Monday, February 14, 2011

Standard Composting Bins

During our recent bottle crushing effort, where there was a good view of our backyard, comments were made about the compost bins, and a general discussion on the benefits of gardeners doing their own composting took place.

I decided to place this article on our blogsite in order to pass on to our own street my experience/advise on this subject, albeit we do have quite a number of our members who compost as a matter of course.

The old style methods of composting taught by our parents and grandparents still stand the test of time, and what I learned as a boy has stayed with me all my life.

You can see from the photographs, our double type compost bins, constructed of wood and cut to join into each other, to make it simple to raise or lower the bin as required, and to shift over to a new bin when your compost can be transferred. Composting is so simple it is just a natural process. All your kitchen and garden waste, your hedge trimmings cuttings, lawn clippings, newspaper. Anything that has a cellulose base.

All that is needed are clippers or loppers for larger stuff, and a slasher to cut up vegetable waste. Interlay with newspapers, coffee grounds, soil and keep covered to produce the heat. You will soon produce beautiful black soil full of worms, a joy to behold.

These bins are very easy to construct, and you are guaranteed to produce magnificent soil from your waste.

Also pictured another very old one. The old rubbish tin, with the sack full of horse manure topped up with water, makes the best liquid manure, another simple one. The liquid should be approximately the colour of weak tea, when used, (by topping up the bin).

Coffee grounds spread amongst your garden vegetables, (or flowers) contain heaps of nutrients sweetening the soil. There are any number of gardening books that contain information and guide lines on composting, including designs on how to build.


  1. Hi, we live in Levin. Found this blog from reading 'The Mail' newspaper.

    We never lived in 'rural' area before but loving our new found gardening hobby. We've harvested pumpkins, cucumbers, tomatoes, vegetables, corns, strawberries, etc from our garden this summer. There're more to come before winter. By the way what do gardeners do during winter? Any tip for gardening during winter?

    Thanks for the handy tips for gardening in this blog and I hope your wonderful street will win the competition.

  2. Hi Levin neighbour. Thank you for visiting our Blogsite. It seems you have done very well in your veggie garden so far. Don’t forget to freeze your surplus vegetables for Winter use (just blanch them quickly in boiling water before cooling and freezing - and free flow if you can because it makes it easier to separate them later!).

    We haven’t harvested our pumpkins yet as the tops have not died down - usually March/April. If you tap the pumpkins they should sound hollow, then they are ready to harvest and store for Winter.

    We don’t have heavy frosts here in Otaki, in Winter, so we are able to grow silverbeet, brassica, lettuce, and beetroot. If you have heavy frosts you could dig over your vegetable patch and add compost, horse manure, and a sprinkling of lime. You could plant your potatoes late Winter so that you have new potatoes for Christmas. It would be a good idea to check your Garden Centre to see what vegetable seedlings they stock for Winter.

    Thank you for your comments re the Greenest Street Competition, and we're pleased that you have gained some knowledge from our site.

    (written by Pat)