My Simple Compost Solution

You can go out and spend all kinds of money for a fancy compost bin but sometimes a simple solution can work just as well. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a lazy composter. There I said it. I don't get out there to the bin to turn it regularly. I don't check it with a fancy compost thermometer to make sure the temperature is ideal. I don't add special compost ingredients designed to speed along the process. I probably should but I don't. I suspect if I did I would have a lot more finished compost available for my gardens. But as I said, I'm a lazy composter. I'm also a cheap composter. My big bin is a group of 4 pallets screwed together. Three pallets are actually attached and the fourth I use as a loose barrier that I move out of the way on the rare occasion I turn the pile! Most of the pallets came from transporting the paving stones for my patio project last year. Total cost - $0.

My point in revealing my composting secret is to say that you don't have to do much to get compost. If you wait long enough compost happens. Six weeks ago the compost bin was filled high up to the top board in the back with a variety of grass clippings, weeds, and spent garden plants. Today its as you see it with nearly half of the vegetable matter gone. I never turned it. Our kitchen scraps, leaves, and grass clippings go into the compost bin. Grass clippings are a little secret of mine. Adding 1-2 bags of grass clippings each time I mow greatly increases the speed of the compost - without turning.

You don't even have to have a compost bin to compost, a pile in the backyard works great although it isn't the prettiest thing in the world. Or you could trench compost. Dig a trench where you want to plant a garden and gradually fill it in with compost then cover with soil. Plant your plants in the spring over the compost trench and they will have easy access to the yummy nutrients you added. Just be sure to keep the animal products out of the bin as they can attract animals!

What Do I Compost? Vegetable scraps, coffee and tea grounds, egg shells, grass clippings, leaves, weeds, dead plants, shredded newspapers, and I even once threw in an old pair of holey jeans. After all jeans ARE made from cotton! Have you composted anything more unusual than jeans?

I hope to add a second bin soon with parts from another pallet I have handy as well as my old compost bin. Maybe by adding that second bin I can start a more regular turning process. Or maybe I'll just be twice as lazy!