Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Patio Container Composting

This is how I used to compost when I lived in an apartment. I am putting this together for sister #2. She cannot have a compost pile because of her home owners' association. She really doesn't have enough yard waste and other raw material to create a big enough pile. Her last compost pile was pitiful.
First gather three, three gallon black plastic plant containers. Place about four inches of shredded, wet paper in the bottom of the first container. Add a pound or two of composting worms and compost. To this add your vegetable peels and waste, fruit peels and waste, egg shells, coffee grounds, paper coffee filters, and tea bags. Place the second container inside of the first without pressing down. We don't want to squash the worms. The second container acts as a lid. When the first container is two-thirds full begin filling the second container using the third container as a lid. When the second container is two -thirds full begin filling the third container. The worms will move up through the drain holes into the higher container, just like they do in the commercial worm composting bins. Keep the whole thing damp, but not soaking wet. By the time the third container is full, the contents of the first container should be compost and worm castings. I place the whole thing in a pot saucer. This will catch any liquid that comes through. The liquid is compost tea and can be used to water and feed your plants. Keep this in the shade. It will get too hot for the worms if it is in the sun.

Shredded paper wet to about the consistency of a wrung out sponge.
Red wriggler composting worms and worm castings.
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11 comments:

  1. I'm getting closer and closer to the point where I think I'm going to have to have a worm bin. This looks great!

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  2. I am so teaching Jack to farm worms. Get ready sister friend. Share lipstick:}

    Sorry everybody else, you had to be in high school drill team together.

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  3. OK. I feel as if I'm composting all wrong. I throw stuff into a "composting pot" by the sink. (A wonderful thing by the way)...from there it goes into a bucket by the back door, and from there it gets dumped onto "the compost pile" which is just a big pile at the back of the yard. Eventually I scoop it out to a second pile, then a third. Somewhere in there it magically turns to dirt. Am I doing it wrong? Will it be nutritionally deficient?

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  4. No Sherry. You are doing it the smart way. I am doing it the obsessive compulsive way. I have three piles too. One of them is the worm bin. That was a silly project because the worms escaped from the worm bin and ended up in the other compost piles. Ignore my earlier rantings about hot compost too. It does not have to get hot. It does not have to be eating by worms. It does not have to be screened. It does not have to become an obsession. Remember, Compost Happens:)

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  5. Great post, though my mind boggles at these subdivisions with their rules about dandelions, clotheslines, COMPOST heaps??? (there seem to be a thousand variations on thou shalt not have...XX) So good for you for doing this and kudos to your sister for getting around the darn covenant.

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  6. Hi jody. Thanks for stopping by. They wouldn't let her put in a windmill for electric generation either. Asthetic Nazis is what I call em.

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  7. Hi Vanillalotus, Just do it without the worms.

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  8. Hi! I've been at a loss as what to do about composting since moving into a restricted community, and everytime I have to throw out those beautiful peelings and water melon rinds, I feel like I'm committing a crime! Thank-you for the wonderful suggestion-will get started tomorrow! Now if I can just find a way to sneak chickens in here =)

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  9. Hi Deb I found your post by way of Barbee of suggested that I come by and check your post out. I did a blog on wormpoo and I'm eager to learn everything I can on it. Grate post I can't wait to try this out.

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  10. I found this and wondered about the drain holes mentioned. Just drill in the top container?

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