Compost: where do you find materials to start?

Mi Gardener
Mi Gardener Posts: 21 ✭✭✭

Compost: where do you find materials to start? I limited in a community lease real estate and need to find outside source of compost, Where would you go to find compost materials?

Comments

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    I'm not quite sure what type of community you are living in. How much gardening space do you have? Do you have a shared community garden? Raised beds or open plots? Or will you be gardening mostly in pots?

    All of those things will have a bearing on how much compost you require.

    How will you be composting? In a bin? That will have a bearing on how much starter material you will need.

    Kitchen scraps are usually very easy to source. If you don't have enough of your own, you could hand out buckets or tubs and ask people to save kitchen waste for you. Make sure you tell them what is acceptable.

    If you know of someone who doesn't use any chemicals on their lawn, you could get grass clippings from them. Dry leaves are usually very easy to source in the fall.

    Do you know anyone who keeps animals? Bedding (shavings, hay or straw with included manure) makes excellent compost material.

    You can purchase commercial products that act as activators.

    Worms farms are a great way to use up kitchen scraps and make excellent fertilizer. You can also get specific units called worm composters.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    In the TGN Academy, there are two courses "Weekend Project - Worm Bins" and "Weekend Project - Vermicomposting".

    The "Nutrient Dense Soil" course, Lesson 3 has a resource "How to Make Composting Easy".

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    Just to make this discussion a bit easier to find, I've moved it to the Composting & Soil Fertility category.

  • Mi Gardener
    Mi Gardener Posts: 21 ✭✭✭
    edited March 22

    A few planter box garden. Was looking for outside source before I try to create some on my own, As my community may frown upon the creation of compost bin. More details: I want to grow organically and i am using Lynn Gillespie soil recipe that calls for compost in the mix. A lot of the commerical products use big ag dairy manure byproducts, have concerns about.

  • Mi Gardener
    Mi Gardener Posts: 21 ✭✭✭
    edited March 22

    Is there a small garden or planter box/ container garden category?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    Yes, there is a course called "Weekend Project - Small Space and Container Gardening".

    You can buy bagged compost at most farm & garden centres and some of the big box stores. Sometimes it will specify that it is composted manure.

    Amazon (and several other places) have indoor compost bins. This is a link to several from Amazon.com


  • Mi Gardener
    Mi Gardener Posts: 21 ✭✭✭

    Thank you for the details, I will check out the weekend project small space and container gardening.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭✭

    I'll just add if you go the vermicomposting route your worm bin can be kept indoors. I made my own bin by using a large sturdy plastic storage container and drilling air holes around the top. I was really intimidated at first about how to take care of worms but found it to be a lot simpler than I thought. I started it as a lockdown project and (fingers crossed) it's still going strong.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    I'd second the worm bin. Mine is small, but fits my purposes.

    I once read not to put worms in houseplant pots. Someone else told me that it can perk up an ailing plant. Since then, pretty much all of my plants have some. The biggest thing is to remember to give the pots good drainage. You don't want the "worm water" (I don't remember the correct term for it) to gather. It will hurt the plant.

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,186 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I had not thought of adding worms in houseplant pots. I think I will try this. Thanks!!

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,186 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 23

    @annbeck62 Is your worm bin a single plastic storage container? I use to raise mealworms (not worms for compost) and had them in a small drawer stack-able plastic container. I had a drawer for each stage/size of the worm. Seems like one container would be better!

    Do the casings remain at the top or bottom of your bin?

    Thanks!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    Just to clarify, these are vermicomposting worms, not earthworms.

  • Mi Gardener
    Mi Gardener Posts: 21 ✭✭✭
    edited April 10

    What are you thoughts on using FoxFarm Happy Frog potting soil mix as substitue for compost?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    I had to look up this brand as I was not familiar with it.

    In Canada, it is at least twice the price of similar potting soils. That would deter me.

    It has soil amendments and added fertilizers so you might want to make sure that the fertilizer composition is what is needed for the specific plants you are growing. If it is a standard 5-5-5 fertilizer and you have plants that need a lot of nitrogen (or more potassium or more phosphorus), you will still have to supplement with extra of that nutrient.

    I prefer to have a plain potting soil and then add whatever the plants might need as the growing season progresses. However, I don't usually use commercial fertilizer blends. I use compost and manure in my garden beds (adding more each year) and then supplement with fish fertilizer, bone meal, blood meal, etc., as needed.