Portable Composting and Earthworms: Portable composting and earthworms

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Portable Composting and Earthworms

By cwhitt
June 17, 2017

Living in a condo, I don't have a lot of space, so I sometimes need to get creative with my gardening. I can't imagine a garden without compost, but did not have a large permanent place for a compost pile, so I took a large black pot that had once held a tree and I started using it for composting. The idea worked very well -- with added benefits. I had placed the pot in my rose bed. Earthworms quickly found their way up into the pot from the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. They delighted in the constant supply of fresh kitchen and yard waste that I kept putting into the pot, especially my coffee grounds, banana peels, and egg shells. Soon, I had an entire nursery of baby wrigglers, and my kitchen/yard waste was rapidly composted and became full of earthworm castings. Then, I had another idea: I had a rose bush that was not doing very well, so I moved my compost pot next to the rose bush during the rainy season. Nutrients must have drained out of the bottom of the pot, and baby earthworms made their way back out of the bucket and into my rose bed. Soon I noticed a great improvement in the rose bush, and a definite increase in the number of earthworms. It seems that this was a win-win situation: I was breeding earthworms, composting, and improving my soil -- all at the same time! This summer my composting pot is moving again. I have another bed that needs some soil improvement and is lacking in earthworms. What an easy way to improve my soil!

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Name: Susan Szabados

susansz
Jul 4, 2017 11:09 AM CST
Thank you for this great idea as I can't physically handle traditional composting. I do,have some questions though if you'd be so kind to answer,
How long do you leave the pot in place?
Do you add a tradional compost mix of green and brown or just kitchen waste?
How do you keep critters and flies away?
Thank you very much!
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
Amaryllis Roses Annuals Composter Hybridizer Cat Lover
Garden Ideas: Master Level
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cwhitt
Jul 5, 2017 8:04 AM CST
I usually leave it in one spot for the season.
Yes, I do throw in a mix of green and brown into it - weeds, old leaves, and then my kitchen waste. Critters and flies do not seem to bother the coffee grounds, banana peels or egg shells, but when I throw in stuff like melon rinds or pineapple tops, I do bury it a little - just to cover it up, or the fungus gnats especially will show up. Also, I always rinse off the egg shells before I throw them in. I have a little chipmonk that will occasionally also bury acorns and bird seed in there - but he is actually making a "deposit" and not a "withdrawal". Rolling on the floor laughing He would go after the pineapple tops also, if I did not bury them with a layer of compost. Just had several sunflowers start growing in my pot, due to that chipmonk. I also never turn the compost, just keep piling more on.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Name: Susan Szabados

susansz
Jul 6, 2017 5:25 PM CST
Thank you SO much. I think I can now compost! I believe I have the pot and the spot Hurray!

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