Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Winter composting bin project

Last fall I read around about winter composting, and bins, and worms, and.. came up with my own winter composting scheme. One that hopefully would yield up a couple big garbage cans of compost over the winter- or at least a good way of storing up the compost over the winter so I don't have to walk all the way down to the yard pile. And getting in on having spring straw on hand as I need it that has already gone through it's freezing period.

12 straw bales
2 large garbage cans with strap down capable lids
1 large box of 45 gallon contractor bags
couple bungee cords
roll of packing tape

A drill with about 1/4" big, to drill a ton of holes in the cans with

 Figuring out the layout, and starting to wrap the bales in plastic. We did a double layer of bags on the bales, and finished off the open end with packing tape. As the bales were snugged together, the taped together ends all butted into another bale to ensure the flaps would stay closed.
Where this is located is right outside the kitchen porch. It gets a lot of good southern sun in the winter.

 Bagging up the bales. These bags fit perfectly.

 The first row snugged together. Then we went and picked up the second load of straw bales. And did it all over again :) Note that the orientation of the garbage cans isn't correct in this pic. We were just making sure stuff was going to fit right before moving on. The cans ended up with the handles back to back. This way when one lid opens, it's supported by the other can.

 Top view of the drilling I did. This helps with air flow. The bungee cords are super snug. At the time of writing this, I'm only using one per lid because the bins are remaining surprisingly undisturbed.

 Side drilling detailing.

 Bottom drill detailing:

 Empty and ready to start filling.

 Got some leaves, AKA brown matter.

A heap of kitchen clean out scraps I saved up to kick the batch off with.

And.... heh, I apparently never took follow up pics on this. We filled three of the big bags full of brown leaves while they were super dry, and stacked those over the top of the whole heap. This is to help keep the bins a bit clear, and provide the brown stuff needed to layer in with the kitchen scraps.

So I just took a pic out the laundry room window at the thing.

At first in the fall when it was still drier and quite blustery, we had the top bags blow off a couple times, but they didn't ever go far. Used up about a half bag or so to fill up the bin on the left, that one is now sitting for a while. Started up the right hand bin a week or so ago.
I didn't use the garden claw at all in the left hand bin. Last time I checked it was when I started the second bin, and the total volume had dropped by an inch or two maybe. So I finally gave it a clawing, and the top couple inches was still mostly loose leaves with a bit of other underneath, so that all got a good stir finally. I used the claw right off the bat on the right hand bin.

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