This one time, I asked for a compost bin for Christmas. And I procrastinated assembling it. I put it in the basement and forgot about it until someone asked if I put compost on my garden. I hung my head in shame, knowing that I just had to lug the box upstairs and put it together. An entire summer passed and I finally decided that I had waited long enough. A few months ago, on an unseasonably warm night, my husband and I tested the strength of our marriage by assembling this beast of a compost bin. Good news: we are still married. Bad news: it turns out this thing had a thousand pieces of hardware.
After we assembled it, we chose a home for it in our yard and began adding food scraps to it. We first noticed that our kitchen trash no longer smelled (go figure) unless we cooked with meat.
We designated a bowl as the compost bowl and filled it to the brim before walking it outside to be added to the motherload of rotting things. At first, we added a lot more food than leaves and it got really gooey and extra smelly. We found that adding some leaves from around the yard helped absorb the moisture of the food and it has been the perfect consistency ever since.
What goes in the compost bin?
Greens: kitchen scraps, grass clippings, garden & house plants
Browns: leaves, straw/hay, saw dust, twigs
What do we avoid?
meats, fats, bones, dairy products, trash, plastic, wood ashes, invasive plants or weeds
What rules do we break?
Some people consider eggs to be dairy (which I’ve always thought was crazy) and most people will tell you to avoid them. We have consistently added the shells to the compost and haven’t had a problem yet.
Also, we don’t add wood ash to our compost bin. We don’t want it to melt. However, we do add cooled wood ash to a bucket over the summer and put it on the garden in the fall after the last harvest is complete. It breaks down over the winter and makes the soil rich.
Any special tips?
It is important to keep the ratio of 2 parts greens to 1 part browns.
We also have nifty pictures on the top of our compost bin that remind us which side needs more compost and which side needs time to decompose. The bin requires turning every day and when we add more items.
So far, composting has been much easier than I thought it would be. I’m looking forward to the end result and happy plants.
Do you compost? What kind of bin do you use? Tell me about it in the comments.