I’ve mentioned here several times how much I love my garden. It’s a small one, actually a series of glorified flowerbeds, but I love to make things grow. I mostly plant herbs since they’re pretty and edible, and since I prefer to keep my life as organic as possible, I like to use compost to enrich my topsoil and act as a mulch layer. But, organic compost is expensive, so last year I set out to figure out how to make my own compost and in a small space.
There are a few small composters available commercially, but I didn’t want to spend $100 on a plastic contraption, so I hit my beloved Google. I found a how-to for making your own apartment-sized composter, which sounded about right for my condo and its flowerbeds. So, far it’s held up really well, and has made more than enough compost for my garden.
I throw in there all my vegetable scraps from cooking, egg shells, tea leaves, coffee grounds, paper towels; the list goes on and on. The only food waste that can’t go in there is meat (which I don’t eat) and dairy. To balance the moisture of food or “green” waste, experts recommend adding “brown” waste. Since I don’t have dried leaves or pine needles, I throw in shredded junk mail and old bills: any non-glossy paper without colored ink. Every week or so, I turn it over with a shovel, and I haven’t had a problem with smell yet.
Small Composter How-To:
- 1 large plastic bin with lid (like this one)
- power drill
- 1 extra bin lid (optional)
- 3-4 bricks (optional)
Drill holes through the base of the bin, and along the bottom half of the sides of the bin. If you’re planning on leaving it on a patio or balcony (anyplace without drainage), place the extra lid on the pavement upside down, set the bricks on lid, then set the bin on top of that, to provide space, and a catch basin, for any drainage. Keep the composter covered with original lid.