Question Realities of Compositing

The Rubber Kitty

Active Member
Premium Member
GOLD
May 17, 2019
43
4
26
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Heya Peeps,

I am going to start composting a pile... and I was wondering where I should put it ... like a shady spot, sunny spot, complete shade... etc...

I have some pallets and other stuff I can build it from ... I am just unsure about what is a good spot ... as some people i see have their compost pile just out in the 'open' ... with a bit of sun ... and others have theirs right under a lot of trees...

Help?
 

Hockley Homestead

Member
Premium Member
GOLD
May 10, 2020
7
3
18
Hockley, Texas
Climate
Sub-Tropical
My pile at the old house was out in the open and it dried out very quickly, slowing down the decomposition. During the summer months, I had to turn it more frequently and water it to keep it from "stalling". At our new property, I've got them in a shaded area which seems to be helping the dryness, but we're still early in the year yet.

Pick a place and see how it does. You can always add a shade cover to it if need be for your situation or move it during a flipping. The most important thing for me when locating our bins was the convenience of access from the kitchen and the garden but also far enough away from any structure to prevent exacerbating rodent issues.
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Rubber Kitty

RnR

Member
Premium Member
GOLD
May 10, 2020
10
3
21
Galveston TX
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Looks like you'll be doing an open bin but if you decide to try a tumbler I've found that open sun works best for those. Because these are contained environments, the moisture doesn't release and the decomp works very quickly in a sunny spot. I moved mine to a shadier area last year (better for the small yard use balance) and it now takes 3 times as long to turn into a usable product. In the sunny spot I had working compost in a little over a month. Come to think of it, its probably time to reevaluate since I'm using a lot more compost now...
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Rubber Kitty

Cheryl Smyth

Active Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Jan 17, 2020
68
44
41
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Yep, shade on a slope. It has to stay moist but not soggy. If you can put it somewhere that is lacking vegetation, nutrition and structure of soil. Would be great because you can watch it come alive! You will never again not compost.
Good luck
Composting is the heartbeat of organic gardening!
 

Wanda

Active Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Feb 16, 2020
32
21
31
Climate
Temperate (all seasons)
I have mine near some trees for some shade while turning it. If I leave it too long unturned the trees will sneak their roots into the compost pile and steal the nutrients. They are hard to cut out of the compost. I put down some pavers on the ground to discourage the trees from getting in. I also had to use metal hog panels and hardware cloth to protect the pile. Termites ate my wood pallets and critters kept digging in it to eat the worms and grubs when the compost was cold.
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Rubber Kitty

Cheryl Smyth

Active Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Jan 17, 2020
68
44
41
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Sounds awful about termites in pile! Needs off ground with cider blocks or concrete! Maybe a tumbler would be your best bet. But the trees show how wonderful composting is for sure. Wood termites are dangerous around home. You can make a tumbler cheap or buy one whatever fits the budget. Please let us know how you solve your problem.
Never had a huge amount of success with composting. These days I just put everything in a pile or old garden bed and just leave it alone. Long time later it seems to work.
Really that is composting, just takes longer, don't you agree?
 

ClissAT

Valued Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Sep 27, 2015
1,823
873
361
Pomona, Qld
Climate
Sub-Tropical
If you have a good idea how the sun moves across your garden during the seasons then you might find you can put it in a place that receives summer shade and winter sun.
Compost piles need to get hot to work and the sun is the best way to heat it up.
Throwing several layers of shade cloth or old hessian potato bags over it will slow down moisture loss.
In winter it needs the sun as much as possible to keep working.
Mine is in a bathtub with a sheet of corrugated iron for a lid but its also my worm farm.
I did have to make a rodent proof inner lid that sits down into the top of the tub with fine wire mesh because the mice moved right in!

So if you are using pallet timber just watch out for the mice or rats moving into your pile as well.
The faster you can have the food scraps break down the better. That requires a lot of heat.
The other way to fuel heat is to apply either chook manure pellets or blood and bone.
Both are sources of nitrogen. But the critters love to eat it as well. Or you could pee on it every day! :)
 

ClissAT

Valued Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Sep 27, 2015
1,823
873
361
Pomona, Qld
Climate
Sub-Tropical
I probably wouldn't use a claw foot cast iron tub because it might keep the compost too cold.
But an ordinary enamel tub up on bricks so air can flow under and past it is a good idea.
Also having it up on bricks means you can put a bucket under the plughole to harvest the worm juice.
I use old enamel refrigerator vegetable pans.
 

The Rubber Kitty

Active Member
Premium Member
GOLD
May 17, 2019
43
4
26
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Or you could pee on it every day! :)
LOL I think the Man will be happy about peeing on it ... after he revives some of the grassed area he wants to. I have painted my woods for the compost with some external all weather paint... termines might get it eventually... and this being australia... termites are a given... as long as they are not in the house they are cool.

I have made a small one for now to see how it goes... I had lots of left over red external all weather paint ^_^ and some ply and hard wood bits