Compost Trials: 5-Gallon Bucket Update   1 comment

As I wrote previously, the first experiment with composting that I did when we first moved into our house last summer was a 5-gallon bucket. To summarize: I thought it would be perfect since I had access to free buckets, and would be able to roll them easily to turn the compost. Unfortunately the free buckets did not have usable lids, which meant no rolling. Additionally, I had difficulty with getting drainage right.

Over the winter I left the bucket to sit and completely ignored it. I thought of turning the compost a few times with a trowel, but since the compost was growing a nice crop of an unknown plant I thought that might be more trouble than it was worth. This weekend I finally checked in on this experiment and I now deem the lidless 5-gallon bucket composter a complete failure. The easy stuff is degraded, sure, but there’s still plenty of easily identifiable bits of plant matter and kitchen waste. I’m inclined to guess that even if I had been more diligent over the winter it wouldn’t have made a difference since it is too small to generate sufficient heat, and many of the bugs were probably killed before I got enough drainage holes drilled.

I still think the original concept would work. A 5-gallon bucket with a lid and plenty of holes drilled in it should be a halfway decent composter for someone with limited space. The lid should help it stay moist and trap heat, and enable easy turning-by-rolling. Since I was interested in the “free” thing for this experiment, though, I’m declaring the experiment over. Now that the new car is paid off, buying a not-free composter (aka Expensive! sheesh) is within sight.

Posted May 23, 2011 by mayakey in gardening

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One response to “Compost Trials: 5-Gallon Bucket Update

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  1. Pingback: Compost Trials: From 5-Gal Bucket Compost to 5-Gal Bucket Worm Bin « Love Knowledge Zeal & Fortitude

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