Soilsaver Compost Bin
Getting the Most From Your Soilsaver Compost Bin
One thing gardeners everywhere agree on is that you can never have enough fresh compost to add to your vegetable garden or flower beds. Compost provides benefits from the additional fertilizing, it buffers the soil pH and improves the soil tilth, and using a compost bin provides an organized way to keep your garden waste from becoming an unsightly pile in the yard.
With recycling and repurposing so in the news of being "green" these days, compost also keeps your yard waste out of the land fills.
Take The Poll
Composting is good for your garden and good for the earth. It's a natural way of recycling our yard trimmings, kitchen scraps and it reduces your trash, too!
Do You Compost?
This compost bin has proved it's worth. It is a fully enclosed unit. The floor keeps extra critters out of the inside. It is easy to add to by just removing the top lid. It is a generous size, slightly over 11 cubic feet and makes for easy compost harvesting by lifting up one of the two bottom sliding doors. Using a elongated shovel, just scoop out some ready-to-use compost!
If you have been contemplating purchasing a bin, I recommend this brand and style. You'll have "black gold" in no time!
Low Cost Composters
A couple of things many gardeners would like to do is to keep the compost pile from becoming too unsightly, and also to speed up the process of composting, which not only keeps the size of the pile down, but makes that much more compost available. There are a wide range of composters available, from the high end tumblers to a number of low cost sit-on-the-ground compost bins.
What to Look For in a Low Cost Compost Bin
First, it needs to be the right size for your yard, but it still needs to be big enough to get the compost pile to heat up. At 28" x 28" x 32" tall the Soilsaver composter is a good size.
It has a vented side walls that helps with moisture retention. Compost works best when the mix is about as moist as a washcloth, and the Soilsaver composter has a lid that works to keep moisture in. When it needs more moisture, simply remove the lid and let a rain shower do the work or water with your garden hose.
The version shown in the main photo does not have a floor in it. This allows us to simply move it from one place to another during the year.
Disadvantages of the Soilsaver
The biggest problem with Soilsaver compost bin is when it comes time to turn the pile. It's difficult to move the contents as they are layered nicely and the top portion is most likely, not finished "cooking" yet. So we use an areator tool that spirals down as far as possible to "disturb" the contents and give a little breathing room. If you don't care to turn your pile, the compost will take longer to "cook." A solution that we have found workable is to simply prepare another flat space right next to the bin and lift the bin off the compost pile, over to the new space, and start all over again. This method allows you to take the top most contents and put them on the bottom of a new pile until you reach the finished compost! Of course, the Soilsaver bin has doors for you to extract the finished soil but it's difficult to get way back and reach the compost out.
Some folks have problems with the lid not seating properly, but this generally seems to be the case primarily when the bottom is not seated on level ground, so when deciding where to place the composter, it's good to be sure to level it well. This can be done by placing a piece of plywood or forming a foundation with bricks and paving sand.
Kitchen Composting Containers
Since you have to start collecting your kitchen scraps somewhere, you may want to use a convenient kitchen collection container. A variety of containers are available on the market that can all be used with the secure lid to keep your scraps and odors in until you are ready to transfer the scraps to outdoors. My sister-in-law has used this method for years and does not have any issues with bugs or gnats.
We use a plastic 10" bowl with a lid and have not had any problems.
US Composting Council
The USCC is a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the gathering and use of organic compost. It sounds like a cliché but if everyone would do one consistent composting act, a lot of waste would be avoided. Will you consider doing your part if you are not already?