Compost This

So to help fertilize my garden, and to achieve my goal of taking out the garbage once a month. I decided to start a compost bin. Now this is no easy task is I live in a 1400 square foot townhouse with a 10x10 concrete patio with a little bit of grass that I can't really touch. So I spent some time perusing the internet in hopes to find a nice small compost bin that would work. There were some nice options out there:

This was not a bad option, but I was not stoked about the $200+ price tag

This one's cool because it looks like a cannon, but it's even more expensive topping out over $300

This one is just great because it looks like that giant ball from The Incredibles, but it's still a bit in your face as far as size and shape.

So I googled "make your own compost bin" and found this great how to. I also stumbled across a similar tutorial that uses the same "how to" over at one of my favorite blogs; Young House Love

Here is the tutorial

Recycle or buy a plastic pail/bin with a tight fitting lid about 24 inches tall or taller.

With a drill, drill 8 to 10 small holes in the bottom of your container for aeration purposes. 
Sorry no image, Mike did this part really quick while I made dinner

Place some shredded newspaper or dry leaves on the bottom of your compost bin, fill about 1/8 - 1/4 full.

Since we live in a townhouse with a lawn service and because it's May, we were out of luck on getting any leaves, but we made due with some shredded paper (the recycling company hates to take this when we put it in the recycle bin)

Place dirt from your garden on top of the newspaper, until your compost is 1/2 full.

Again, living in a townhouse, I had no extra dirt lying around. The tiny bit of soil that I do have is reserved for my hostas. So, I grabbed this at Home Depot planning on using whatever was left for my container garden.

Place your compost bin in a shady area away from your home in the back yard. If you live in an apartment or have no backyard you can place your bin on the patio. Be sure your compost is not in full sun or your compost will dry out

Now, place any food scraps or paper products into compost such as fruit, vegetables, crushed egg shells, paper towels, etc.

I started this little guy going under the sink in order to have some scraps ready to go.

(Boo forgetting to eat a pound of organic spinach and having it spoil in the fridge)

Give your compost a little stir with a shovel or stick, making sure to cover your food scraps with dirt

Spray with lukewarm water until moist, but not soaking wet.
I chose to forgo this step as I started with moist soil

With a drill make 8 to 10 small holes on bin lid.

Place lid on compost, every other day you add food scraps to bin you should give it a stir. Mixing the compost will help breakdown the scraps faster.

It may not be the prettiest place for a compost bin, but at least it kind of blends in with the grill and the gigantic patio box

Wait 2 - 3 months to use your compost. Compost can be used as mulch to cover flower beds, as potting soil and sprinkled over your grass as a lawn conditioner. Don't use it all though, save at least 1/3 of your original compost and then you can start all over again.

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