It’s the Fall season, and it’s time to start gathering all the leaves you can- it’s your fuel to keep your compost pile going through the winter when it goes below freezing.
I’ve been doing this a long time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m unaware of some common questions people may have about composting.
Is it simply getting started? Unsure of what you can compost? When to compost? Where to compost?
Let me know what you’d like to learn more about, and I’ll try my best to help you out.
When is your compost ready to use? Some questions to ask yourself include:
How does it look?
Can you recognize any of the material?
How does it smell?
Is the material warm?
Here I have a few different samples of compost…vermicompost, tumbler compost, commercial compost, and trench compost.
What do you think of these samples? I feel like my tumbler compost and vermicastings could both go even longer before using them, but that they’re still OK if I were to use them now. In fact, I’m going to use these samples for my next “Clash of The Composts!” experiment coming soon… stay tuned!
Kitchen compost crocks aren’t my favorite tool when it comes to composting, but they are fun to ignore. For the last several months, I decided to fill it up and not empty it since it’s colder out (less bugs) and it won’t smell as bad.
I opened it up today, and it was nothing but sludge in the bottom and gobs of compost mites around the lid.
These are a common inhabitant of worm bins, but they don’t really pose a threat to your system. In fact, they’re a bit of a help since they indicate that your compost is unbalanced. Most likely your compost is too moist, and that’s what these critters like being around.
The solution? Add a bunch of dry browns to balance it out. The compost will smell less (better), and there might be less of those compost mites…but really, who cares? They’re part of decomposition.
The December 2011 (#033) issue of Grid Magazine has a lot of great articles focusing on composting…check them out here: http://www.gridphilly.com/digital-edition/
Ironically, I contributed one of few articles in there not pertaining to composting.
Either way, it’s a solid issue so give it a glance!