Compost is a great way to fertilize your garden and even your shrubs, trees, and grasses. Composting is a natural process that occurs when bacteria, fungus, and organisms help to decompose leaves, food and grass clippings. The process will occur naturally over time, although it can be done a little bit faster with human involvement. There are many different types of compost bins to choose from; selecting the right one for you will allow you to make the most of your compost.
A holding unit will involve bins that will hold your yard and garden material. You'll simply put all of your compost into the bins that can be built out of wire mesh until the composting process is complete. This process usually takes six months to two years, if you do not turn the contents. This is the best type of compost bin for those with small yards or very little in the way of composting materials. This is the slowest way to compost, so it is the best option for those who don't need the compost quickly.
A turning unit will involve the use of bins that can be rotated. The bins are rotated on a regular schedule with the compost materials being held within. Many people use a 50-gallon drum with small holes punched in the metal. Then, on schedule, such as every two days, the drum is rolled and left to sit in a different position than the last rotation. This is a shorter composting type, with compost being ready to use in three weeks to six months.
Compost heaps are easy to use but require a longer time to complete the composting process. Compost heaps do not require any structure, you simply pile all of your composting materials about three feet high and three feet wide. The pile can be left as is and will usually be ready to use in two to three years, or you can cut down the composting time by turning the materials regularly with a shovel or backhoe. This is an ideal set up for those who do not need the compost quickly and who have plenty of land as the heaps are usually not as clean looking as other options.
Worm composting involves placing food waste in a bin with red worms and moist newspaper, cardboard, peat moss, or saw dust. You'll need a secure bin that the worms will not escape from and the bin must be kept between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so a heated or air conditioned indoor space such as a garage or basement is ideal. For the worm composting to work, you'll need two pounds of worms for every pound of garbage that is added to the bin.