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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Composting for Dummies

I've been known to get a bee in my bonnet and then have to do whatever it is that is buzzing around my head. This particular time I decided we should be composting. I didn't want to make a really big deal out of it, and I couldn't build a compost bin for my small yard. So I did a little bit of research online and very quickly came upon this site with it's very easy directions for making a garbage can compost bin. I realized right away that this was doable immediately because I had everything I needed on hand.

So start with a garbage can and drill holes in it all around and on the bottom of the can.

Find a good out of the way place to put the can (mine is behind my garage) and then prop it up on bricks or whatever you have that can serve this purpose. We used leftover glassblock we had sitting in the garage.

Under the can, put a little disposable pie tin. This will catch the water that comes out of the compost barrel and you can use it to water your plants. Granted you won't get much from that little tin, but it's all good.

Add about 3 inches or so of dirt to the bottom. I used Miracle Gro Organic Garden Soil, but I think you can just use dirt from your yard.

To that add a layer of what is called "browns." This is newspaper, or shredded paper. Things of this nature. I just happen to have a big bag of shredded paper on hand. Nick and I recently bought a shredder so we've been shredder happy.

Now it's time to add "greens." And this is any trimmings for fruit, vegetables, egg shells, coffee grounds... things of this nature. The day I started my little compost project, I had a pineapple to cut, some bell peppers and strawberries. Because pineapple is so hard and course, I chopped up the skin in small bits so it would break down quicker. This goes over the top of the paper.

DO NOT use any kind of dairy or meat products. And no fats of any kind.

And to that, add another layer of dirt, sprinkle with water, put on the lid and viola! You (and I) are now composting!

You should mix it up once a week. And whenever you add more "greens" add more "browns" and more dirt. Easy peasy... .if it actually works! I'll let you know in about 6-8 weeks if it is!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd love to know if it attracts bugs or not? Also does it matter if it's in the sun or shade?