No Bin No Way
We considered buying a rotating compost bin for our garden to use scraps from the kitchen to improve our garden soil, but they were all pricey and I didn't like the idea of having to dump our scraps into a stinky bin and having to turn it to keep it aerated.
You may call it lazy, but I call it efficient. My schedule is so tight, I'm all about quick and easy with few steps in between. Plus, we have a lot of winter here in Wisconsin and I don't like tromping through the snow!
I did a search (naturally!) and came up with the term "direct composting," or "trench composting."
Basically you just dig a trench in your garden and dump in your scraps and bury them. Easy peasey! We tried it last year and it WAS easy and this year when we dug the area up, the scraps were nowhere to be seen and we were left with super charged fertile soil in its place.
Since I'm all about easy and cheap projects, direct composting is perfect for our garden.
I took our scraps out last week and buried them between our rows of tomatoes (after we tilled and added another yard of coconut compost). Next year I'll plant my tomatoes in that area, but this year it will be our walking path between rows. All I did was dig a trench, fill it in with kitchen scraps and cover it.
See the video below to take a look.
If you find that the walking path is too smooshy to walk on after doing your deed of direct composting, just cover it with cardboard or straw to firm up the path.
- You don't need to deal with moisture levels, aerating or sifting with this method unlike the bin composting. Plus you don't get the disgusting smell!
- The decomposed matter enriches the soil at root level. Your plants will be healthier being nourished resulting in a stronger root system.
- Organic gardening is our goal, so this is a great way to do just that. We don't do chemicals in our garden!
- Those in restricted areas who are not allowed to use compost bins can still do direct composting. Yeah, covert composting!
NOTE: Don't bury dairy products or meats. Save and bury leftover vegis and fruit peelings (don't forget the banana peels!), used coffee grounds (contributes nitrogen and repels slugs and snails), egg shells (for added calcium), dead leaves, grass cuttings, etc.
We planted Monday and our lettuce peeked through the soil on Wednesday. We have 60 tomato plants, 6 rows of corn, 2 rows of beans, 2 rows of carrots, and one row of peppers, peas, lettuce and spinach, zucchini, cucumbers, and one rhubarb plant. I'll be adding herbs and flowers to discourage pests. Outside of the garden by the fence we are planting squash – it takes over our garden so we are trying to limit their reach to our other plants. We'll see how that works out…
Let the fun begin! To see the first day of our 2016 garden, watch the video below:
Have you started your garden yet? Let me know in the comments what you plan to grow this year and what new techniques you are using…and any tips you might like to share!