Have you ever wondered, “What is the best compost bin for my family?” With so many kinds to choose from, the decision can be a little daunting at first. Each kind of compost bin works in a slightly different way, although the end result is the same: the production of highly nutritious plant food.
There are several different things you will need to consider before starting your compost bin. A closer look at each of these things can help you in making your decision: how much space you have available for the bin, where you will put your bin, the amount of material your family will compost, and the amount of time you have to maintain your bin.
How Much Space Do You Have Available?
Are you blessed with a large yard and can dedicate a corner of it to composting? If so, you may want to consider a three-part compost bin. This type of bin can easily be made from wood slats or you can purchase a bin that has already been constructed. The bin itself is one large rectangle divided into three parts. One section is for raw compost materials, the next is for active composting, and the third is for finished compost that is ready for use. A simple hinged lid will help keep out pests, or if you have chickens, keep the bin open and let them do all the hard work for you.
Where Will You Put Your Bin?
If you live in a small home or apartment, your kitchen may be the only place available as a location for a compost bin. If that’s your case, then consider composting using worms (vermicomposting). This type of composting is great for small spaces, and keeping the worms inside prevents them from getting too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer. Vermicomposting is odor-free if you are dedicated to tending your bin and taking care of your wiggly little buddies. The worms are excellent composters and give you one of the richest sources of compost available. Alternatively, you may consider a kitchen compost bin that can sit on your counter or in a small, hidden space.
How Much Material Will You Compost?
If you have a large family or if your family generates a lot of food waste that needs composting, you may want to consider a barrel compost bin, also known as a tumbler-style compost bin. This type of composter is often attached to a stand and comes with a handle used to turn the barrel. Turning the barrel aids in mixing and aeration. It’s a good way to get everyone involved as all of your family members can take turns helping with this process.
How Much Time Do You Have?
Every type of compost bin will require some work to set up and keep it going, but the payoff is well worth the investment. The amount of work involved to initially set up your compost bin only needs to be done once. If you are short on time and can’t see yourself regularly turning the heap of compost, you may want to consider worm composting. The worms do the work (of turning) for you. Or, if you are able, get a couple of chickens, as they will also be happy to scratch through, thus turning your compost. Not fond of the idea of raising worms or you’re not allowed to have chickens on your property? Then the tumbler-style compost bin may be the best answer.
Now that you know some of the characteristics of compost bins, the question shouldn’t be, “What is the best compost bin for my family?” but rather “How soon can I get started?”