So you want to start composting! That’s great! Did you ever try researching all of the different composting methods? Did you immediately give up your dream right then and there? There’s so much out there! My goal is to learn as much as I can about the various techniques and compare the information here.
These are the variables I’ll be looking at:
– Space needed
– Decomposition rate
– Appearance: neat, contained, messy?
In each review, I will also explain the process, discuss pros and cons and provide you with additional resources. So stay tuned.
Comparing Compost Methods: 6 Different Techniques
Pit Composting – Digging a pit, adding material and then back filling the hole with dirt. Trench composting will also be discussed with this method.
Sheet Composting – Laying out a thin layer of composting materials on top of the soil and then tilling.
Pile Composting – Traditional, open compost heap.
Bin Composting – Composting in a stationery bin that sits on the ground with an open bottom. Bins can be open on one side or closed. A variation of this method is the Three Bin Composting method which I’ll touch on.
Tumbler Composting – Composting using a rotating container
Vermicomposting– Composting with the assistance of worms
Important for All Methods
Brown to Green Ratio
To get the black gold that gardeners rave about, it’s important to create an ideal balance of different materials. Otherwise you may end up with a stinky pile that attracts pests and doesn’t decompose. Been there. Done that. In composting, the materials are classified as brown or green. Different methods may require a different brown / green ratio.
Material high in CARBON content
Materials high in NITROGEN content
*If you aren’t sure whether something is brown or green, wet it with water and wait a few days. If it smells, it’s definitely a green. No smell? It’s probably a brown.
Smaller particles decompose quicker. Keep that in mind when a decomposition range is given. Shredding material is a good practice, but don’t go crazy. When the particles get too small, your pile will just get compacted and sludgy due to the moisture and lack of airflow.
The location of your compost site could determine how quickly your method produces. Environment will determine air flow, moisture and temperature.
Where to Start: Smallest Space Needed to Compost
Composting is so important and anyone can do it! If you live in an apartment without a balcony or yard, you can STILL compost. In fact, I’m going to look at vermicomposting first. This is a great method if you don’t have alot of space. Let me know which method interests you most!