Sharing My Easy Two Bin Compost System ~ It’s the beginning of June and summer begins officially in a few weeks. I’m loving being outdoors as much as I can after our nasty winter. I love puttering around in my garden. The tulips are blooming and my perennials are all starting to take off.
I’m loving being outdoors as much as I can after our nasty winter. I love puttering around in my garden. The tulips are blooming and my perennials are all starting to take off. In case you’re new here I live near the Rocky Mountains which creates quite a stunning landscape but also some interesting weather! It can get cold and snow here around the the end of October and we have had major Spring snowstorms in the month of May!
No worries though when it comes to gardening. As long as I do the things that I can control like planting plants that thrive in Zone 3 and taking care of the soil by adding amendments like compost to make sure it’s full of rich nutrients that make the plants happy to grow. The only thing I can’t control is the weather. Oh well!
Another thing I love to do is make compost.
I know. I have a lot of hobbies and interest that I share in this blog and maybe this one’s a little bit different. But I love how kitchen scraps with a little bit of know-how can be turned into nice rich compost that can be dug into the garden. Adding this rich compost to the soil helps the garden plants grow and it is my way of helping our precious environment by keeping the kitchen scraps out of the landfill sites.
I have been composting for years and through trial and error have created an easy two bin compost system that really works in the climate conditions that I live in. I consider myself knowledgeable about the composting system that I have developed that I am sharing with you but I am by all means not a scientific expert. Composting can be quite technical!
This is also turning out to be a three part series about my composting system and this is part two. In the last post My Inexpensive Handy Kitchen Compost Bowl I shared what I use to collect the kitchen scraps. It’s just this inexpensive handy stainless steel mixing bowl with a lid. You will want to read all of the details to think about when choosing a kitchen composting bowl. Who knew?
Sharing My Two Bin Compost System…
So why do I have two compost bins? When I first started composting years ago I just had a hole in the ground at the back of the yard. My husband and I were newlyweds and it was the first home we had purchased. I was so happy when the kitchen scraps finally turned to fabulous compost! But my husband needed some landfill to fill in the base of a shed he had built and that was the easiest thing to use. Ho-hum or I’m pretty sure my reaction at the time was Grrr….!
Years later I finally bought an enclosed compost bin. It actually works quite well. It has a sloped lid to keep out larger animals and allows water to pour down the sides when it rains. It also has a sliding door that allows you to pull out compost that is ready from the bottom. It’s pretty easy to construct together and take apart. I do have to admit that the tall narrow shape does make it difficult to stir the compost inside the bin which is an important step to successful composting.
This design also isn’t the greatest for the cold climate that I live in. Heat is another element to making compost and because our hot season is pretty short it takes a long time for the compost to be ready. To be more specific it takes a year. That’s a long time to wait.
Then when the compost at the bottom of the bin is ready it’s a bit of a hassle to scrape the stuff out through the little opening. It was a one bin compost system that just didn’t work for me.
A few years later I got smart and bought a second matching one. Now I end up with a bin full of rich compost twice a year so I can add it to my soil in the Spring and in the Fall! If you look at the photograph you will see my two compost bins. The one on the right is full of organic material that has been collected and stirred since last Fall. Now as of this Spring it is closed off and will be left alone till the upcoming Fall. It will have had a year to do what it needs to do to make great compost and I will be emptying out the entire bin and adding it to different parts of my garden.
In the meantime the compost bin on the left is the one that I’m adding organic material from the kitchen and the garden. Each time I add something I give it a stir. I’ll continue to do this until the upcoming Fall and then it will be closed off for a year until the following Fall.
Then when the next Spring arrives I will empty out the closed off compost bin on the right and fill that up again… and so the two bin compost system continues!
This is how much compost I got out of the finished compost bin this Spring….
… and this is what the final product looks like up close. Just imagine this used to be kitchen scraps and garden waste a year ago!
This is how my garden is growing now. It is full of these beautiful tulips.
My perennials are also just taking off too!
Deciding where to put the two compost bins in the yard is an important decision too! You want the bins accessible but not be a distraction or too obvious placed among the plants. I think they don’t look too bad where they are in my garden.
I know there are many different systems for composting depending on your expertise, commitment and composting conditions. I really like this two bin composting system because for me it’s very low maintenance, pretty inexpensive, works in the climate conditions I live in and best of all creates fabulous rich compost perpetually twice a year!
Now it’s your turn! Do you compost? If so, what’s your system? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone did and kept the cycle going? The Earth’s soil would be so rich and our plant life would benefit so much!
I didn’t include every step I take when I compost. In the article Tips For Making Your Own Compost I share more details.. I’d love for you to drop by!
You might also enjoy…
In the meantime take care,