December 27, 2011

Let's Talk Trashy...

Trashy...Compost...Get it? :)

Well, I have an itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny little garden. I'm hoping, if we're still in this house come summer, to till up a bit of the backyard and fence it to perhaps grow a few more things like tomatoes and peppers. There's only so much you can grow in pots and in a space 1/2 the size of a car! :)

So, whether or not we're here, I'm in preparation mode. Hey, it's biblical! The ants prepare for the future.
To me, it applies in this small area of gardening. Who knows where we'll be in a month, two, or even six. So, I'm preparing for that as well as for if we will be here. :)

I've been wanting to compost for a while, on a small scale. So I found a tutorial online and decided to make my own composter!
I had one of these big buckets around, so it was so simple! Here's how to make your own!

Materials Needed
Large Trash Can with lid (preferably a "lock-on" lid)
Platform (I used bricks, but you can use wood or whatever you have)
Drill and bit (I used 1")

 Directions
  1. Find a big plastic barrel, preferably one you don't care much about. I doubt you'll use it for anything after this! :) Also, it's good if you can find a barrel with a lid that locks on, so you can roll the barrel to mix all the junk up. I didn't have this, but if you do, use that kind!
  2. Drill holes in the lid, and down the sides so that air can get in, as well as so it can drain if it gets too damp. I used a 1" bit and drilled holes all around the barrel and lid.
  3. Put it on something that will allow it to drain well and be off of the ground. I think someplace it said this helps it to retain heat better. 
  4. Once you start filling your composter, you'll want to roll it around every few days. This will nicely mix the bacteria into the new material and help it to break down. Also, place your composter in a sunny area, because the sun is what allows this compost to heat up and begin breaking matter down. If you live in a super cold area, it might be a good idea to cover your composter with plastic to keep the heat inside.
  5. Now, what do you put inside and how much? To start it off, there is green material and brown material. The green material is high in nitrogen and consists of kitchen scraps (not meat or greasy things), manure (not dog or cat), grass clippings, weeds, eggshells...etc. The brown material is high in carbon and consists of dead things like crunchy leaves on the ground, sawdust, straw, paper, etc. 
          The internet is full of conflicting views of the ratio of brown to green material, but for me, it's worked
          well to have equal parts of each. After you fill part of your composter with  equal materials for the first
          time, you need to water it with the hose, so that it is like a squeezed out sponge but no damper. It'll
          get stinky and gross if you have standing water in there!

Here are a few ideas as a "cheat sheet" for what you can put into your composter:
  • Shredded paper
  • Fruits and Veggies
  • Egg Shells
  • Grass Clippings
  • Your old perennials at the end of summer
  • Nutshells
  • Fireplace Ashes
  • THIS website has more ideas of what to put in and what not to put in your barrel
Once you are ready to use your compost, it's vitamin-filled and your plants will love it! Mix it in with your soil when it comes time to plant, and you're ready to go! Go make some compost!

I hope you liked this simple idea! Go check out my giveaways going on right now if you haven't gotten a chance to yet!

5 comments:

  1. We made one of these last summer and we LOVE it! I am so glad you shared with the world!
    Whatever scraps don't go to our chickens, get dumped right into our compost bin, and every once in a while, Dale and the kids scoop some dirt on top, close the lid and roll it around a bit to mix. Works GREAT!

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  2. Good luck on the garden! I started with one that was 4x19 and I am hoping to expand into some other areas like the front of the house. Composting is pretty fun also!

    Thanks for stopping by! I am following you on G+ now!

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  3. Look at you!
    This is a great Idea... I just found your blog from Deb's Newbie party. I haven't read your blog before, but I'm guessing you're renting maybe or just live in a small place.
    We have an entire 4 acres...but it is just the Honey and I (he is retired now) and so we garden pretty small for the land we have. I make raised beds out of scrap lumber that people wanted hauled off... most of my boxes are about 5 X 6 on average...I've grown tomatoes, corn, potatoes, onions, radishes( out the nose!,...not really, but we grew a LOT) and am still growing broccoli and carrots and hope to have peas soon!
    Have fun with the compost...it is like gold~ your garden will love you for it~

    nice to meet you, Pat

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  4. Looked over your blog liked what I saw so I am your newest follower. Drop by for a visit sometime.
    :)
    Lisa

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  5. Looks great - we are trying to figure out how we want to compost in our new home as well! We used a metal trashcan with drilled holes in our previous home and haven't had time to make another just yet!

    xoxo,

    Tim and Mary

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