Mar 142013

Composting is one of the best ways to lower your impact on the natural world.  Not only does it reduce the volume of waste going to the landfill or down the drain, it also recycles the valuable nutrients found in your food scraps and yard debris into valuable, mineral-rich humus for use on your ornamental plants and vegetable garden.  Now you don’t need to buy an expensive $500 unit to produce fantastic compost; if fact, you can simply mound the clipping and refuse into a pile and let them cook for several months. Alternately, you can get several used pallets and build one yourself.  If you want something more contained and with better curb appeal, consider purchasing one of the manufactured compost bins on the market today.  CompostMania has one the most comprehensive sections of stand alone composting systems in the US and the selection is always increasing.

The composter that suits you best will depend on a number of factors, including available space, budget, visibility, type of waste, features, capacity, amount of sunlight, and climate zone.  For land-challenged yardeners, We have a few compact units such as the AeroBin200 and the Garden Gourmet which are taller, rather that wide, and have a very small footprint – ideal for compact gardens in urban and densely populated suburbs.  Some people with larger properties that generate a lot of yard waste want a unit that has ample capacity such as the enormous Garantia Thermo King 900 that will accept voluminous amounts of brush.  For those gardening enthusiasts under budgetary pressures, the affordable Redmon Bin from New Zealand, the WIBO ThermoQuick 88 from Germany and the Merit EcoMaster are all well-ventilated and include impressive features such as top lids and bottom access doors for harvesting finished material.

For those naturalists that want a more rustic look we offer both the Cedar Louvered Bin, which sports a removable front slats and the expandable Class Wooden Slat Composter, which takes advantage of vertical height.  If your admire the look of wood, but your interests are in a more permanent setup, we offer resin-based white and mocha faux-wood Estate Bins, in either single or double bays.  These are so attractive, you could place them in your front yard!  We don’t recommend mixing in food scraps to those composting systems that are open-top designs; instead, we suggest enclosed systems such as the Covered Bridge and Pyramid Solar so you don’t have to worry as much about hungry pests or curious pets.  For folks that live at higher elevations or in Northern latitudes, we would like to stress the importance of insulated units, including the Green Johanna and the SoilMaker SoilSaver – both will help retain internally generated heat so that decomposition rates remain high.

If food scraps are your primary waste stream, you can go with the Green Cone Solar Digester that uses thermal heat to break down your kitchen scraps.  If you just have large piles of leaves that you want to transform into nutritious leaf mold, you may use the stackable Kompost Saks or the virtually invisible Coated Steel Mesh Cubes.  Whatever your needs, we should have a bin that suits the diversity of interests within the garden community.

Happy Composting!

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