Compost ???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Caitedid, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. Caitedid

    Caitedid The Prairie Plate Supporter

    Messages:
    1,538
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Location:
    NE Iowa
    So, a few questions about compost. My fiancee and I are moving in to an apartment with a small courtyard, and about 10 square feet of garden space. Most of the courtyard is paved, but I can put whatever I want in to the little patch of dirt, and I can do container gardening. Question is: how to compost in such a tiny space without it being icky, because it is a really small space, and is in front of the apartment. Also, DHTB is kind of afraid of things like compost and animals and whatnot, so it needs to be low impact and very tidy. Thanks!
     
  2. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Location:
    TX
    What about in a tidy brand new plastic garbage can with a lid and some holes poked in it? Or you could sheet compost directly into that bed underneath some also tidy mulch?

    hollym
     

  3. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

    Messages:
    6,229
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Worms. They have nice looking little 3 to 5 tier worm composters on EBAY. They can even be done inside under the sink.

    Being in an apartment I can't see you having a lot of grass clippings to compost, but shredded newspaper and kitchen scraps works good with worms.
     
  4. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,274
    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    You can make your own worm bin - its easy. I've done it at home - great...we've had one in the office, in local classrooms and they are great for apartments.

    Composting with Worms - http://lancaster.unl.edu/enviro/pest/Worms.htm
     
  5. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

    Messages:
    3,471
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Location:
    NC
    If part of your concern is the look of your garden space using compost, just cover it over with a pretty, store bought, socially acceptable bark mulch. you can tuck compostable materials in underneath it in spots, so it won't be noticeable.

    Best of luck to you
    Meg
     
  6. Caitedid

    Caitedid The Prairie Plate Supporter

    Messages:
    1,538
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Location:
    NE Iowa
    Thanks to everybody who has had suggestions. A large part of the issue is not being able to compost outdoors easily during the winter. However, I really like the concept of having a hundred odd head o' worms on the back 40 (under the sink) :haha: Anyway, can I just dump worms and all out in to the garden in the spring?
     
  7. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,274
    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    The worms used in vermicomposting are red wigglers. Most likely not native to central Iowa. So, I don't encourage people to release non-native species in their area. Plus your worms won't survive your Iowa winters.

    Red wiggers prefer temps of 72 degrees - perfect for indoors. And, no - nightcrawlers won't work...they will die in your house (and be very smelly!)

    The red wigglers are not cheap. Most likely you'll have to mail order - when I bought them last they were $38/pound (about a 1,000 - enough to get you started). (and that is still cheaper than buying them at a fish bait shop). But, if you take care of them (which is easy), you won't have to buy again.

    Sorting them from the compost isn't hard. We use a bright light. You just shine the light on the composted material, and the worms move down. You take off the top layer (exposing the worms to the light) and they move down again...Just keep repeating until all you have is a glob of worms.

    Haven't had any problems with critters or smells in our bin...nice earthy smell - but you've got to learn as you go. For example: you might think orange peels would smell great in there...but boy, nasty.

    If you need help, just hollar.