It’s fall and all of those leaves, grass clippings, and spent flowers are looking for a new home. Watch my newest video on composting where I share four composting options that make even the apartment dweller say “I too can compost!”
4 Composting Options:
1. Yard waste bin
This is by far the easiest way to compost. Put grass clippings, leaves, spent flowers and more in your local yard waste bin and let some one else do the composting for you! Depending on your area, various items may be put in your yard waste bin. Here in the Pacific Northwest we are very fortunate to have state of the art composting facilities so we are able to put everything from raw meat to weeds into our bins. Check with your local yard waste company to see what they accept.
2. Above Ground Compost Tumbler
Compost tumbler’s come in many shapes and sizes and, if your handy, making your own isn’t too difficult. Above ground compost bins solve a myriad of composting problems. They are rodent proof, your dog can’t scrounge through them and eat things he shouldn’t, and neighborhood cats don’t have any temptations to use it as a litter box, and best of all, you don’t have to try to turn the compost with a pitchfork or shovel. Above ground compost tumblers are simple to use, clean and efficient.
I say in the video that I bought mine for around $100. After finding the price online at Costco I think I must have paid more like $130. Here’s a link to the exact one I own above ground compost tumbler like shown in video. I think the cost is more online because of shipping. I bought mine at the warehouse.
3. Worm Bin
Worm bins are a great way to compost your kitchen scraps. Be sure not to put anything in with fat, protein or a lot of salt. Banana peels, apple cores, strawberry tops, leftover oatmeal and rice, spent flowers, leaves and coffee grounds all make fabulous worm food. Worm bins can be small or large depending on your needs. If you live in a condo and only have a small deck, then follow these instructions for a worm bin that won’t take up much space. However, worm bins are great for anyone as the dirt they produce is described as black gold. It’s rich, nutritious and grows fabulous food, flowers and plants.
*A side note. Worms may not eat quickly when you first get them so you may not want to put in as many food scraps as you’ll be able to later on. If you put too many food scraps in the worms won’t eat fast enough and the food will rot and attract flies (see my upcoming blooper video for an example)
Last but certainly not least, chickens. Chickens are by far my favorite composting option. They’ll eat anything from protein to weeds. Just be sure not to feed them any moldy food as they may inhale the spores and it can cause illness or death. That being said, if you happen to give them your Halloween jack o’ lantern (my chickens LOVE pumpkins) and it starts to mold before they eat it all, don’t fret. The worms and slugs will start eating the moldy parts and then the chickens can eat the protein rich worms and lay luscious, golden eggs for your family to enjoy. The circle of life is so apparent with chickens.
Manure is a useful by-product of having chickens. It is considered very “hot” however and needs at least 9 months to cool off so it doesn’t kill the plants you are trying to fertilize. Case in point; when I first got my chickens I “fertilized” my rhubarb, a very hardy plant, with some fresh chicken manure. It was dead within days and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. Well, I’d killed it for that season but the next year I had a thriving happy rhubarb plant. If it had been anything other than rhubarb it would, most likely, have been a goner for good!
Whether you have a deck, an acre or 40 acres I hope that you’ll find the joy of composting in your own backyard.
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