Urban gardener and compost newbie

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Hello everyone,

I live in the City in a tiny home, but I would love to compost my kitchen scraps. I have been reading a lot in this forum and I really want to do something too!

I can't afford to buy a fancy composter so was thinking about building something like this and placing it on the garage's roof: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/fp.php?pid=4347140

The only problem with that is we have mice in the area (argh!) and I cannot attract any more than I already have to deal with.

What would you guys suggest? I have never done this before and I need something uncomplicated and affordable...

Thanks!
Roberta

Palmer, AK(Zone 2a)

Hi Roberta...

Have you considered vermicomposting (composting with earthworms)? That is really, really easy (and inexpensive to set up a bin), and you get compost relatively quickly.

Check out the vermicomposting thread. Here's the link:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/wrigglers/all/

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Thanks Ice-worm! I've been looking at those links but there's one thing I'm unclear about. Do you need a special bin for that if I am to do it outside? (my kitchen is 6x6 so inside is out of the question...)

Palmer, AK(Zone 2a)

Lots of people use Rubbermaid bins (or something similar). They come in a variety of sizes--but you probably wouldn't want to go larger than ten gallons. Generally, you should first determine how much kitchen scraps (by weight) you have per week so you know how many worms you'd need.

The rule of thumb, under ideal circumstances, is that worms eat half their weight in kitchen waste per day--so one pound of worms would, in theory, go through 1/2 pound of kitchen scraps per day.

In reality, you'd want to plan that they would eat less then that.

If you decide on a worm bin, the two biggest mistakes people make are (1) over-feeding, and (2) too much moisture in the bin.

And if you do decide to try worms, you'll need to find a place where they won't get too hot, especially in the summer--somewhere in the 72-78 degree range would be good. Do you have a laundry room you could use?

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Hummm....no laundry room! (everything is built in the 6x6 kitchen!).

You know, worms are really fabulous, if I could find a way to do this it would be great...I often go to a hydroponics store that gives away compost tea, and I can totally see the benefits in the whole garden!

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