Monday, August 2, 2010

It has come to my attention that I Really, Truly, Honestly, FerReals need a compost heap.

This poses several obstacles.

First: where to put the darn thing. I cannot put it in my front yard, since being in Small Suburbia, that counts as Rather Unsightly. So the compost heap MUST go in the back yard.

Onto the subsequent obstacles...

Ideally, the thing needs to go toward the back of the property, since I am convinced it is going to smell, despite various websites telling me otherwise. Part of my brain is whining that it'd be so much easier to have by the back deck for easy disposal of table scraps and egg shells.

Another problem is BlazeDog tends to do things like roll in smelly things, tip stuff over, dig, flail, kick dirt around, etc. She's kind of a goofy kid.

Since I'm not doing a huge garden (yet), I figure the 65 gallon bin from Tractor Supply will probably suffice for my needs.

I'll have The Architect drive us up to the Tractor Supply to nab it.

...I'm sure I'll have tons of future stories about my dogs getting into more fights with possoms over this thing...


  1. Hints on starting a compost heap...put a layer of good dirt, about an inch deep in the bottom. Once in a while have somebody pee in a jar and sprinkle that on the heap.Keeps away possoms and other critters and helps with the composting. Leftover beer is good to sprinkle on the heap. Crunch up those eggshells and toss them in. Every 6 inches, a couple shovels of dirt.Comfrey leaves (fresh) speed up the process.Grass clippings good, pine needles (or other evergreen clippings) slow the composting process down.Water your compost heap about 3 times a week in summer. If you can get some chicken manure from your friend with the chickens, toss some of that in, too! Cow manure = AWESOME for compost heap.
    To keep your dog out of it---as well as any other roaming critters, mix up a spray bottle of ammonia and water and spray outside of container, OR for a more herbal solution...whirl up a couple of habenaro peppers in a pint of water, let set overnight, strain into a spray bottle and spray the outside of the container with that.(The habenaro pepper mix will also keep local bunnies and raccoons from nibbling on your garden...spray it on the plants they nibble on on the outside rows and on young plants that are just starting to bear. (Ever seen a squirrel after it takes a bite of a green tomato and gets a mouthful of hot pepper? Yeah...they mark your garden off their *fine dining* list permanently!)

  2. Wow! Thank you for the tips! I will definitely be using your advice. :)

  3. Hi Violet -

    Just found your blog - I am in SC - used to live in Athens.

    Anyways - What Lamb stated is very good. I am all about savving money - so rather than spending higher amounts on an actual compost bin - go to Wal-Mart and buy 1 or 2 Rubbermaid trashcans. They run somewhere around $10.00. Cut the bottom off and drill a few holes on the sides (for ventilation). I have several compost bins as well as a pile - I have not had any problems with smell. The issue - depending upon how far from the house - are bugs. They can swarm around a pile of course - but also around an OPEN TOP bin. That's why I recommend the Rubbermaid trashcan - you can put the top on it. You want to layer the best you can brown - green - brown - green and so on. Don't overload it with grass clippings as they have a habit of clumping up and just look at you. About every couple weeks slide the barrel up dumping the ccontents - place the barrel beside the pile and shovel back into the barrel . This rotates the contents and airs it out. Getting air into the pile is important. If you have no rain - water the pile every so often but do not saturate it.

    My hands hurt.


  4. Get one of these.

    You should be able to get one for free or nearly free at any industrial park near you.

    drill a few holes in it, lay it on it's side and there you have it. When you need to get stuff out or put it in, you remove the dog-resistant cap. When you need to turn it, you roll the barrel. No shoveling needed, no unsightly pile of compost.