I recently decided we needed a compact compost bin to keep on our back porch. Although we have a large composter at the farm, we were wasting a lot of good material by not composting at home.
Composting is an easy way to reuse your kitchen and garden scraps to make something very valuable to your garden. Composting recycles the nitrogen and carbon of spent plants and materials and makes them useful to growing plants. It acts as natural fertilizer, improves moisture retention, and decreases weeds. It is so valuable in the garden, it is commonly known as the gardener’s black gold.
The best part is, you don’t need to purchase anything to start composting. A compost pile can be started right on the ground or in a small ditch. But when you’re composting in your backyard or on your back porch, having a containment system for the compost is not just more aesthetically pleasing.
By keeping the compost contained, you can minimize pests, enclose the mess, and speed up the natural process of decomposition for quicker results. There are a few types of compost bins that people use when composting at home.
Countertop and under counter bins
If your main compost pile is out in the garden, adding fresh kitchen scraps two or three times daily may not be convenient. And if it’s not convenient, those scraps are more apt to go into the regular trash. That’s where under counter and countertop bins fit the bill. These small bins are great for holding one or two days worth of compost material. Later, the contents can be transfered to a larger compost bin when it is more convenient.
One thing I would highly recommend is lining the kitchen composter with fresh newspaper every time you use it…The newspaper will allow you to give the bottom of the kitchen composter one or two swift hits and have everything come flying out.
Don’t buy it. DIY it! Kitchen Composter: Inexpensive Build For Under The Sink
My Amazon pick: I’ve used this particular counter sized composter. It really is convenient and handy. In the end, though, counter composting was not for us.
The container bin is a very popular style that works best when placed near but not in your garden. Although the entire bin is enclosed on top, there is no bottom on this type of bin. The open bottom encourages worms to help work the compost and speed up the process. Compost material is added to the top, and stirring is done manually with a shovel or pitch fork. These bins are not mobile, but many have an access panel at the bottom to empty out the good stuff and move it where you want to go.
Your compost needs to breath. Remember that compost is full of living things that need air to live and complete your compost.
Don’t buy it! DIY it! Cheap and Easy DIY Compost Bin
My Amazon Pick: This is similar to the type of bin that is set up my kids school. I love that they are learning about composting!!
This type of bin is fully enclosed and does not need to be stirred. Rather, it spins or rolls to tumble and mix the contents. Tumbling composters can make the process faster by infusing it with air and supercharging the compost process. This is the type of bin that I decided was the best fit for our back porch because it is lifted off the ground which makes it comfortable to add material as well as rotate the bins. It keeps contents safely contained from curious toddler hands, and the size and two bin design seemed just right for our porch.
When we decided to start gardening, we decided that we wanted to compost. We wanted to try both hot and cold composting, and we wanted to try a compost barrel/bin.
-Brandon at Lone Star Farmstead
Don’t buy it! DIY it! DIY Rotating Compost Bin
My Amazon Pick: This is the exact bin that is on our back porch. I have been very happy with the function of this bin.
It’s not all about the compost bin.
When deciding where and how to compost, just make sure to choose the method that fits in your space, is convenient to add to, and stays within your budget. What is important is to decrease waste and reuse what we can to create something the garden needs.
For more information about composting, check out these posts from some of my composting friends.
Starting a compost pile is a matter of just getting started – don’t get wrapped up in the detail, just start adding stuff to the pile without expecting perfection, and you’ll have compost in no time!
-Alyssa at Pure Living For Life: Composting 101
Getting compost together isn’t difficult, nor is managing it. There are just 5 easy steps to composting to get you on your way to all the black gold you could ever want!
Should we continue to compost through the winter? If you continue to create food waste through the winter, then yes, you should continue to compost.
Build a compost bin from pallets – this is such an easy project anyone can do it and you get something useful for free!