I compost but I do not do it like all the others. I do not use pallets, plastic barrels, or fancy store bought bins to compost my kitchen scraps. I just dig a hole, put the scraps in, chop them up with the shovel, and bury it. I find that most things decompose in a couple weeks. However, banana peels take about 6 weeks in a shadier compost spot. Egg shells need to be crushed up because they take forever and you will see them as you dig in the same spot a couple weeks later. That’s okay because as you dig a hole in the same spot if also gives you the opportunity to keep the dirt moving which helps the soil, worms, and nature do its work making compost.
I do not use the compost in the garden. Why? I really do not have a need in my suburban landscape to add compost. I do not have enough room or sun for a big garden and because of HOA (Homeowner association) rules I have to have it out of sight and my back yard is not big enough with all the Oaks. I am very limited in my subdivision and one day maybe they will update the covenants/rules. My composting area used to be lined with a small wooden fence which I grew to hate because it was unsightly and the neighbors could see it.
Composting to enrich your soil is a great thing and one day when I move to the country again I will compost for the benefits of having organic rich soil. For now, I compost to get rid of egg shells, coffee grinds, tea bags, and fruit and veggie scraps. I do not want to put these down the disposal because that is our drinking water and the county already puts enough chemicals in our water. I do not throw in the garbage either because that will eventually stink.
You will see many gardeners who use the compost in their gardens. Great, but again, I do not have any desire to use the compost even though the soil in my ‘composting area’ has gone from hard red clay to rich black soil. I have an avocado tree that I dug up from the compost area. I think I have potatoes growing now. Every so often I find plants that I threw there because I thought they were dead.
I do not like the pallet composting craze. I have seen them up close and they are tacky and unsightly plus they smell if you do not turn them. My method works so much easier and for those who just wish to get rid of kitchen scraps this method is for you.
Now many will say you have to have a sunny area. Or they will tell you to buy special worms or potions. I am here to tell you that nature composts all on her own in the sun or even in the shade (my compost area is in mostly shade). The area started out hard as a rock and barren and as I dug the first holes I could not find worms. I will confess I bought a container of fishing worms and threw them in the hole. A few weeks later I dug the hole up to find worms and almost no signs of the kitchen scraps (except egg shells which take about 2 months to decompose).
If you live in an apartment, composting may be a bit difficult to pull off. However, if there is a wooded area by your apartment, then would check out any open area (does not have to be a large area) and dig a hole. Yep, just dig a hole about a foot down and dump your scraps in, chop up the scraps with the shovel, and bury. This idea of finding an area will work for anyone in the suburbs if you have a common area. If you want to learn more about other methods of composting, check out the links below.
There are many reasons and methods for composting. You can compost any fruit and veggies, coffee grinds and the filters, egg shells, leaves, shredded paper, cardboard, and newspaper (I prefer to recycle any paper). If it grew on this Earth you can compost it. There are sites that will tell you to have equal parts of brown and green but I have yet to follow the rules and the soil in my compost area is as black as the ace of spades (and it started out hard red clay). You could compost any yard and garden waste including sticks, weeds, and grass clippings.
There are also things that you do not compost; such as meats, bones, dog & cat feces, and plastics and manmade materials. Think about this: if it grew and had roots, then it can be composted. You should not compost diseased plants and dispose of any diseased plant in the garbage. Many recommend not composting processed breads and pastas but I have occasionally done this with no major environmental impact (except the critters dug it up to eat).
I want to add that composting and recycling can save you money and time.
How? By composting you will not have smelly garbage and along with recycling you will cut down on garbage bags. Plus, and this refers to saving time, you will not have to keep taking the garbage out or buying special scented bags or sprays that are not necessarily good for your family or our environment. For example, my family goes through about 6 garbage bags a month and when we were a family of 6 we used 2 bags each week. Composting and recycling are not time wasters and can save you money!
I am not a tree hugging over the top environmentalist. I am just an average person who sees that we need to think about what impact we make on our Earth. I also realized that by composting and recycling we saved about $156 a year by taking the garbage to the landfill every 6 weeks for $7 because we would only have about 10 bags of garbage. We actually recycle a minimum of a 30 gallon rolling trashcan every 2 weeks! Believe me I hate taking out the garbage and no else likes to either. For me, digging a hole every 2-3 days to eliminate the stench of rotting garbage makes sense.
Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!
2015 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @ the Garden Frog Boutique
Check out the links below to learn more about composting and methods