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New At composting

 
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Hello all. I am new to permies.com, permaculture, and composting. I just got my certification in permaculture design, and am eager to put it to use. One thing I did was start some compost. Since Principle #6 is "Produce No Waste", I figured I can utilize that principle by taking the soil used to grow tomatoes, peppers, and herbs in my container gardens, put it in a receptacle (instead of buying a composter that costs $100, I decided to take a 32 gallon storage bin, and put holes on the sides and bottom), and put my kitchen scraps and other organic matter into that soil. Can I successfully make compost this way?
 
steward
Posts: 4618
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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hugelkultur forest garden fungi books bee greening the desert
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Howdy Dawn, Maybe composting with worms would work better for you ? To make a proper compost without worms you have to go through several temperature changes, the highest of which can actually melt some plastic containers. Is yours plastic? You also need to turn it to keep air spaces and some moisture may be needed. So it is more work than just letting the red wiggler worms do it all for you.
 
Dawn King
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Yes, it is plastic. I don't have room for worms. The bin is outside, and I was told that red wrigglers can't stand the cold. I live in PA. Is this still possible?
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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hugelkultur forest garden fungi books bee greening the desert
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Yes it will still work.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1454
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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I have tried lots of different compost ideas and here is the one that finally works best for me. Super lazy and gets the job done:

Half of a 50 gallon barrel with the bottom cut out (a whole barrel would work too - I just want to make two compost stations out of one barrel).

More than one if you have space - I do.

Throw in compost stuff.

Plant things around the outside of the barrels or place the barrels next to things that you want to receive the compost - in my case that was an apple tree and, in another area, a young quince transplant.

Thats it.

I just keep throwing things in there and it keeps 'disappearing'. I don't turn it or anything. The plants that are around it grow beautifully. If I put something in the barrel that draws flies I just throw leaves or grass cuttings on top of it.

My quince is now off to a nice start after a spring and summer with a barrel next to it so yesterday I moved the barrel and scraped up the chunky stuff that was left. I will now move it to an area next to some ginger and kiwi that needs some love.
 
Dawn King
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Cool beans! Thanks for the suggestions!
 
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https://permies.com/t/85178/dry-stack-retaining-wall
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