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1st Time Composting - Need Advice & Suggestions

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1st Time Composting - Need Advice & Suggestions

Postby rusty99 » May 06, 2014 4:05 pm

Hi all,
I recently purchased a circular drum style composter and want to get started right away.

Can you direct me to some threads or links of what type of materials are ok and not ok to put in my composter.

I plan to put a combination of kitchen vegetables, tea bags, coffee grinds, and grass clippings in a 50/50 ratio into it. As yet I've not put anything into it and want to start off doing the correct way.

I live in Edmonton, Alberta, so I plan to be only composting during the spring & summer months (May -Sept)

Advice and suggestions for a newbie are welcome.
Cheers :D
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Re: 1st Time Composting - Need Advice & Suggestions

Postby tricone » May 06, 2014 10:38 pm

Any kind of garden waste is good (of course). It's best to mix food scraps in well with at least equal amounts of garden waste - a big pile that's mainly food scraps tends to smell pretty bad in summer and will attract flies. I think the "pros" tend to systematically layer garden waste and kitchen waste.

I also like to compost all my sensitive paperwork e.g. bankstatements - they degrade much quicker when ripped up than when shredded. Any kind of non-glossy paper goes pretty well as long as it's ripped up.

Teabags are excellent but need to be ripped open - the bags are sometimes made of plastic and sometimes do not degrade well

oh before I forget... NO MEAT!
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Re: 1st Time Composting - Need Advice & Suggestions

Postby oldgal75 » May 23, 2014 5:03 pm

The basic rule to follow for composting is - no meat, no oils, no dairy, no fats. I would also add no corn cobs as they never - ever - break down in the compost and you will find yourself having to remove them eventually - when they are all yucky and covered with compost! I also prefer not to let anyone put in too many leaves in the fall as they can easily upset the balance.

There are those who fuss over their compost and those who don't, aside from following the basic rules and not allowing the 'balance' to get too far out of whack. Nature will usually correct any minor errors on the part of the gardener - as she does in all other gardening areas. I have four composters at various stages at any one time and find they all work well. When one is full, I stop adding material and just turn/spin it every couple of days for about six weeks which produces decent compost - providing leaf-raking members of the family have listened to my exhortations not to chuck all the leaves in there!

One of my composters is the drum spinning type which drains compost tea into its base. I empty the base into a storage container and mix about half a cup of the tea to 4 litres of water, then use a watering can to water around shrubs and trees that look as if they need a spring pick-me-up! There again there are those who make a big fuss of making compost tea but my great-grandmother, who was English and a life-long gardener, made her compost tea the way I do and neither of us has ever had a problem with the results.
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