10 Amazing Backyard Compost Products
Compost is a wonderful soil conditioner, fertilizer and tonic for your garden. And best of all, you can make it yourself! Here are 10 products to help.
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Make it simple to collect kitchen scraps with a countertop compost pail. The 1-3/10 gallon stainless steel pail comes with an airtight lid and charcoal filter, so you won’t have to worry about odor. Learn more about compost from these composting tips.
A compost tumbler speeds up the composting process so you get ready-to-use compost in a couple of months. The dual-bin system costs a little more than a single-bin unit, but it allows you to start a new batch of compost while you’re waiting for the old batch to finish. Here’s how to make your own compost tumbler!
Welcome to a Worm Farm
An alternative to a tumbler is a worm farm or worm factory, which puts red wigglers to work turning your kitchen scraps into nutrient-dense worm castings. This multi-layer unit expands from four trays to eight if desired. You can even collect “worm tea” to be used as a liquid fertilizer.
If you’re going with the worm farm, you’ll need some helpers. That’s where these live composting worms come in handy. The 1,000-count package will provide all the help your worm farm needs.
Zap Your Compost
This compost starter is 100 percent natural and organic, containing a blend of alfalfa meal, seaweed extract and beneficial soil microbes to quicken the decomposition of organic materials. See our 10 tips for winter composting.
Speed Things Up
If you’re foregoing the tumbler and the worm farm, you can always compost materials in place. Whether it’s in a pile or in a stationary bin, it will help if you aerate the pile to keep it from smelling and to speed along the composting process. While a pitchfork is an option, this 36-inch-long compost aerator will make it easier on your back. See our simple plan for making your own compost bin.
Measure the Moisture
The composting process is quicker when the pile contains the right amount of moisture. Too much and it gets slimy; too little and the process slows down. With this 24 inch moisture meter, you’ll know exactly where you stand without removing the top layers to reach the middle of the pile. The meter can also measure moisture in your flower pots. Here are complete how-to instructions on how to build your own self-watering planter.
Test the Temperature
A compost pile that’s functioning well will heat up. This thermometer can tell you if the pile is reaching temperatures hot enough to destroy soil pathogens. If it’s not, then you’ll know to add more organic material and moisture, and turn the pile to introduce more oxygen.
Pick Up Made Easy
Yard debris and dead leaves are key ingredients in your compost pile. This Leaf Gulp makes it a snap to rake up and transport that stuff to the compost pile. Plus you can sweep leaves and other debris into the bag without bending. In case you’re wondering, here are some things you can do with a pile of leaves!
A Simple Alternative
And if the whole thing sounds like too much work, consider shallow-pit composting. This book explains the process, which is intended to be as easy as it is cheap. Here’s another book that’ll pay for itself quickly: 100 Things Every Homeowner Must Know.