Composting: It seems like a simple enough concept. Throw kitchen scraps and yard waste into a pile, wait for it to decompose, and eventually harvest a rich, organic fertilizer to feed your garden. But as with just about anything from billiards to bagpipes, once you scratch the surface on the subject of composting you discover a whole complex world of conflicting opinions and advice on the right way to go about doing things. Some of the materials available in books or online almost make the act of composting seem like a full-time venture.
The truth is, anyone can compost, and it doesn't have to be a complicated affair. In an attempt to simplify things for the beginner composter, here I'll explore some of the questions I've stumbled upon in my own composting journey.
One of the first things an aspiring composter needs to consider is where to keep the heap and how to contain it. There are dozens of fancy compost bins and tumblers on the market, which can easily trick impressionable gardeners like myself into believing successful composting demands a serious cash investment. Luckily, this isn't the case. Buying expensive composting accessories is fine if you have the means, but constructing a functional compost container need not be expensive or time-consuming. Many gardeners have tremendous success with simple designs of scrap wood and chicken wire or other inexpensive materials. For those concerned about critters, more secure compost containers can be made by simply punching holes in a trashcan or plastic bin.