OK,everyone,I am totally new at this, but would love to have a small container garden this summer, even if only herbs. DoI need compost?If so, where do I store it before its ready to be used?/ before its needed? I know that it needs air flow to break down, but how do you avoid pests from eating it? That would leave out my front porch and back porch, and the air doesn't circulate in the garage- besides, I think mice and bugs could get in there to eat my compost if they wanted to badly enough.Any advise is appreciated!
  7 answers
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Feb 26, 2014
    @Polly Zieper most home stores carry various types of composters, some plastic and some wooden. It should be placed away from the house to avoid odours (if you are planning on putting kitchen waste in it) from invading your living space. We have had one in the backyard for about 25 years - it resides at the back of our veggie garden. We only compost leaves from trees and of course from plants in our veggie garden at the end of the season. Don't have a problem with pests getting into it. I wouldn't advise composting weeds in it as it may invade your garden when you add to it.

  • Shari Shari on Feb 26, 2014
    Have you been on the site, Pinterest? There are lots of pins on there with composting to get started, what to compost, what not to compost etc. Here's the results page when I searched "compost." You can click on any "pin" to see it enlarged. Then click again on the enlarged picture to be taken to the original website for more info. I'm sure there's probably also composting info here on HomeTalk if you use the search box at the top of the page.

    • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Feb 26, 2014
      @Shari I have been on the site before, looking for other things-decorating ideas, but hadn't thought to look for gardening advice. will do.. thx

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Feb 27, 2014
    The University of Florida has an excellent tutorial on composting here:

  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Feb 28, 2014
    Good advice from all of the above. Composting is easy, you're just helping the natural order of things along, so don't get all tensed up about it. It's not rocket science. You can use a 30 gal trash can with holes for drainage if you're short on space for a big bin. Easy-peezy.

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    • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Mar 01, 2014
      @Polly Zieper Well, you can do it indoors, but it's a lot less complicated to do it outdoors. You can set up a bucket/container preferably with a lid for inside. Put all your veggie peelings, egg shells, tea bags, coffee grounds, including the filter etc in that and when it's full add it to your composting bin. As other's mentioned above there are about a gazillion sites that explain basics on how to compost on the web. As I said this ain't rocket science. For a regular compost bin you do not want to use grease, as it attracts critters. I use a Bokashi bucket in addition our outside bins. With that I can compost grease, meat pieces, etc, because the bacteria in the Bokashi mix pickles it, so it's a win-win situation. I can get "juice" off the bucket while it's working, that goes on my indoor plants. Once the bucket it full it either goes in one of the big composting bins or directly into the garden. I am an organic gardener, so all this stuff is biodegradable and totally organic. I am continually preaching you have to feed the soil first and that includes making sure the microbial life present is working to optimum. The Bokashi ( which is Japanese for garbage juice) uses a product called EM-1 which contains a concentrate of beneficial bacteria which help break down the composting materials and greatly enrich the soil when added to it. Microbes are essential to help your plants unlock and reach vital nutrients including trace minerals. It makes a huge difference both in the quality of your produce/flowers and the amount of production. I can testify to that, as we've practice organic veggie growing for over 30 years and had what I thought was good soil. The Bokashi was like "super-size" that, please! It was amazing!

  • Lynn5280 Lynn5280 on Feb 28, 2014
    Polly I started composting a few months ago and am loving it. I ordered a composter from amazon but couldn't wait so started it in a clean garbage can. Have had no problems with bugs mice or odor Can is 3/4 full a layer of brown then a layer of green. You can fine lots of lists of things to compost its really fun mine is ready to use but it is still too chilly to plant my flowers. Keep it slightly moist and I turn mine with a pitchfork but the one from amazon rolls on a stand.

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    • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Mar 02, 2014
      @Polly Zieper Actually no it won't Polly, if you set up that kitchen composting bucket, it's just making it a habit. Any leavings, not meat or dairy go in the bucket. But, be warned, you could turn into a composting freak like the rest of us, when you discover yourself looking at various items with their potential to compost! LOL

  • Lynn5280 Lynn5280 on Feb 28, 2014
    one more thing, I love throwing all my scraps and peels etc in the composter rather than in the garbage to be taken to land fill.

  • Katie Katie on Mar 01, 2014
    Just don't forget - no meat or dairy products. That is what causes the smell and brings on the critters! I love composting! It's like magic! :-)