Backyard Composting In Winter – It Can Be So Simple
In winter, I think it is simple to compost.
It is the responsible thing to do, you save money in the long run, and you work to recycle organic wastes which would just go into the sewage system or be carted off in your garbage can. It has been said that more than half of the municipal waste hauled off is made up of organic material that should be composted! (Reference: http://www.epa.gov/smm/advancing-sustainable-materials-management-facts-and-figures ) What a waste if we don’t just compost it! Join in do your simple job of composting in winter right in your own back yard.
If you compost already, just continue doing it as you have during in the summer. You can compost year round, and this method works any time of the year. I just prefer to move the container a little farther from the house during the hot months. It can get a little smelly in the summer!
And you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a Super Duper Revolving Compost Contraption either. Just make a simple one from a regular garbage can for a few dollars.
Backyard Composting – Make a Bin from a Trash Can
If you don’t already have one, get one of the inexpensive garbage cans sold at the Big Box stores. A wheeled one is perfect. Just be sure to get one with a locking lid. Those lids that have a special clamping type mechanism are really nice, but I couldn’t find one when I went looking. At least not for the price I wanted to spend. I actually spent less than $15 for the plastic garbage container that I did get. You can use a bungee cord as your lock, just be sure to get a lid that your bungee hook can fit through. Drill holes all around the sides and bottom with a 1/2 inch drill bit. A there you go…..a simple compost bin!
I used this one all last year during the winter and I didn’t have any problems with animals trying to get in at all. I did put the locks or clamps on each time after I added to the bin, so that may have kept a wondering raccoon out of it. I kept mine closest to the back kitchen door or garage door, depending on whether there was a lot of snow or not. I kept a small container on the counter and put all scraps for composting into this one and then emptied it once or twice each day. These are pretty and work very well. 1-Gallon Leakproof, Odor-Free Lattice Ceramic Compost Container, in Blue
Alternatively, as a reader suggested, keep a gallon size baggie in the freezer and add scraps until it’s full. Then take it out to the compost bin. This could be a great idea if you are afraid of fruit flies taking over. Either way works for me.
I like to be able to step out in my robe or whatever to put things in the container, and I don’t want to have to clean snow off the lid of the container to do it. So if snow was predicted, other than just flurries, I put it up under the covered deck for convenience. Just be sure to have your bricks placed so that it is raised above the deck or concrete surface it is setting upon. This allows air to be able to circulate underneath and keeps the Compost from getting stagnant. Since we are below freezing most of the winter time here in Ohio, I really didn’t have to worry about that too much.
Now your kitchen scraps are your GREEN part of your compost and I know you are aware that this is the veggie and fruit peels, egg shells, coffee and tea bags. Do not include any meat or grease or oily foods at all.
I have seen some suggestions that the onions etc should not be included , but my earthworms love onions. For my family, we eat onions like crazy, so my onion peels and scraps were always included and I had no problem at all. My biggest contribution other than onions was Coffee grounds ! and Tea Bags. Those are my weaknesses. I always just throw in the filter and bags with the rest as it is too much trouble to separate. That paper breaks down too!
Your BROWN ingredient can be the paper from your paper shredder. You know you get enough junk mail and ads to pack the container to overflowing. Use the paper items and pages. It is best not to use the slick advertisements, but if this would make you not do composting at all, then by all means go ahead and add. You can also use any leaves, straw, trimmings from your yard or garden, just make sure they are broken or cut into small pieces. That is necessary for them to break down easily.
Every week or two, roll the container around ( see the reason for the locking lid?) or if this isn’t an option, use a drill with an auger attachment and mix it up some. If neither of these is an option, keep a small spade near the container and just give it a few turns every week or two.
Your compost will break down over the winter or summer months fairly quickly. If it seems dry, add some water. ( If it is out from under cover, rain and snow will probably keep it moist. After several months, you will have a nice breakdown of compost to add to your garden soil and you’ve made it yourself!
Now aren’t you proud ?
By all means, if you prefer to have a ready-made composter, you can order one from here. 6.68 cu. ft. Tumbler Composter This is the one I would like to find in my Easter Basket this year…LOL
I’m going to do this!
I have a garbage can just like that one shown, however, it has holes from the top to bottom.
A few questions for you:
1. When I roll the container around, can I expect any of the contents of the can to fall out of the can?
2. YOu mentioned worms. Did you add worms to begin with?
3. What is the ideal percentage of different ingredients, ie., the green, the brown, etc?
Thank you sO much. It’s snowing here but I’m motivated after reading this.
Ann W., IL