Easy Garden Composting | 3 Step Method

Compost, Garden Composting, Sustainability, Gardening, Recycling, Compost Bin, DIY Compost Bin, DIY Projects

 

Easy garden composting is by far is the easiest method of composting that I’ve tried. You already know that I’ve composted using my DIY compost bin but during seasons when I’m feeling lazy, I do something a little bit different.

Instead of layering my kitchen scraps in my compost bin, I take them right out to the garden and layer them. This is what I call garden composting.

Garden Composting

1. Dig a hole in your flower bed around 7 – 12 inches deep.

2. Pour in your compost material. (See list of acceptable compost material)

3. Add a layer of cardboard or newspaper.

4. Fill the hole back in with dirt.

Like I said, garden composting is the simplest form of composting I’ve ever done but here is a warning regarding this method.

  • You probably don’t want to do this on a daily basis unless you have a humungous garden or more than one garden bed. I’ve never had a problem but I’m sure that over dumping scrap can attract bugs and  unwanted critters.
  •  It takes several months for scraps to decompose so if you don’t overfill your garden with scraps, they will feed your plants and not attract bugs.

Reasons why do I compost?

  1. It saves me money on fertilizer
  2. It helps the environment by reducing the amount of waste in landfills.
  3. It allows me to do my part to create a sustainable planet (Genesis 1)
  4. I’m passing on good habits to my children on how to manage their homes, keep a garden and reduce expenses.

Composting is very easy to do, doesn’t require a lot of time and provides a wealth of benefits. When I open up my compost bins each year, I am excited about how the scraps turn into fertilizer for my gardens.

Not only does my family get to use the material in my compost bins for its main purpose, we also get a second and sometimes third reward from a single item.

 

Growing Vegetables at Home Using Re-Purposed Planters

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…is what I often here from friends who don’t garden. Yeah… if you use Martha Stewart Living as your standard (Sorry Martha, I love your work…I’m just sayin’).

We use magazines and gardening shows as a way to generate ideas for my gardening experience but not as the general rule for what I do in my gardens. Gardening for me has to be frugal.

If I am paying more to grow tomatoes than it would take to buy them at the grocer, than it defeats my purpose. The biggest key to gardening on the cheap is to make a plan.

I started composting in Spring 2009 using a very frugal method that I demonstrated here. It saves me a ton of money and it allows me to get more that one use out of the food from my kitchen.

Composting is a slow process so in order to reap the benefits you must plan ahead. We started composting last summer and throughout the fall and winter.

By planning ahead we have saved money on the  purchasing compost and fertilizer.

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Starting your garden from seed rather than those pretty pre grown vegetable plants at the gardening center is going to big a big money saver.

We purchase all of seeds at the end of the season when they are cheapest, which means we buy them a year in advance. If we do buy potted plants, we buy them from the clearance area of the gardening center. When we buy regularly priced plants we look for the smallest pot size which are generally cheaper and allow them to mature in our gardens.

Buying smaller plants can make your garden look empty in the beginning stages, but once they mature they will be just as beautiful as a fully grown plant only at a fraction of the price.

Once you’ve gotten your seeds and compost you’ll need something to plant them in. I use the egg cartons, styrofoam containers, plastic containers and just about anything I can find. Just make sure not to use any containers that came into contact with raw meat.

As you can see, gardening and growing your own food does not have to be expensive. Growing your own vegetables will allow you to save money and control the quality of what your family eats. I can’t wait to eat all of the delicious goodness that will come from these plantings.

How To Make A Compost Bin

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Composting seems like it should be something very difficult to accomplish but on the contrary it is quite easy and very helpful for our environment. Composting reduces the amount of waste in our landfills which reduces the amount of hazardous runoff in our water resources.

Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

How to choose Compost Container

To make your own compost bin you’ll need a sturdy container for composting. I used a rectangular Rubbermaid container but, you can use the upright Rubbermaid trash can as well.

Compost, Sustainability, Gardening, Recycling, Compost Bin, DIY Compost Bin, DIY ProjectsHow to Make your Compost  Bin

You’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver or and electric drill. Drill whole in the lid of the bin and around the bottom and sides or the bin. When drilling the whole around the sides be sure to drill them about 2 to 4 inches below the top rim of the bin.

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What Materials Can You Compost:

  • Paper napkins & towels
  • Freezer-burned vegetables or fruit
  • Fresh or rotten veggies or fruit scraps
  • Burlap coffee bags
  • Pet hair
  • Post-it notes
  • Wood chips
  • Lint from dryer & behind refrigerator
  • Hay
  • un popped Popcorn
  • Old spices & herbs
  • Pine needles
  • Leaves
  • Matches (paper or wood)
  • Seaweed and kelp
  • Grass clippings
  • Potato peelings
  • Paper with black & white ink
  • Weeds
  • Hair clippings
  • Stale bread
  • Coffee grounds
  • Wood ashes, Sawdust
  • Tea bags and grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Fruit rinds
  • Pea vines
  • Houseplant trimmings
  • Old uncooked pasta
  • Garden soil
  • Corncobs (takes a long time to decompose)
  • Kleenex type tissue paper (not toilet paper)
  • Tree bark
  • Flower petals
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Q-tips (cotton swabs: cardboard, not plastic sticks)
  • Expired flower arrangements
  • Citrus wastes (like lemons, orange and lime)
  • Old leather gardening gloves
  • Tobacco wastes
  • Nut shells
  • Straw
  • Shredded cardboard
  • Fish bones
  • Shrimp, Lobster & crab shells (I personally avoid adding animal products)
  • Toenail clippings
  • Leather wallets
  • Fruit pits
  • Wooden toothpicks
  • Stale breakfast cereal
  • Pickles
  • ‘Dust bunnies’ from under the bed
  • Pencil shavings
  • Wool socks,
  • Artichoke leaves,
  • Leather watch bands
  • Brown paper bags
  • Burned toast (not buttered)
  • Feathers
  • Animal fur
  • Vacuum cleaner bag contents
  • Old or outdated seeds
  • Liquid from canned vegetables or canned fruit
  • Snow
  • Dirt from soles of shoes
  • boots
  • soap scraps
  • Spoiled canned fruits and vegetables
  • Cardboard (shredded)
  • Grocery receipts

What Compost Material Should You Avoid?

Diseased plants, Animal products (meat,bones & dairy) they can create a foul smelling compost bin, Colored/color printed paper such as Rite aid & CVS circulars and weeds that root easily. I personally avoid all weeds.

How should you organizing your compost bin?

Your bin should alternate between green material and brown material. Brown material would things such as bark, pine needles, newspaper, wood chips or lint. Green materials would be things such as fruits or veggies.

Start your compost bin by adding a 2-4 inch thick layer of brown material to the bottom of your bin and water. I usually start with newspaper. Now add in a 2-4 inch layer of green materials. This is where I had my egg shells, tea bags, coffee grinds, fruit and vegetable scraps. I water the pile again, then I repeat a layer of brown and green. I alternate between layers until the bin is 3/4 of the way full. I give it a final water and seal it shut.

I set my bin in a sunny location and forget about it for 1 week. After 1 week I shake and turn the bin the mix the content together. I may take a peek inside but there is really nothing going on at this point. If my material seems dry I sprinkle it with water and seal it shut.

Kitchen Compost Collector: Each week I collect compost material from my kitchen. I store it inside of a old plastic butter container under the kitchen sink or in the refrigerator. Once the container is full, I dump it into the bin. Each time I dump the kitchen scraps I add a layer of newspaper. I shake or flip the bin over a few times and seal it shut.

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Maintenance Commitment: After initially making the bin, you will not need to give it much more attention than to flip it every couple of weeks. Continue adding materials to the bin as often as you accumulate them.

Using Your Compost: Four to six weeks prior to the time that you’d like to use your compost, discontinue adding materials. This would be a great time to construct another bin in order to continue collecting your scraps. Once the compost is ready use it in your gardens.