Home gardeners swear by compost, and the practice is becoming more popular with green-minded people every year. Home-composting is currently at an all-time high, even within cities, where apartment dwellers are getting in on the trend. So, what are the different kinds of composting that one can do? All compost systems utilize three basic components: Moisture, heat and natural vegetation.
Basic Outdoor Composting
Basic compost combines dry material, green material, such as vegetable scraps, and a bedding material of shredded newsprint or cardboard. These three elements are then mixed together. The compost mixture is turned weekly and kept in a simple bin made of wire mesh with a lid allowing water and air to enter, while keeping pests out.
Multiple Bin Composting
This type of composting uses the same recipe as basic outdoor composting. The difference lies in the use of three separate bins. When starting out, all materials are placed in bin one. As the pile becomes smaller, the compost is moved to bin two. As the compost in bin two diminishes, it is moved to bin three. Bins can be replenished assuring a continual supply of compost.
Sheet, or lasagna, composting is done on top of the area where the garden will the placed. The method is done in layers. Shredded newspapers or cardboard is placed directly on top of the planting area, and then moistened. Leaves and scraps are placed on top. As the bedding smothers the grass, the debris on top begins to break down. Layers can continue to be added. At planting time, the sheet is turned over to reveal rich soil.
Indoor composting uses the elements of outdoor composting and brings them indoors by using a specialized automatic system. The system monitors moisture and temperature, and turns the compost automatically. In approximately two week, the compost is ready for use.
Also known as worm composting, this method makes incredibly rich compost in small batches. Using basic bedding materials and vegetable waste in a worm box, the worms eat through the vegetables and leave behind rich waste called casings. In three to four months, the vegetables have been eaten and rich, black compost remains.