Any composters here? I need help perfecting my technique for this year

I had a lot of success with worm towers in my vegetable beds at my old place. I plan on building one of these at some point

Wow, that’s intense.
I’ve had many composting arrangements over the years, including flow through worm bins. Now I just use 2 Geobins, into which I’ve incorporated my composting worms. I first put 1/2" hardware cloth on the ground (to discourage ground rodents) and set the Geobin on it . I just add to one until it is full and stops settling down much. I don’t turn the compost - found it is just not necessary to produce good results - if you are patient. I also put a piece of rebar in the center and throw a tarp over the top to keep it from getting too wet.
The other Geobin contains the older stuff which I harvest and spread. The nice thing about the Geobin is that you can lift an edge up some, prop it up and harvest the oldest stuff from the bottom which looks pretty good.
For me this is easy and tidy and produces good results.
In the summer and fall when there is an abundance of hot green stuff going in I’ll add a bag of leaves that I’ve rescued in late fall from people’s curb pickup. I’ve also used shredded newspaper, like you would add to a worm bin, but you need to add lots. Too much green makes for sticky compost that is more difficult to work with.
I only add plant material, i.e. nothing that would create a smell or attract raccoons, etc.

I’m in the keep it simple camp. Forget the bins, bokashi, compost accelerator, and constant turning.

If you have the room, put the compost on the ground piling up to at least 4x4x4’. You can make a cheap enclosure to help keep it in place if needed. Add 2-3 parts brown (leaves) to 1 part green (coffee, veggies, etc). Poop and urine can really heat it up. Not dog, cat, or human feces. Human urine is ok… Salt isn’t an issue. Leave out meat, bones, dairy, oil, etc to prevent odors. Water if dry or just wait for rain. Turn occasionally but don’t worry too much about it. It’ll be ready by next year with very little work.

The worms will come on their own.

Start a second pile when the first gets to the size you want it. Use the first pile while the second cooks.

If you need compost in hurry buy some locally with the $340 you save on the bins.


[quote=“Don, post:23, topic:20835”]
(" I’m in the keep it simple camp. Forget the bins, bokashi, compost accelerator, and constant turning.")

I guess that puts me in the " keep it "really “simple camp.”
I try to put it on the ground where I want it.
No piles , just move it once. From kitchen ( barn ,other ) to tree.
I feel that compost piles are a wast ,…
Of time
And carbon.
The carbon will do good work in ( on ) the ground.
In a pile it is lost as heat.
As well as a lot of nitrogen.
Putting organic matter on ( in ) the ground where you want it , In the fist place ,is the best use , in my opinion .
And so much easyer.
Move it the least, get the most benifit


i have inoculated my compost piles w/ blewit mushroom spawn. i get flushes all around the edges of the piles. the mycelium helps break down the compost as it gets established in there. i spread the compost under my plants. now blewits are growing all over my yard. new compost and wood chips applied in the spring , keeps feeding them every year. every fall when my plants are starting to go dormant i get big flushes of these bluish/ white mushrooms with the fall rains. not only are they delicious but attractive.


Thank you everyone for chiming in with all of these great comments and suggestions.

I’ve decided to transform my spin bin material to a 3x3x3 mesh bin on the ground now because the spin bin doesn’t seem to be working for me. I’ll be trying 2 of these bins side by side.

Does anyone have any good tips to keeping smell and bugs to a minimum as my compost bin will be in an area that is also close to the sitting area.

Freshly started compost only smells first few days when it heats up. Then it is no smell until you turn it. If you going to have add-a -little compost pile that doesn’t heat up, then covering fresh nitrogen material with brown material - dry leaves, dry grass clipping, even cardboard works pretty well.


J*, how is your bin working out? I think mine is similar to what you have described (black barrel to spin around with a division between two sides). I haven’t in the past but am planning to add earthworms to the mix and see if it speeds up the process.

We actually have the kind of black barrel that sits on the ground (no spinning, but the earthworms happily add themselves). It works pretty well for what we use it for, which is more processing kitchen scraps than producing a significant volume of compost. As it happens, we just picked up another from our neighbors who were upgrading to a somewhat larger model (not that much bigger to look at, but square, so apparently it holds quite a bit more).

My compost system is headed for a bit of a rework in the not too distant future. In addition to the barrel (now barrels), I have a bigger pile, maybe five by five, where I mix kitchen compost, leaves, weeds, etc. That’s actually our main source of compost. At this point, though, the old wooden fencing I used to build the pile is starting to collapse, and I’ve also been piling leaves and weeds into a couple of corrals made from that green garden fencing. So, I need to decide whether I want to build a new pile or just shift over to a series of smaller corrals and the two barrels.

(Just by the way, it’s JinMA as in “J in MA”.)

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I keep forgetting on the name, my apologies.

It might be worth asking around at local stores for free pallets? They might be a bit smaller but should be free to acquire and relatively easy to replace as they age.

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Here’s what I’m doing … I have one pile for leaves and twigs. I have another pile with soil that I use. I put kitchen scraps in a large nursery pot and put another larger nursery pot over it as a cover. Eventually I’ll have two of those to give it enough time to fully rot. When one is done rotting I’ll dump it on my dirt pile and mix it in. I also use the contents of my paper shredder and either dump that in my dirt pile or in the with the kitchen scraps. I’m still working this all out but it seems to be generating useful material.


I use worm towers. I drill a hundred large holes on sides and bottom of 5-10 gallon buckets. I bury the buckets in the ground near fruit trees and vegetables, but leave the top of the bucket flat soil level. I just pile all my materials green waste from kitchen or yard in these buckets and close the lids over them. I keep piling into one bucket until it’s completely full, then I move on to the next bucket. By the time I’m done filling my 8th bucket, the first bucket is ready to use on my plants. The worms find themselves through the soil and into the buckets through the drilled holes. The fluid content that drains from the bottom of the buckets feed the nearby plants. I just work the compost into whatever soil I need. Smell is never a problem because the holes are submerged in the soil. The lid has no holes. I don’t tumble, I don’t spin, I don’t do anything other than fill the buckets up and leave them be for a few months. I have never added worms to them, yet I always find worms in them.