Anyone that knows me knows that I love compost. Over the years I have had many iterations of compost piles from old fence boards nailed together to a makeshift wire compost. When we moved into this house and didn’t have as much room as I wanted for a compost, I decided to use some store bought options. If I had as much space as I wanted I would make a three box system out of recycled fence boards. Although these store bought options are not my favorite, they are good for small spaces. I love the look of open air compost systems but I also can appreciate the orderliness of having the compost contained. At least my husband likes it this way.
The tall square composter is my new pile. Fresh kitchen scraps, and garden waste goes in here. The round composter to the left is my finishing pile. When the tall square one is full, I move everything into the round composter. This is a task that needs to be done yesterday as you can see since the tall composter is completely full! But I haven’t had time to shift out my compost yet.
I built this bean trellis in front of my compost to create a screen. During the winter months I take down the bean trellis since it is not being used and I have more space to add an open air compost. This is my favorite because it is easy to turn and my compost is processed so much faster. This winter I took everything out of the bins and created a huge compost pile in the middle. I added coffee grounds and horse manure to add height and heat. The compost was finished in a month and it was distributed around the garden in preparation of spring planting.
When I have an open air compost I check on the compost every day and turn it every day too! I know this is a bit obsessive but I was able to get rich useable compost in only a matter of weeks. The bins are kind of a set-it-and-forget-it system since it is so hard to turn. Occasionally I will open up the bottom and throw some of the bottom compost onto the top. That is why I move things into the round composter since it is much easier to turn.
Like the tomato plant that decided to grow along the compost? I staked this bad boy up to see what he can do. I know it is going to be a pain when this plant is huge but I have a hard time pulling out a perfectly viable plant!