compost methods

Use These 7 Little-Known Composting Methods To Compost Like a Pro

Composting is a great way to take care of your waste and also help the environment. There are many composting methods that you can use, but it’s important to figure out which one will work best for you.

If you’re just getting started with composting, this post is for you! We’ll explore easy composting methods including closed bin composting, vermicomposting, direct composting, and even indoor composting. You’ll be able to start making easy DIY compost in no time!

organic waste for various compost methods
Organic waste for compost with vegetables, fruits and varied food.

THE CLOSED BIN METHOD

Closed bin composting method involves putting your compostable material into a container of some sort. Because closed bin composting systems have lids, they don’t attract pests or other animals. There are many bins designed specifically for composting, and many of them are very nice looking!

Pros: Tidy, keeps composting material out of sight

Cons: Difficult to hot compost, cannot utilize worms, difficult in cooler months, turning not possible

Recommended for: Suburban areas

Tools needed: Plastic container with a lid

THE TUMBLER METHOD

A compost tumbler is a variation of closed bin composting. It consists of two chambers, one for composting and another that stores finished compost. You can load up the first chamber with your compostable material, then spin it around regularly to mix everything together while adding in air (which is necessary for proper decomposition). When one side is full, you close it up to finish the composting process, and add your new composting materials to the other side in the mean time.

Pros: Tidy, easy to aerate

Cons: Hot composting not possible, cannot utilize worms, difficult in cooler months

Recommended for: Suburban and urban areas

Tools needed: Compost tumbler

THE DIRECT COMPOSTING METHOD

Direct composting is the lowest maintenance version of composting. You simply bury your compostable material in the ground and let it decompose. You don’t need any fancy tools or containers, and it can be done anywhere there’s enough space. You can speed up the process slightly if you chop or break your compostable materials into smaller pieces.

Pros: No turning necessary, easy to do anywhere, low maintenance

Cons: Can attract pests, can be difficult to know when compost is ready, takes longer than other methods

Recommended for: Rural areas with ample space

Tools needed: Shovel, space to dig multiple holes

OPEN AIR COMPOSTING

Open air composting is one of the oldest and most traditional methods of composting. You simply pile your compostable material in a designated spot and let the elements take their course. This method is easy, but it can be unsightly and smelly. It will also take a long time to get usable compost, and harvesting your finished compost will be difficult.

Pros: Low cost, easy to do anywhere, doesn’t require any tools

Cons: Can be messy, smelly, and unsightly, takes longer than other methods

Recommended for: Rural areas with ample space or people who don’t mind a little mess.

Tools needed: Shovel, optional fencing to contain the compost in one designated spot

VERMICOMPOSTING

Vermicomposting is popular because the use of worms speeds up the process and makes the compost ready much more quickly. The worms eat the organic matter that you add to the bin, and create castings (a nutrient-rich fertilizer) that can be used in your garden.

You’ll need a worm bin, which can be as simple as a bucket with drainage holes, or as fancy as a worm condo to start vermicomposting.

Another benefit of vermicomposting is that with the proper equipment, it can also be done indoors, making it a perfect option for city dwellers.

Pros: Speeds up composting process, easy to do indoors or outdoors (if not too hot or cold)

Cons: Need to care for worms, can attract pests

Recommended for: Urban, suburban and rural areas with proper equipment

Tools needed: Worm bin, compostable items for the worms to eat

THE BOKASHI METHOD

Bokashi composting is also known as EMO (Effective Micro-Organisms) composting. Bokashi is a Japanese term that means “fermented organic matter.”

The is a newer composting method that involves adding a bran mixture to your compostable material, which is then sealed in a container and left to ferment. The fermentation process creates an acidic environment that breaks down the organic matter quickly and efficiently.

Bokashi composting is fantastic because you can keep the bin right under your kitchen sink for easy access (there’s no odor!), and it can accept meat and dairy products, meaning no need to sort your kitchen scraps.

The main drawback of the Bokashi method is that it does not produce finished compost. But you can easily add finished Bokashi to your regular compost pile where it will decompose faster than unfermented scraps. You can also either bury your Bokashi-composted material or donate it to someone with a traditional compost pile.

Pros: No turning or aerating necessary, can use kitchen scraps (including meat and dairy!), easy to do indoors

Cons: Need to seal container airtight, does not produce finished compost, expensive equipment needed

Recommended for: Urban areas with easy access to supplies, people who want compost quickly without much work.

Tools needed: Bokashi bin, Bokashi mix, compostable items

COMBINATION COMPOSTING

Once you’ve experimented with a variety of composting methods, you might find that you enjoy combining various types of composting.

For example, you might start by composting in an easy-to-use Bokashi bin. Once you get the hang of that process, you might get a compost tumbler to be able to compost a larger volume of materials. If you get really advanced and have the space, you might invest in a 3-bin system to be able to create a lot of compost in a relatively short amount of time.

Pros: Combines various types of composting methods, customizable to your needs and situation

Cons: Can be expensive if buying additional equipment

Recommended for: Composters who want a bit of flexibility and like doing their own thing.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT COMPOSTING METHOD FOR YOU

There are many different methods of composting- each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Which one you choose will depend on your needs and situation. But don’t worry – any of these methods are easy enough that anyone can succeed!

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