Organics,

Compost Bin

One of the best ways to improve the soil in a garden is to add lots of home made compost. I started composting after attending a composting workshop provided by the San Jose City. They were selling plastic composting bins at 50% the retail price. The city was subsidizing the purchase of bins for San Jose residents. I made a couple batches of compost with the small little plastic bin and realized that I would need another bin or two in order to be able to have one pile of compost that is finishing while creating a new pile in another bin.

So instead of buying more plastic bins, I decided to create a 3 bin system made out of wood. I found the plans in The Rodale Book of Composting. All 3 bins are connected to each other with lids, removable front slats, and a hatch for throwing fresh material into the first bin. Here’s a photo of 1 of the 3 bins.

June_C65mn

The 1st bin, on the far left, is for the fresh material. It’s called the holding bin. Once the holding bin is full, I move the contents to the middle bin and mix the proper amount of moisture, greens and dry material to get the composting action at it’s highest. My current batch stayed at 160 degrees for nearly a week! After it’s finished, I move it to the far right bin to settle and be used in the yard. Meanwhile, new material is continually added to the holding bin and the process can start again once the holding bin is full.

I not only gather material from our yard and kitchen, but I also go out to the curb on trash day and pick up grass clipping and leaves that neighbors bring to the street. I just wheel my wheelbarrow out there and get the good stuff for composting. I’ve been reading that human urine is actually a very good activator for composting, so I’m also considering getting a little bucket to put on the side yard! Heck, it’s good for the compost bin and I don’t have to waste water flushing it down the toilet. What a double blessing!  tongue laugh

To see all the compost bin photos, Click Here

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