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Tools for Composting

Does Making Compost Require Tools?

Are There Any Tools Required For Making Compost?

There is no fast and easy answer to the question are there any tools required for making compost. To attempt to provide a short answer here are suggestions of what items you may want and a few you must have.

First to begin a composting adventure decide on just the right spot where the process will occur. You must choose whether to use a container such as an enclosed garden composting bin, tumbler composter or an open wire or wooden bin. These open bins can be several compartments and made of concrete block if you decide to go large, though packing crates will suffice. Or you can simply set aside at least a bare space of 3 ft by 3 ft and allow for at least 3 ft of height to place the materials being rotted in a pile. If you want to hide it from the neighbors sight go fancy with ivy or an arbor around the area. If small is sufficient buy an attractive small composter to sit right on the patio or deck.

Now that you picked the spot and the type of composting bin decide how important the speed or rate of decomposition is for your needs. No matter if you want compost in two weeks or a year a few basics make the job easier. A tool to mix or turn the contents such as a shovel or spade or pitchfork are found around most suburban and rural homes or can be purchased in the hardware section of stores. There is a tool made especially for compost piles called an aerator that is 3 feet long with handles on one end and blades on the bottom for easy turning. However a compost bins tumbler does not require a tool.
Materials are easier to work with if cut to the size of the bin, barrel or pile. For this job a pruning saw of some sort works well. For the machine oriented person a chipper or shredder makes quick work of brush once it is cut. In order to transport this outdoor organic waste one must have a method of transport such as a wheelbarrow, garden cart, wagon etc. On the small scale a brightly colored tub works fine.

What makes compost? Basically any organic matter that is non fatty, except in special models made for collecting all organic waste. Making compost requires materials called green which are high in nitrogen level compared to carbon level, nitrogen rich and brown materials which are high in carbon level compared to nitrogen amounts, considered carbon rich. Use about three times by volume the amount of brown materials as green. Examples of brown are fallen leaves and corn stalks. Examples of green are veggie scraps and herbivore manure.

Work gloves are a necessity if you want clean hands. There are many micro-organisms found naturally in the finished product. A watering can or hose provide moisture if the beneficial organisms required for breakdown to occur are to thrive. A tarp or bin cover or the lid help maintain the moisture level at a more consistent level for quicker decomposition of debris. A few other tools available are the accelerator – commercially packaged or blood or alfalfa meal used to give the materials a fast start. A composting thermometer, temperature is important, the organisms responsible for the various stages of natural soil enrichment live and die at specific temperature. A countertop compost bin for kitchen waste collection and transport outdoors (scraps,leftovers,crushed eggshells). A container for other indoor waste collection and transport outdoors (non waxy or shiny color paper, cardboard).

Making compost, the natural soil enhancement can be very simple or very complex depending on the choices of tools you make.

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