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 nutrient 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.
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.