How do you start a compost pile?
You can start a compost pile in your yard or you can keep your compost in a bin. I think composting in a bin is easier and faster.
If you just want to keep your compost in a pile in your yard that’s fine and will work. The optimum size is 3 feet by 3 feet. Anything smaller or larger will slow the decomposition process. You can use cement blocks as a border or as side walls for your compost pile. It will insulate the compost pile and retain heat and moisture which are crucial for decomposition.
To start your compost pile, gather up some Brown compost material and some Green. Brown compost material is dead leaves, dead grass, newspaper, cardboard, wood chips, etc. Green compost material is fresh grass or leaves, coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, fruit and manure.
The ratio of Brown to Green should be about 4:1 or 4 parts of Brown to 1 part Green. It’s not that critical so just try to guess when measuring the materials. Remember Brown materials will look small because they’re dried up and flat. Green materials are more bulky. Add materials whenever you want and then immediately turn the pile. Make sure the compost pile is moist and not dried out. Water it every now and then and then turn it. Turning the compost pile aerates it and makes it decompose faster. I turn my compost 2 times per week.
You can make your own Compost bin for well under $10. If you look at the price of most brand name compost bins, you’ll see they cost about $50 and up. Do they work better? Nope
So how can you make a compost bin for under $10? I made my own for about $7.00.
All you need to make a compost bin is a large plastic container like a storage container and a lid. Then drill some ventilation holes in it.
Here is the one I bought at Walmart. It’s a Mainstays brand and it’s 20 gallons and cost $6.78. I drilled ventilation holes in sides, top and bottom.
Here is the label in case you want to get the exact same one.
This is the top with the lid on. I drilled 6 holes for ventilation.
This is a side view so you can see how deep the container is and the ventilation holes I drilled in it with a 3/8 drill bit.
Here’s a look at the inside. It’s a nice sized compost bin. I will most likely get another one shortly.
How does a compost tumbler bin work?
It’s very simple. A compost tumbler is a compost bin in the shape of a barrel and usually mounted on a frame that allows it to spin. This is the key to a compost tumbler, it spins on its frame and mixes or turns the compost inside. Ordinary compost bins require you to hand turn the compost inside.
Here is a typical compost tumbler bin. It makes composting easier and faster. The more air that gets into the mix the faster it decomposes. All you have to do is spin the tumbler a few times every other day or once per week or whenever. When you add materials to the compost tumbler bin, always spin it afterwards to mix it. Also when you add water, give it a spin.
Compost Tumbler Bins are thick plastic with air holes or slots in the sides to allow air circulation. They also have a door where you add compost materials in. Another benefit is tumblers are portable. You can easily pick them up and move them to a new location. If you try to move a conventional compost bin, you have to move the bin and then move all of the compost and put it back in the bin. The bottom of most ordinary compost bins is open.
Do coffee grounds help plants?
Yes…used coffee grounds are very beneficial for plants. You can either put them in your compost bin as a Green or put them directly on/in the soil around your plants. You can also dilute leftover coffee brew and water your plants with it.
Coffee grounds are neutral in pH so they will not change your current soil’s pH. Coffee grounds are organic and will release some Nitrogen to the soil but not as much as compost. Coffee grounds will also help aerate the soil, increase drainage and retain moisture. It really enhances any soil. Another added benefit is it helps microorganisms thrive which keep plants healthy and disease free. Coffee also attracts worms. And it smells good.
Other uses for used coffee grounds
- Mulch around your plants and gardens.
- Slug and snail repellent
- Pest repellent – cats, mice and rabbits
- Worm food in vermicomposting
Do K-cup single serving coffee cups for the Keurig coffee machine have coffee grounds in them?
The short answer is YES. Some people were wondering if there were coffee grounds in them or instant coffee. It’s definitely genuine coffee grounds.
At my work place there are 2 Keurig machines. So I gathered up some of the used K-cups and took them home. I cut the foil top and pulled it off. I saw genuine coffee grounds inside. I dumped the coffee grounds in a plastic container and will later spread it in my backyard and box gardens. Coffee grounds are excellent for enhancing the soil just like compost.