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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