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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quick & Easy Composting

by Chiot's Run

Lately I've been thinking about things I can do to save time in the garden and I decided trench composting would be a great way to do this. I started composting directly in the garden areas that need the most help. Now I don't have to worry about nutrients leaching from the compost pile, which is something I've been reading about. If your compost pile isn't covered, the rain will leach nutrient from the compost into the soil below. Why let all that hard work get leached away? I started trench composting a couple months ago. My parents used to do this when I was growing up. It's a quick and easy way to compost all that stuff from canning.

All you have to do is dig a trench in the garden area and add a layer of your compostable things. Then back fill with the soil you removed. By spring it will have turned become compost and the worms will have distributed it in the garden. No turning, no layering, it's quick and easy! You can dig one long trench and simply fill along as you add the compost items.

I still have my regular compost pile for the large amounts of garden waste, but I'm thinking of starting to put this pile in the garden areas I need to amend, that way any nutrients that leach out with the rain will at least be going into a garden area I'll be using in the future.

Do you practice various forms of composting?

I can also be found at Chiot's Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, beekeeping, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Not Dabbling in Normal, and you can follow me on Twitter.

10 comments:

africanaussie said...

I have just finished a post about different types of "free" fertilizer I get for my garden! How timely! I bury shrimp and fish heads in the garden the way you just did. Read more if you are interested at http://africanaussie.blogspot.com/2010/09/free-fertilizers.html

Super Mom said...

What a great idea! I've read about this before but you've just reminded me. I'm going to try this with the next batch of scraps destined for the compost bin.

Shelby said...

The whole point of composting is that the temperature of the compost gets high enough that it kills seeds and weeds and roots and things. This is a great way to increase the number of weeds and volunteers you will have.

Powell River Books said...

I did something similar this year because my compost container filled up early. I dug a hole, filled it, and covered it with dirt. Because it was so dry this summer I soaked it good and covered it with plastic trash bags. Now that wetter weather is here I think I'll turn it over and bury it again. Next year when it is time to plant my potatoes it should be ready to go. - Margy

Chiot's Run said...

Yes it does increase volunteers, which I don't mind. Generally my volunteers from compost are tomatoes and squash, which always come out wonderfully.

I don't throw weed seeds into this type of compost, I biochar them to kill the seeds.

africanaussie said...

are you going to do a post on biochar? sounds interesting

Mickle in NZ said...

I can remember my Grandfather doing this in his veggie garden. I can picture him now digging a hole for the veg and fruit scraps from the week, right next to the previous week's hole. Gosh, that's a happy memory you've brought back for me - Grandpa Jim died in 1975 when I was 10.

Anonymous said...

I put all my vegie and fruit scraps, plus egg shells crushed and wet egg cartons in my worm farm. These little blighters eat through an enormous amount at my house as I'm cooking all the time. Then I use the drained liquid for potted plants and fruit trees. Have had them for over 4 years and are trouble free.

Anonymous said...

I also do trench composting as well as ordinary composting and find it very useful in conditioning my clay soil (I've only been gardening here 2 years and the OM was very low initially). To avoid spreading weeds it's as simple as not putting weeds that have gone to seed in the trench. I use kitchen scraps (vegie peelings etc) and plant trimmings - just not from ones that have set seed. Vegetable volunteers are no problem, I've never had an uncontrollable infestation of them. Keeping them can be fun, but if they're in the way I just pull them out and chuck 'em in the compost.

Anonymous said...

I've done this type of composting in CT, IN and now in FL. Works great everywhere.

Had an elderly neighbor in CT that after a few light frosts, dug several trenches thru her garden piling the dirt to one side: she put out her kitchen scraps every week and covered it. When having heavy frosts and then winter weather, she simply covered the dirt with a black plastic bag to keep it shovel ready. Her garden was bountiful every year.