Fast, Biologically Active, Highly-Efficient, No-Turn Composting-Really!


Article by: Fred Davis

Most now-old-fashioned composting methods are actually labor , What Does A Brassia Orchid Plant And A Spider Have In Common? intensive and often a little too slow for my taste and purposes. The pile must be turned to re-introduce air , Growing and Caring for Your Bamboo into colonies of oxygen-starved bacteria, fungi and other organisms. Now there's an easier way which incorporates very nearly all basic composting principles but which vastly improves two crucial factors: aeration and time.

Here's my system for producing finished "black gold""”fully decomposed, rich, dark, nutrient-saturated, almost totally weed- and pathogen-free organic , Winterizing Your Pond matter ready to be worked into garden , Container Vegetable ing - The Easy Way To A Mouth-Watering Harvest soil"¦in 21 to 28 days, with no turning"”REALLY!

The Enclosure. A diversity of materials may be used for the enclosure"”concrete blocks, timbers, , Lawn Care Business Owners - Don't Buy Yourself A Job wire mesh or boards, for example"”but for economy's sake, I have constructed my "no-turn, self-aerating, 21-day" compost , How to Choose Your Garden Furniture and Make It Last bin from salvaged pallets commonly used by truckers in the transport of equipment or supplies. Other sources of these used"”oftentimes perfectly usable"”pallets are large hardware , To Salt or Not to Salt Your Pond stores, plumbing , Choosing the Right Mower and heating suppliers, lumber yards. , Spruce Budworm ..and don't overlook your local , Tomato Plant Care landfill or waste transfer station. A friend or neighbor who works at large discount stores or on construction sites may be of some help, as well. As interest in using recycled or salvageable pallets increases, it is likely that you may have to pay for them. $5 would not be an unreasonable amount for sound, fully-intact pallets. Most medium-to-full-size automobiles are wide enough in the trunk to accommodate one or two pallets.

Recall that biological composting does not rely on bright light , y, Fun Garden Plants and sunshine, so you can secrete your bin in a dark corner of the yard, , y, Fun Garden Plants behind shrubbery or "back in the woods" where it won't be seen. Place , Growing and Caring for Rhododendrons and Azaleas the least attractive pallet on level ground where you want your compost , Outdoor Wood Furniture - Check the Method of Construction Before Buying pile to reside. This base or "foundation" allows air , Easy Care Of Phalaenopsis circulation (remember that free air , Growing and Caring for Rhododendrons and Azaleas movement is key to the composting process) and prevents tree , Lawn And Garden Detergent, or Garden Soap, or roots from creeping in and feasting on your compost. , How to Clone with Success You might consider nailing additional narrow strips on this "foundation" pallet between each top-surface board, leaving just enough space for air , Growing and Caring for Your Bamboo to pass without difficulty, while preventing your shredded garden , Winterizing Your Pond wastes from falling through. Half-inch gaps work for me. You could also use saplings instead of sawn strips.

Next, stand the remaining four pallets on edge with the closely-spaced boards facing inward and vertical (perpendicular to the ground) to form a box just outside , A Touch of Feng Shui in the Garden of the foundation pallet. Lash them together using wire or synthetic cord (so it won't decay in a few weeks). I've used the same two-foot lengths of plastic , Colour in the Garden clothesline cord for years. Later, you'll want to untie the pallet which constitutes the "front" in order to access finished compost"”so select your knots carefully.

Allowing For Maximum Air , Lawn Furniture Circulation. Important to the function and success in this new system are appropriate length sections of salvaged 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" black plastic water , Creating A Balcony Garden Oasis or PVC drain pipe. Most discount salvage stores (here in Maine we call , Corylopsis (Winterhazel) - Spicata them "Mardens") sell such pipe for a fraction of what the same material would cost at a builder's supply.

You'll need ten or twelve lengths about 4-1/2 feet long. Use a half-inch "spade" drill bit and an electric , Spruce Budworm drill to create random perforations about every four or five inches all around the pipe. Precise spacing is not important. All right - ready?

Let's assume you've gathered all your shredded "greens" and "browns" and are ready for some serious composting action. I like to mix these two main ingredients together before tossing them into the pile. Place , The Flower Drying Game - Part 1: Air, Sand, and Sources a layer of mixed material 4" to 6" deep on the foundation pallet of your new, high-efficiency, low-cost, no-turn composting bin. Make certain that the material's moisture , Creative Ideas For Beautiful Garden Art level is adequate (it should feel like a wrung-out kitchen , Weed Control Facts - Winning the Battle of the Weeds sponge) and do not press the layer down. Place , What Does A Brassia Orchid Plant And A Spider Have In Common? two of your perforated aeration pipes on top of this layer so the cut ends protrude through the side pallets. Space a pipe about 16" in from each side so, when you look down at the layer's surface, it looks as if it's been divided into thirds. Recall that I suggested making the boards in your pallet walls , Outdoor Wood Furniture - Check the Method of Construction Before Buying stand vertical. Perforated aeration pipes can now slide down freely as the pile settles during the accelerated composting process. Had those boards been placed horizontal, your pipes would have hung up, bent"”and possibly "kinked""”in a short time. You can guess what that'll do to the flow of air , Waterfall Gardens into the pile.

Now it's time for a second six-inch layer of shredded material followed by a second set of perforated pipe at right angles to the ones in layer #1, below. Continue, layer by layer, adding another set of pipes to each layer as you go, until you've reached the top (and the end of your supply of pipes). Remember to alternate the direction of each layer of perforated pipes. It is not necessary to install aeration pipes above the top layer. But it is recommended that you lay on an additional 4" or 5" layer of some coarse, insulating organic , Daylily "Red Hot Returns" material like pine needles or whole leaves. This insulating layer allows generated heat , Waterfall Gardens to penetrate all the way to the top of your mixed material, thereby destroying most"”if not all"”weed seeds, , Waterfall Gardens undesirable insects, and plant , Watering and Tending to Your Bamboo Correctly pathogens.

What happens next is pure simplicity and efficiency! Mass temperature , y, Fun Garden Plants immediately begins to rise until, between 48 and 96 hours later, it has topped out at between 140° and 160° (F). As bacterial decomposition consumes oxygen in the process, air , Watering and Tending to Your Bamboo Plant Correctly passes through the aeration pipes to replenish supplies. As material quickly decomposes, the pile begins settling. In about seven to ten days, temperatures , Lawn And Garden Detergent, or Garden Soap, or will have begun to fall , The Many Faces of a Fence until, by the end of about 3 weeks, it should have reached ambient outside air , Buying Teak Wood Furniture Responsibly temperature and the pile's mass will have shrunk to a little over half its original size.

There is one small problem, however, which must be dealt with during the high-heat stage. Because fresh, cool outside air , Colour in the Garden is flowing through the perforated pipes"”and therefore into the pile"”a small area of the mix near each perforation will remain cool enough to prevent the destruction , Colour in the Garden of seeds , Outdoor Wood Furniture - Check the Method of Construction Before Buying and pathogens by heat. , Outdoor Wood Furniture Check the Wood Species Before Purchasing To overcome this small handicap, it is recommended that, for one 24-hour day (only) about 3 days into the high heat , Watering and Tending to Your Bamboo Plant Correctly stage, the open ends of each aeration pipe be plugged, thereby allowing high heat , Lawn Furniture to thoroughly penetrate throughout the mix. At the end of this 24-hour period, remove the plugs, and the process continues essentially unaffected by the missing , What Does A Brassia Orchid Plant And A Spider Have In Common? days' worth of air. , Buying Teak Wood Furniture Responsibly Wadded-up newspaper makes a good temporary plug.

It's done! Actually, I like to allow the finished product , What Are the Appropriate Plants for My Landscape to just sit there for another week or two to stabilize. At this rate, given a large enough supply of greens , Teak Outdoor Benches- Fantastic Seating for Your Patio and Garden and browns, you should be able to produce nearly a square yard , Watering and Tending to Your Bamboo Plant Correctly of finished compost , Tomato Plant Care every five weeks. You guess what that'll do to the health of your garden"”and your success rate!
The information , How to Grow Cucumbers contained in this article was taken from the free downloadable book by the author, Fred Davis, "Keys To The Garden , Vinyl Fencing Is A Viable Alternative To Wood Gate," at

Fred Davis is a Master Gardener, Master Composter, , Basics of Pruning Roses lecturer, and long-time nurseryman. He and his wife, Linda, own and operate a popular perennial , Gardening Soil nursery in Palermo, Maine, and maintain a no-frills, no cookies, no-login gardening , The Flower Drying Game - Part 1: Air, Sand, and Sources information website at:

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