Sunday, June 3, 2012

Compost 101

One common piece of advice that many new gardeners get is to start a compost pile. However, there are many different types to choose from. Here is a list of the three basic forms and their structure. If you would rather watch a Youtube Videos on the subject scroll down for some that I found on the subject.

1. Vermicomposting: It's actually much simpler than it sounds. The worms break down the food scraps, eat their own weight in food every day. The end product are worm castings and 'worm tea.' The worms need a well ventilated container along with damp bedding (coconut coir, newspaper, cardboard, etc.). The worms will gradually eat the food scraps.

2. Anaerobic Composting: (a.k.a. fermenting compost) This is simply composting with out the need for air. This is relatively low maintenance in that it doesn't need to be regularly turned over, but the smell can get pretty bad. However, with the right container there should not be a problem unless opened. This type of system will gradually kill off any parasites and uses bacteria to break down the materials.

3. Aerobic Composting: This is method is commonly used. It is basically composting with air. The oxygen levels allow bacteria that create heat to thrive which gradually breaks down the organic material. This method can create a bad smell and look unattractive. Some areas, especially if you live in an HOA, may not allow these types of composting. This is usually the method used in 'backyard composting.'

YouTube Links:




Recommendations & Resources:

Benefits of Recycling: Anaerobic Composting

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