Whole Story

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Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@SARA - You should definitely be able to use a large trash bin but make sure to aerate the compost so it will break down faster. I can't say exactly what time frame it will start to breakdown due to the size of your bin.
04/18/2013 1:13:19 PM CDT
Beth says ...
If you don't want to purchase a carbon filtered compost pail you can collect scraps in a bucket and freeze it. This too keeps down the smell, but you do have to remember that you have it in the freezer! I have mixed feelings on the paper shreds due to the ink used. If someone has a comment on whether or not most commonly shredded items are using non-toxic inks I will gladly add that to my compost heap ASAP.
04/19/2013 8:23:41 AM CDT
Kristen says ...
I started with a compost bin many years ago. I have since added a worm bin. The kids next door love to come and watch all the bug activity in the bins.
04/19/2013 12:33:54 PM CDT
Sandra says ...
Note: Sorry for not having paragraphs. I can't get my comments to format correctly. :( @ Masayo and Nikki - I use citrus peels all the time in my compost pile, and get great results from them. My neighbors who have citrus trees give me bags and bags of peels after the fruit has been juiced, and I add them in layers to my compost pile. Surprisingly, the citrus is extremely quick to break down, usually in two to three weeks. I also live in Arizona, where we have very alkaline soil, so I don't have to worry about the compost pile being too acidic for my garden. For those who are looking to start a new compost pile, you can get compost starter from most garden centers and nurseries. It's full of beneficial bacteria that you add to your pile, to help jump start the composting process. As for keeping your pile going and keeping it hot, layering green and brown items is key to the whole process. Whenever I turn my pile, I layer it diligently, keeping each layer about 2-3 inches deep. (The exception is freshly cut grass. I never layer grass thickly, or it will mat and become smelly. I sprinkle it sparingly instead.) Then I spray the pile with water after each brown layer. Some people recommend turning your pile every 3 days, but I've never turned mine that often. I usually turn it every 1-2 weeks, and my piles do finish quickly, usually within 3-4 months at most. If I need finished compost sooner, then I turn it once a week, adding new green as I go. I also usually have 3 piles going at once, in varying stages of "finished". For people who don't have a lot of space, then the trash can composter style (you can get these from the waste management of many cities) is a good way to go. It's also great if you have a problem with rodents or other animals getting into your pile. There are also commercial kitchen composters that do all the work for you, but those are pricey. As Nikki mentioned, the Bokashi is another method for indoor composting. Keep in mind that you do have to follow certain guidelines when adding the Bokashi compost to your garden, as it's unlike traditional compost. Hope that helps; happy composting everyone!
04/19/2013 9:42:26 PM CDT
Carole Staelgraeve says ...
My mother composted all her vegetative scraps yrs ago when I was just a kid. I have continued the practice to this day. I simply dig a hole in the garden and add the scraps every day or two. My garden soil is wonderful after all these yrs of doing this. I am 69. So that is a lot of composting.
04/19/2013 10:32:46 PM CDT
Mama Z says ...
Love this article!
04/19/2013 10:39:40 PM CDT
maesaysdoit says ...
@masayo some gardeners believe that the addition of citrus to composting raises the acidity level too high. Rest assured that would only matter if you are making a very small amount of compost.
04/21/2013 12:15:46 AM CDT
maesaysdoit says ...
@Tamara - yes, and you should be adding leaves and cutting. Also you can add grass clipping after mowing as long as you don't have too many weeds or if you do add them make sure the weeds have not gone to seed at the time you mow. And you need to wet it once in a while as well. A good way to work your compost is to layer leaves, food waste, clipping, food waste, and so on. Spray some water before and after turning it. Don't soak it, just a spray of water during dry hot time. Always turn in new additions of food waste.
04/21/2013 12:29:20 AM CDT
Cynthia Sebetes says ...
This comes a bit late. If it takes 6 months to make the compost and I start now, it will be October when it's ready to use for gardening. I won't be gardening in October as it will be too cold. Solutions would be appreciated!
04/21/2013 6:07:33 AM CDT