Ok, so you’re ready to start composting, but what types of composter equipment should you use? There are several ways to compost and the one you choose really depends on how much space you have. And whether you want to keep your compost inside or outside the house.
1. Worm composter (Indoor/Outdoor):
Worm farms are great because they take up little space and can even be kept inside the house. When the worms eat your kitchen scraps etc, they produce castings (aka worm poop) which is a great fertilizer for your plants. The bin also collects the liquid from the broken down waste. This make for a wonderful compost tea that can be used as a liquid fertilizer.
*Make sure to collect the liquid every so often because if not it will build up and drown the worms.
Tip: Worms need to be comfortable, whether in a farm, outdoor compost pile or bin. They don’t like it when it’s too cold, too dry or too wet. They will leave if they are not happy.
2. Compost bin:
The compost bin is a system that keeps all the garden/food waste, etc. contained and off the ground. There are many types of bins, but some good ones for small spaces are:
Dalek type (Outdoor): They have an access panel at the bottom front, which allows for easy removal of finished compost. It is the typical composter that most people picture when they think of composting.
Tumblers (Outdoor): These are great for aerating your compost. They have built-in mechanisms that allow for easy rotating of your compost. These tumblers allow your compost to be completely off the ground and some even have compartments that collect the liquid waste.
Bokashi system (Indoor): This is a self-contained indoor, efficient composting system. You put your food waste into the container then seal it tight and it automatically does it’s thing. Since this system works without oxygen and works within the container, it produces compost much quicker and without smell.
It also has a spigot that allows you to collect the liquid waste, which you can then use to fertilize your plants. You can get Bokashi kits that come with the container and soil innoculant.
3. Compost pile (Outdoor):
The compost pile is basically a designated area in your garden where you throw all your compostable materials into a pile. The area can be left as is or enclosed by using wood or fencing material. This is simplest form of composting, all you need is a convenient spot to get started.
Outdoor composter equipment (Pile vs. Bin)
Pile- Is easier & free but takes up more space and can get disturbed by animals and wind.
Bin- Space saving, keeps animals out, keeps compost from drying out but is more expensive (unless you can get a free one from your city).
We personally have the compost ball, we nicknamed it the ‘deathstar’ (from Star Wars). Overall we’re happy with it, but It has its plus and minuses just like all the other composters. It holds and enormous amount of waste, contains any smells that may occur, can be rotated pretty easily and can be rolled around to any location in the garden.
The downside is that it’s a B*$@# to assemble initially, when it’s completely full it aint that easy to roll and you need to keep it on the grass so you can use the base that it comes with. Since we don’t have much planting space in the back garden we keep it on the concrete and don’t use the base.
As with everything each one of these composters have their pros and cons, you have to weigh them and choose the best system for your needs.
Be sure to check out the next installment of the composting mini series:
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