so I used them to box in my pile. Leaves tend to fall out of it but not enough to bother  me. I just put them back in when I need more leaves.

It is mostly leaves and kitchen scraps. You can put grass clippings, but since my grassclippings usually have so many grass seeds in it, I don’t. If you get your grass mowed more frequently than I do so there aren’t seeds, grass clippings are great additions to the compost.

You need to alternate brown ingredients and green ingredients. My last layer was leaves, a brown ingredient. So today’s kitchen scraps are perfect for the next layer of green ingredients.

Gardening

Gardening

Gardening

Gardening

After I dump all my kitchen scraps on the pile, I spread them out to make a layer, and then top the scraps with a layer of dried leaves. I like to always leave it with a top layer of leaves. This helps hide the fresh produce from animals and frankly the leaves just look better.

Gardening

Gardening

I never have a problem with smell. You won’t if you layer your ingredients, and don’t add any meat, bones, or grease. Those items will also attract animals and bugs.

Several things will make your compost pile “cure” faster: adding water once in a while, adding dirt, and turning the pile. Turning it is rather like stirring it up or mixing it up. By doing these things, they say you can complete your compost in a couple of months. I don’t do any of those things and therefore mine takes longer. It gets rained on but that’s the only time it get wet. I will also on an occasion dump potting soil into my compost pile. Whenever I am reusing a flower pot, but am going to use new potting soil, I will dump the old soil out of the pot and onto the pile.

I keep adding to my pile for about a year. Then I stop, let that pile sit, and start a new pile. The next spring, when I am getting my garden ready to plant, I will use the older pile to add to my garden soil. We have clay soil here and the finished compost makes it so much nicer.

Gardening

Thats my “new” pile in the back which is contained in the little fence. My old pile, that I am now using in my garden, is in front and almost gone. The edges have some leaves that have not decomposed, so those I am throwing into my new pile, but when I dig into the old pile, this is the fabulous dirt I find:

 

Gardening

Gardening

If you don’t want a pile in your yard, or if you don’t have room for one, you can still compost your kitchen scraps by digging a hole directly in your garden and burying your scraps.

Gardening

Gardening

Gardening

Gardening

Gardening

Composting doesn’t really save me much money.  Only the cost of a few bags of compost that I would otherwise have to buy. I have a ton of leaves each fall and this is how I get rid of them. So I just save all my vegetable scraps which is easy to do. I enjoy doing it and its kind of fun to “make” good dirt! And the quality is far superior to the bagged dirt that you can buy.

Are you willing to give it a try?

 

Link Parties:

Over the Moon

Dishing It & Digging It

Sweet Inspiration

 

Please Share:
Follow by Email
Facebook
Google+
http://www.gwingal.com/2016/06/composting-101/
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram
RSS

22 comments

    • gwingal says:

      I don’t do anything elaborate and it works for me! Good luck and let me know how you like the composter you bought!

  1. Christine says:

    Loved this post. I used to have a compost pile, but after spending one hot summer weeding and mulching (late in season) I started spot composting like you mentioned. I do enjoy doing that more, it seems like less work. You gave some great tips, thanks for sharing it with us 🙂

    • gwingal says:

      When I first started composting, I did the whole thing with turning it every month, and watering it down and it was just too much work when I wanted to be doing something else. So I tried just piling it up and letting it sit and it works just as good, just slower. Works for me! Thanks for the party! 🙂

  2. Beverly says:

    I use to compost all the time when I lived up north. I can’t seem to keep the critters away from it here in Florida. I just take all the leaves and put them on my beds and they compost by themselves. Works for me,
    Thanks for sharing at Over The Moon party,
    Bev

    • gwingal says:

      Whatever works for you! I did have a neighborhood dog get in mine once or twice, but he sound found out that there was nothing of interest in it for him. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  3. Shelley says:

    Thank you for all the helpful pictures! I’m new to composting and having a hard time getting my first batch to “cook.” Your post has helped me see what my pile needs to look like during the process. Thanks!

    • gwingal says:

      Hi Shelly, Be sure to wet it when you don’t get rain and more importantly, you need to turn it frequently if you want it to stay HOT. I am too lazy for that. 🙂

  4. Michelle says:

    I love your post! I too compost but have a cylinder that spins to mix. I use a Tupperware for my kitchen scraps and I keep it in the refrigerator so there is no problem with smell. When it’s full I add water and then take it to the outdoor container. I had the best “black gold” this year😀 Thanks for sharing!

  5. Stacey says:

    Great tips! We had a compost bin at our last house where we had more room for things like that. It works like a charm and like you said, if you don’t use smelly thing your compost doesn’t stink.

    Thanks so much for joining Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • gwingal says:

      It’s easy and I like having a ready supply of compost for my garden and flowers. Thanks for visiting with me. 🙂

Leave a Reply