Composting for the Garden

Composting for the Garden

If we have a good size garden or raised beds in our backyard, we may like to think about having a composting facility for both the household and gardening waste. This would not be overly expensive to set up, but it would be a tremendous asset to have at our disposal. To be able to have a composting unit in our backyard or backgarden will actually offer us a solution to our garden waste issues and will also save us some money in the long term. This facility will help our envoinment, our garden waste disposal concerns and will also make our waste disposal collectors or contractors very happy. There’s something very satisfying about being able to dispose of our own food waste instead of tossing it into the bin, where after some time it starts to smell and then attracts all sorts of flies and other unwanted critters.  Composting for the garden means, all of the grass cuttings, hedge trimmings and other garden weeds and leaves.

There are two options that we would use for this exercise and its important that we observe these steps. For starters we will need to buy or purchase a composting bin from our local hardware stockist or garden centre and secondly the other type of composter, we can build ourselves. The green cone shaped composter, ( Cost –  $60 ) will accomodate all of our household waste like dairy products, fruit and veggie scraps, tea bags and coffee grounds and generally items that would not be left around for long, for obvious reasons. The other type of composter is for the general garden waste like hedge trimmings, grass cuttings, leaves and vegetable leaves and crop stem trimmings. We will look at how these different types work and how easy they are to assemble.


Green cone shaped composter;


These composters will have to be purchased at our local stockists, are really easy to assemble and are very important to our recycling concerns. As per image above the bottom basket section will need to be placeded and inserted below the ground, secured with gravel and soil, the top section is then attached to this and we are done. These are normally green in colour, just to fit with the eco, envoirnmental and recycling ideas of these devices. The underground basket section allows for worms, eartworms, beetles and other creatures to gain access to our disposed waste and turn it into Household waste for compostingnutrient rich garden compost. Microbes and other bacterial elements also assist in the breaking down of this material, so therefore, its just a replica of what actually happens naturally in nature.

It’s a secure and fully functional container, that don’t allow rats, rodents and other critters access to our disposed household watse. There is a lid opening at the top, where we empty our leftovers into and then there are shutter doors at ground level to access the compost for our garden. These are more of a health preventitive issue, than say, saving money by making our own homemade compost. Unlesss we have a big family and we have a lot of household leftovers, this facility will take months and months to produce any worthwhile quantity of compost, unfortunately. Every now and again, say every fortnight get a stick and stir the material in this bin, as this will help the composting process.


Composting for raised beds



Homemade garden composter;


This unit can be easily constructing with a few old discarded pallets. Three or four of these will be sufficient for this exercise and can be erected in a matter of an hour or so. It is preferable to locate this away from the main parts of our garden, say in a far corner, where it won’t be seen. This is for obvious reasons, as this construction looks anything but appealing or aesthetically adding to our gardens landscaping appeal. Its a very rough construction, which is held together by nails or weatherproof twine.  In essence, we will need two of these units, the reason, I will explain later. This is basically a rough and ready construction, yet it serves as a very useful accessory for our gardening needs.

Into this facility, we put our grass cuttings, all of the leaves in autumn time, pine needles and cones, twigs, hedge trimmings and other garden throw away items. We can also dispose of newspapers, all paper wrappings and packaging in this facility. Inedible garden plants or vegetable leaves can be disposed of here along with dead headed flowers and weeds that otherwise, we would have to put into our recycling bins for collection by the waste or trash hauliers. So along with being envoirnmentally conscious and aware, we are also saving ourselves a lot of money in the process. Our waste disposal bills will be considerably reduced by this action.

How to manage composting bins and facilities;


Believe it or not there is some maintenance to be carried out with this chore, although not overly demanding. On the outdoor facility, we need to layer our disposal wastage in such a manner, so as the air and moisture can penetrate it. What all this means is, say, we are throwing our grass mowings onto the heap, we would need to break and scatter it up a little. Mix other materials with the grass like twigs or paper and this will help greatly with the composting and decomposition of this waste. Every two weeks or so, the compost heap needs to be forked about a little, so as to help and assist with the composting process. The bacterial and microbiological activity is spread to other areas of the waste material by this action and thus will speed up the decomposting.

I mentioned that we would need two outdoor units for composting and the reason is that this process needs time to take hold. After year one, we would need to transfer all of the previous year’s work into the next unit, and then continue the process as normal, year after year. The new material will start its own recycling process and the older waste material will have a chance to improve and mature into real garden compost. I have seen some cases where gardeners have three of these units and the whole process is then on a three year rota. Composting would normally take a year or more to achieve, depending on what material we are recycling.

As ever, feel free to contact us via the comments section, with any queries or other gardening issue and we will get back to you as soon as possible.



6 thoughts on “Composting for the Garden

  1. Hello,

    Awesome post about composting for the garden.

    Many people always overlook the whole process of composting. Some gardeners go to home depot and get their nutrients that way.

    I have always wanted to try composting. Since I would be considered a beginner.

    Do you recommend any tools to get me started?


    1. Hi there Shawn,

      Many thanks for stopping by and reading this post, its greatly appreciated. As you rightly pointed out composting takes a little time and effort to get started and set up, but the time and effort will be worth it all in the long run.

      A lot of gardeners buy their compost and garden nutrients at the local hardware store or garden centre and they have instant gardening fertilizer.

      There are really no special tools that you will require for this project, just your usual garden spade or fork that we would use to load the garden waste onto the compost heap.

      Thanks again for dropping by and happy gardening,

      Cheers   Phil Browne

  2. I once tried composting using a basic bed made with a couple of two by fours. I worked on the pile for a year before I finally gave up, it was not doing as well as I had hoped.

    Thank you for sharing the homemade bin information, it’s got me thinking maybe I should try again, using this idea you have shared this time! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi there Maria,

      Many thanks for stopping by and reading this post, its very much welcomed. Composting takes time too achieve and get it right, so what we would put into the compost heap or unit, will possibly not be ready to use in the garden for perhaps twelve months. However composting is a great way of getting rid of our garden and household waste, without costing the earth, if we get set up properly.

      I trust that this information will be useful and beneficial in your gardening adventures.

      Many thanks again for stopping by.

      Cheers  Phil Browne

  3. I’m not much of a gardener, I once tried to grow a fruit/vegetable and failed miserably. I think now I know why… hahah this is definitely an eye opener for me and how important it is for composting. I might just try to follow your recommendations and certainly will pass this along to my neighbour who may need all your advice on this subject.
    thank you, very informative and useful.

    1. Hi there Agnes,

      Many thanks for dropping by and reading this post, its greatly appreciated. Gardening takes some time to accomplish, so do not beat yourself up over a liitle failure, we all had that experience. Next attempt may be better and as we go forward we learn from our mistakes.

      I trust that this post has all the information that you and your neighbour may be looking for.

      Thanks again for stopping by, happy gardening.

      Cheers  Phil Browne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *