Compost Bins

Here are some further notes and observations following my notes on building up sandy soils for gardening.

I have used compost bins over the years and had moderate success. They have a purpose depending on your situation and the amount of waste generated in the household. For us at the moment I am moving away from them as general purpose compost bins for the following reasons.

  • We now have various options for our waste. Some goes to the chickens, some to the guinea pigs and very minimal morsels go to the fish and marron. The rest is best dealt with by the worms and the microbes and it is for that reason that rather than give the waste further opportunity to have other insects and ‘vermin’ access it, it is better to bury it directly into the soil and let the worms and microbes deal with it when they see fit.
  • The compost bins were handy for storing excess quantities of green waste from pruned trees or weeding but much of this can go to the chooks. It was handy for storage as the bins are vertical and made use of minimum gardening area.
  • As mentioned above, not having the bins limits the number of pest problems in the garden, for example flies or snails and slugs. None of which are a real problem for us, but in epidemic proportions supported by a compost bin or two, they can be troublesome.
  • Most of my compost bins have smelt quite bad. There is a real art to getting a mix right I think. I openly fail with this because I seldom have the right blend of materials available. At any one time I might have heaps of green waste and not enough dry stuff or vice versa.

Our compost bins are not altogether defunct though. I still have uses for them such as the one I set up today. I have moved our fig tree and there was a large hole left in the ground, over which I have positioned a compost bin. Rather like a drop toilet set-up. This will allow us to get rid of our kitchen scraps that don’t go to the chickens such as citrus peel (we are eating lots of citrus at the moment!) and even the odd bits and pieces of bones, egg shells, tissues, paper scraps. This will actually take us quite a while to fill to the point where I will take the bin away and put soil over the top. Then the bin will get moved to another location for a couple of months.

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