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Portable Composting

Updated: Feb 15

Written by Carisa Wilkins

Being a first time gardener I wanted to provide my plants with the best possible nutrition. Composting not only helps your plants thrive but you also reduced the amount of garbage you throw away. Instead of your leftovers decomposing in a landfill put them to good use, like nature intended. Being a renter composting can be difficult! Instead of building a traditional three section composting pile for varing degrees of decomposition I found a much simpler solution.

An inexpensive storage bin, 24 inches or taller with a tight lid!! I got mine at target for $10

First off you want to drill 8-10 small holes on the bottom of the container for aeration purposes

You want to place what season composters call brown/dry, carbon-rich materials on the bottom layer. I used leaves and newspaper.  Then add a layer of dirt until your bin is half full. Here is a general list of other brown material that can be used...

• Dry leaves, dried grass clippings

• Wood shavings or sawdust

• Nuts and shells

• Coffee grounds and filters

• Pinecones, pine needles

• Shredded egg cartons (the paper kind)

• Shredded newspaper and tissue paper

• Twigs

• Hay

• Peanut shells

• Cold wood ashes

• Dryer lint

• Shredded cereal boxes and other paperboard items

Next you want to add your green/wet, nitrogen rich materials such as...

• Fruit and veggie scraps

• Egg shells

• Tea bags, tea leaves

• Fresh green grass clippings and plant trimmings grown without pesticides or weed killers

• Plate scrapings (excluding meat and bones)

Stir until your brown covers the green. Then spray the contents with Luke warm water! Don't soak use just enough to dampen, to much moisture can cause smelly compost. Finish by drilling another 8-10 small holes in the lid and cover. Place bin in a shady spot preferably away from your house.

There are several ways to store your green scraps in the kitchen. Making a trip to your compost after every meal can become tiresome.

Top: a bin designed to fit under the sink and has a nifty trash liner so you don't have to wash the bin everytime it's empty. Product sold on Amazon. 

Bottom: a generic plastic bucket

Make sure and empty every couple days and stir in each time for a faster breakdown.

Within 2-3 months you should have dark, nutrient rich compost.

Other bins you can purchase.

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