Composting

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I'm new to gardening For 2 days II've had a small aluminum pan full of banana peels, orange rinds, old, rotten berries and egg shells sitting outside in 80+ degree weather, waiting for something to happen/change,and it still looks like a small aluminum pan full of banana peels, orange rinds, old, rotten berries and egg shells. Should I be doing something to get it to break down?
  10 answers
  • There several ways you can compost and you are 1/2 way there. You need to have other organic material like dirt to mix in with your kitchen scraps. Some people use drums and turn then and keep adding leaves and their kitchen compost and even add composting worms. You cannot get compost from sitting in a pan outside-sorry it doesn't quite work that way. You can compost in a sunny area in your yard too (part sun will work but needs heat to get it going. Mine is in a back section in my yard with a short wooden fence around it. I turn my soil every so often about a foot down and keep adding my kitchen compost about every 3 days-about a 6x6 area so worms come naturally (and I sometimes add fishing worms LOL). There are many sources to look at for composting and many people will give you advice. There is no right way but you do need to have the basics- Good luck and happy composting!

  • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Apr 04, 2014
    Thanks, Renee,I think I'll get the hang of it, and next year I'll be ready to go!

  • Doneva Fellows Doneva Fellows on Apr 04, 2014
    and then there's just dig a hole in your garden and bury it. i only have a small spot for my compost pile and come spring it's just thawing so I dig holes in my greenhouse beds and put my kitchen scraps in them. I try to crush the eggshells and chop the orange peels. I put banana peels in the freezer and come spring when the ground thaws around my rose bushes I dig a hole and bury them.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Apr 05, 2014
    I am not a composting person, just am not into gardening that much. But when I was a kid, my Mother had a huge garden which the men took care of tilling. She did, however, take egg shells, bean hulls, veggie trimmings, coffee grounds and threw them around the base of her plants...sometime shoveling a little dirt or throwing a little pine straw over it. She just did not make a big production out of it! And I have to say everything she did worked well...she had an abundance of plants and flowers.

  • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Apr 05, 2014
    Thank you, Jeanette, if that works,I will be so grateful!Keeping it in my backyard, even up on a table, was beginning to attract bugs.

  • Judy Parkey Judy Parkey on Apr 06, 2014
    I tried having a compost pile last year. I took a laundry basket and black landscape "paper". I later poke holes in the paper. I filled it with leaves and then left over veggies scraps and more leaves. Then I forgot about it. I stepped outside one day and the compost pile was SWARMED in butterflies. I continue to throw my veggies on top. It's pretty ineffective as a compost pile but effective at feeding the birds and butterflies.

  • Dee Dee on Apr 06, 2014
    My first composter was a plastic bin with holes drilled round the sides and bottom. I'd mix it up every few days. It was compact and easy to keep out of sight.

  • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Apr 06, 2014
    Did you get bugs in it?

  • Jennifer G Jennifer G on Apr 06, 2014
    Composting needs about equal amounts of 'greens' and 'browns' to work. Kitchen scraps are great additions to add to your compost pile/bin/etc, but not so effective all on their own. As you found out, bugs are attracted to kitchen scraps. Compost also needs worms, microorganisms, moisture and heat to break down. Putting your offerings in an aluminum tin (especially on a table) isn't the best solution. Try making a pile in your yard (or use an inexpensive trash can with the bottom cut out and sunk slightly into the ground). Add your kitchen scraps (smaller pieces break down faster then big pieces) and then add some dried leaves, grass clippings, dead flowers, etc. making sure to keep the ratios of 'green' to 'brown' about equal. You can turn your compost, or just poke it a bit to make sure oxygen gets in there and soon you should see the stuff starting to break down. It does take time - several months at the shortest and up to a year for large piles with little to no maintenance. I hope this helps. Remember, compost happens all the time in nature with no help from us. Be patient, and soon you will see lovely rich soil from your efforts :)

  • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Apr 16, 2014
    Thank you,Jennifer!