Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 09:50 am
I have never used nor have I known anyone who had a small compost bin.

I know many people who keep large amounts in their back yards, but it seems that composting is easier with large space.

I want to compost in my apartment. And i am hoping to have good soil by .. spring? would that be a reasonable date/time?
Spring being = april or so..
Im still on the idea of making space for plants on my porch/patio .
Next week I begin building the pots.
I want to start with small established plants instead of seed so I am hoping that if I start a compost NOW, it will be ready when spring arrives.. yes?

This is the only site I have read so far, so now you know the extent of my compost knowledge

http://www.nyccompost.org/how/smallspace.html#step1


What else should I do?
HOW should I do it?

just fill a bin and let it rot essentially?
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chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 10:18 am
I thought you needed to have your compost pile on the ground, so worms and bugs could get in there to help with the process.

Do you mean IN your apartment? I think it would just attract roaches and ants, as would having it right outside your door on your patio. I could be wrong, probably am, but I thought it would be best to have it a little distance from your house/apt.

Last year I tried to start one, with no success. I had it on the side of my house, where I never go, so the stuff I threw out there just dried out, since I'd forget about wetting it.

This year, I've been on and off throwing stuff next to my garden, in the front of the house, where it's gotten covered with leaves.

Yesterday I had a good workout outside, starting to do the spring cleaning in the garden. I took a shovel and just sort of stabbed viciously at all the stuff under the leaves, and the leaves itself. There's really nothing but an acorn squash I didn't want, a couple of onions that had gone bad, and a few veggie scraps. I'll have to work on it over the summer.

I think a good compost pile takes a year to get to where you can use it. Otherwise, it'll just be pieces of stuff.

Last Fall, when I was pulling up spent annuals, I left the plants on the bedding soil, and covered it up with bags of compost/soil/manure I was going to use now in the Spring (the bags were the base of my Festivus decorations, covered up to make a mountain.)

When I moved the bags yesterday, the old annuals were nice and rotted, and I hacked them up into the soil as well.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 10:27 am
You want a worm farm to gather the worm castings from their labors.

Here's how it is done in an apartment:



djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 10:30 am
you need a good combination of dry and wet to get a compost pile working right, and you need to turn the pile to get some air into it, for a small space i'd suggest a small pail with a lid maybe 10 gallons, drill holes (1/4 inch) in the sides and ends, add the material to the pail, turn on it's side and roll it around, this will help mix up the material and get air moving in the pile, make sure you roll it every day, even if you don't add anything, if you have more space you can use a bigger container, you can also buy compost tumblers

the other problem with apartment composting is the lack of some really good ingredients, grass clippings are one such item, they add nitrogen to the mix, but anything is better than nothing, and it helps cut down on garbage

the couple of sites i've been to suggest that the most tumbler type composters will give decent results in about a month or two
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 10:30 am
@shewolfnm,
Layering and keeping it moist is key. The NY site you linked is quite good, but there will be some differences based on your location so you'll want to find a site for your County Extension office.

If they're well-kept they won't get stinky. Having the right container is key to keeping bugs/rodents at bay.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 10:45 am
@ehBeth,
http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/sws/compostfaq.htm
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 11:01 am
I dont have the ability to leave a compost bin on the dirt so it will have to be done on my patio. Not inside the apartment. Yuck.

I can get grass clippings, leaves, and other plant pieces from the fields around my apartment, or just go down by a lake or to a park. thats no problem.



I like that worm link you posted bf.
I watched it and it makes sense . I have bins that would work for that too.
I think that is a good idea.

Would any trash can work for a compost bin? Or is it best to buy something that is specifically made for composting?
I have seen some at home depot...
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 11:03 am
@ehBeth,
another great link.

Thank you
0 Replies
 
Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 11:22 am
Shewolf, we had a worm composter in our kitchen for about three years ('til we moved to a different city and let our worms free in the garden rather than move them). I used the outdoor composter for big stuff but the worm bin was handy for coffee filters, teabags and apple cores (we probably had highly caffeinated worms) and you could probably use it for all vegetable scraps if you were willing to chop them into small pieces. You just keep it damp but not wet. It doesn't smell (just smells of damp earth). The compost is fantastic!
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 11:35 am
So the worm bin by itself is enough?

Oh! maybe I will just do THAT instead of both.
I thought ........well.. I dont really know WHAT i was thinking.. ha
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 11:36 am
Tai Chi

That was so thoughtful of you to let the worms go free.

Moving them would just mean adjusting to new schools, finding out where the library, post office is, etc.

I love these links.
I'm going to get some containers like that, even for the outside. That way weeds won't mingle in there.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 11:37 am
@shewolfnm,
shewolfnm wrote:

So the worm bin by itself is enough?

Oh! maybe I will just do THAT instead of both.
I thought ........well.. I dont really know WHAT i was thinking.. ha



Rolling Eyes

keep up, will ya?
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 11:48 am
Im keeping up my keep up


er






uh


what'cha say again?
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 11:49 am
Actually what I thought was that the indoor worm bin was sort of a quick start compost for outdoor..

Does that make sense?

( maybe only to me..)
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 11:52 am
@shewolfnm,
everything you ever wanted to know about "worm composting" :

http://www.cathyscomposters.com/

many of our schools have indoor composters - not only composts but also serves as science/biology study project .
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 12:11 pm
Ive known several people whove composted using a series of ten gallon buckets with holes in the bottom and top side to keep it aerobic (The key is always keep it aerobic). Ive watched mushroom compost sheds and they generate solid compost inabout 20 days or less. They keep it areated by blowing air from the bottom using ducts, and they keep it moist by spritzing water on top. They mix straw, chicken and horse manure, penut shells, gypsum board, and some sand in layers and let it go in these big buildings. The stuff goes in looking like straw and comes out looking like fluffy soil with some straw stems.

The 10 gal buckets are usaully filled with lyers of nitrogen wastes (kitchen scraps ) and organic, eaves and grasses. You can add a bit of amiraclegrow liwuid to get it going and stand back.Every 3 days just flip the buckets (with lids) over and check on it within a month. Ill bet after a month itll be on its way if not done.

The fancy compost bins are a waste of money when the buckets work fine. You just need a wall by which to stack 5 or 6 buckets.
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 12:18 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote :

Quote:
The fancy compost bins are a waste of money when the buckets work fine.


wouldn't those fancy contraptions look just a bit more attractive than some old buckets ?
remember , you'd want your neighbours to admire your fancy installation - perhaps replace the living room aquarium with an indoor composter ?
hbg
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 12:42 pm
@hamburger,
Im sure youre right. Why do people drive SUV lexii? seems like a stupid concept to me and the damn thing doesnt have sufficient ground clearance to even go off road. Its the label that sells to the idiots who buy.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 01:19 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

Im sure youre right. Why do people drive SUV lexii? seems like a stupid concept to me and the damn thing doesnt have sufficient ground clearance to even go off road. Its the label that sells to the idiots who buy.


You know what I'm gonna do?

Take a few of those 5 gallon home depot buckets, of which we have about 5 million of, drill some holes in the bottom, and plant early girl tomatoes, big bubba okra and a cumcumber bush.

It's going to be right where I park my car, so I'll have to look at them every day when I get home.

I figure those safety orange buckets will grow some damn fine veggies
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 01:22 pm
@chai2,
well... slap my face and call me suzy



THAT is a perfect size for maters and I wont have to BUILD a pot for them

hot damn
0 Replies
 
 

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