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Making Compost - Three Easy Methods for Success

3 easy methods to composting for the beginner gardener. The image shows a wheelbarrow with lovely compost in it.

Making compost using three easy methods for success are not the only ideas to making compost in a straightforward way. However, the methods I have selected are suitable even for beginner gardener. I like these ideas of composting and that is why I have included them here. So, let’s take a look at the three methods. If you see something here that would work for you then why not give it a go!

Making compost using the Digging in and Trench method

This is particularly good before growing vegetables in raised beds or on an allotment. Compost making as the method describes starts with you digging a trench and then filling your trench in. The best ingredients include household scraps, shredded newspapers, and leaves you have collected from the garden. Equally important, your trench needs to be a minimum depth of 60cm and the width of a spade. Evenly mix and space out your compostable materials along the bottom of the trench. Finally, put a layer of soil on top then let the micro-organism and bacteria in the soil to do the rest.

3 methods of easy composting. The digging and trenching your kitchen waste and garden leaves. As seen in the image.

Repeat this process for 20-30cm. In time, as your plants begin to grow the roots will hit this nutrient rich layer. This boost of nutrition helps creates a strong root system. Not to mention, strong roots lead to strong and healthy plants!

Making compost the hot box method

By comparison, for any gardener with limited space the hotbox is a good choice. Even though there are hotbox products to buy. you can make one yourself. I watched this video and it’s a great demonstration of how to do it. something I am looking to do. I like this method because is it clean, tidy and very efficient. There is a quick turnaround from green waste to finished product ready for use in the garden. They come in varied sizes depending on your available space. In brief, it  is all about generating heat for the bacteria to break the waste down into compost. This method working between 40-60 degrees C is up to 32% faster in producing compost. At this rate you can have your own compost within 30-90 days!

Composting greens and browns. The image shows a handful of kitchen scraps that fit perfectly into the green materials.

Making composting three methods of success - the tumbler

In my experience of using a tumbler composter, it is a mixed review from a personal point of view. The merits are certainly worth using one if you have a large volume of grass clippings. The tumbling action and the heat will break them down quicker than a regular composting heap. The tumblers are mainly made of metal, although you can get rigid plastic ones too. If you have a type that raised from the ground, it is almost impossible for vermin to get in. 

Making compost using the tumbler method. The image shows a cube type tumbler that you operate by hand. It stands on a metal frame which lifts it off the ground.

What's the best tumbler?

The heat that a tumbler composter can generate makes them unsuitable for any worm action, they cannot survive in those conditions. Depending on how much you compost will depend on the size of tumbler you require. Tumblers which roll on the ground will need a smooth surface to function well. Tumblers positioned on a stand can sometimes be heavy to turn but can be better on your back. Traditional cold compost heaps require turning, physically lifting the composting material from one place to another, a tumbler misses this step. It is all turned inside the tumbler.

Whether you use a cold compost, trench, or mechanical method it is important to look at your available space. Consider how quickly you need the finished compost, and your own physical ability. Composting can work for everyone; it really is just finding what works best for you.

Happy gardening, Kristian

Have you subscribed yet? It’s the easiest way to delve deeper on this topic. The following articles in this series will be coming soon and I would hate for you to miss out on this!

Composting for beginners this guide will help you understand the fundamentals to composting.

Composting in an Apartment – turning green waste into black gold. Read this guide to find out how you can compost your green waste when you only have a balcony or roof garden.

Composting with coffee Grounds – the benefits to composting coffee grains and is it worth it?

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