Monday, August 3, 2015

one stop composting: part two

composting is as much of an art form as it is science and there are many methods to go about it as well. I was surprised at the amount of compostable materials there are. some of which are discourage by a few people and others may not be comfortable with using a specific thing.

My current method is a bit lazy, I am working on a lot of different things at this juncture in life with my house and often find myself neglecting some of the initial projects. my compost bin is made of some old wire fencing that was along one side of my yard. I formed it into a circle and filled it with no particular blend of yard waste and left it to do its thing. but this blog post is about the over all operational theory and the implementation.

The chop and drop method: This method is used in permaculture applications primarily, you simple cut down the weeds and grasses and use them to mulch around another plant to add a slow release fertilizer
 and provide ground coverage to prevent weeds from growing back (eventually). this can be seen in nature if you pull back some fallen pine needles around the base of a tree, the soil underneath is almost always a dark rich material but normally you wont find too many weeds growing around in it.

Bin method: from railroad ties to old trash cans this method can be done in almost any container. Heat and moisture retention should probably be a concern on some methods. The helpful bacteria can only stand so much heat, the recommended range of temperatures is between 135 degrees and 160 degrees F. if the compost is at 160 degrees the bacteria wont be doing much and can possibly die off, on the other side of things compost held at 150 degrees F will kill off unwanted seeds and pathogens.

compost tumbler : as with most of my posts Ill do the budget methods to the more expensive methods. compost tumblers don't really speed up the process but rather make you more willing to do what you should be doing with any other compost pile. many of them retain water better then an open pile, retain heat to a degree and make it easier for you to turn the pile. The ease of use makes the process feel faster but a well maintained compost pile can break down at the same rate as a batch in a tumbler.

Stay tuned for part 3 where we will take a look at the mega list of things the internet says we can compost. as always comments are welcomed

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