Build Your Own Composter
You can build your own composter and enjoy growing organic vegetables that are delicious and nutritious for you and your family. Compost is made up of organic waste material that has been decomposing naturally. Compost is used as a fertilizer and conditioner for soil. Organic farmers use compost as a key ingredient to growing organic vegetables.
The process of knowing how to build your own composter involves filling up waste in a bucket or container outdoors and waiting at least a year or more. Some more sophisticated methods involve checking the water, air, carbon and nitrogen content of the materials. Other methods shred all of the compost material, monitor water and aeration by turning the mixture on a regular basis. Fungi and worms also help in decomposing the material further.
There are many different ways to build a composter. Basically, you just want a container or structure to hold all of the waste material in, somewhere outside of your home. Most people have a compost container in their backyard, away from the main area of the house.
An easy way you can build your own composter is with a garbage can. You can purchase a garbage can at any home improvement center or even at a janitorial supply store. Be sure to get a large enough one that can hold quite a bit of waste. Next, you’ll want to take a drill and make three rows of holes. Be sure to space the holes about 6 inches apart all around the sides. You’ll then want to drill 7 to 10 holes in the base of the garbage can.
These holes are important as they allow for aeration and drainage of the compost. You’ll want to put about 3 inches of dry wood chips or sawdust in the bottom of the garbage can. This helps to absorb any extra moisture while letting the materials drain properly. Then you’ll fill your garbage can with things like cardboard, dried out egg shells, tea, coffee grounds, fruits, vegetables, yard trimmings, leaves, or clean paper.
Compost can be made from any plant matter, including lawn clippings, tree leaves, food scraps, newspaper, and/or manure from animals that have eaten plants. Whether you are gardening with containers or in the ground, your soil will benefit from added compost. Most good soil mixes incorporate some composted matter and organic fertilizers and usually contain small amounts of composted manure or seed meal.
Over time you will need to add more. If you are gardening in the ground and using soil that contains compost or organic matter, then your soil will settle over time, and you will notice the soil level dropping in your growing beds. This is largely due to the work of earthworms and other soil-based organisms, which transport organic matter deeper into the soil as they continue to transform and improve it. Each growing season, you will need to add more soil, and you simply cannot do better than heaping more compost on top.
Even if you are container gardening, where the number of earthworms is few to none, you will lose some of your dirt each time you pull your plants at the end of a growing season. Your top few inches of soil will be scraped off at the end of each season and will need to be refreshed with new fertilizer. So a container garden also requires a few extra inches of soil on a regular basis. Compost is a great addition to your container soil and makes a wonderful top mulch that retains moisture and conserves heat for the plants’ roots.
Composting is a pretty amazing process. It recycles nearly any living matter back into a stable elemental soil that can feed the next generation of plants. In addition to yielding a rich growing soil and recycling our food and yard waste, the process itself has far-reaching benefits for cleaning up our world. It has been shown to bind heavy metals and prevent them from migrating to water resources or being absorbed by plants. The compost process degrades and, in some cases, completely eliminates wood preservatives, pesticides. You can play an important role in cleaning up and restoring our world. You can play your own small part, and save yourself money on buying bagged material, by beginning your own small composting system at home.
Now you can build your own composter quickly and easily.