Monday, April 30, 2007


A friend was telling me about how she got great compost in two weeks. She said she got a metal garbage can, drilled holes in it on the bottom and sides, then she puts in about 12 inches of straw (she said it helps with drainage), her kitchen waste and shredded things from her yard. After attaching bungee cords she rolls the trash can across the yard everyday. In two weeks time she has very rich compost. I wanted to compost again but we can't have trash piles in this neighborhood so I thought I would try her method, with exception of the rolling the can across the yard. My neighbors will think I've gone loony if they see me doing that. I went to Walmart tonight and they didn't have a metal can, so I got this cheep plastic one for less than $6.00. I really had a lot of dirt and grass from the side yard and also where I'm putting the pathway so this can filled up quickly. I still want to get the metal can and see which one works better, (I need at least two anyway). I may not have compost in two weeks, but hopefully it won't take too much longer. Has anyone else used this method for composting?


Marc said...

I haven't used the garbage can method per say, but I have a compost tumbler that essentially does the same thing. I've noticed that getting finished compost quickly is determined more by what you put in the can than how much you turn it (roll it around). Be sure to mix carbons (brown stuff) and nitrogens (green stuff) equally if you want quick compost.

Just yesterday I used some of my piled up slow compost on my new berry beds. You should see the difference in color the compost is from the dirt!

Anyway, sorry to ramble here. Good luck with the homemade compost tumblers!

Carol said...

Robin... I've not tried this either but recall someone who did, and it did work. That's too bad that your neighborhood would consider compost to be trash piles.
This is a good alternative. I may try something like it as bins can be slow to heat up sometimes.

Colleen said...

I've used this method in my own yard. We're not allowed to put any food (veggie and fruit peels and cores, etc) in our compost, and it drives me crazy to throw that stuff away, so I used the trash can composter to compost my food scraps (along with some garden waste, obviously) on the sly. It did work pretty quickly...I had compost in two to three weeks.

Robin said...

Marc, the straw she used must have been the carbon source. I don't have any brown stuff right now in my container, (other than dirt, but I don't think that counts), I need to find a place to get some straw.

Carol, I selected the black trash can hoping that it would heat up quickly. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Colleen, thank you for letting me know about yours. What kind of can do you have and what do you put in it to get compost in 2-3 weeks?