The Ultimate Guide to Efficiently Storing Compost Outside for Optimal Gardening Success

Intro

Welcome to our blog post on how to store compost outside! Composting is a fantastic way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your plants. Whether you have a small backyard or a spacious garden, finding the right method for outdoor compost storage can make all the difference in maintaining an efficient and odor-free system. In this article, we will guide you through some key steps and considerations to help you successfully store your compost outdoors.

Choosing an Outdoor Location

Location: The first step in storing compost outside is selecting the ideal location. Look for a spot that receives ample sunlight during the day while also allowing for shade protection when temperatures rise. Ideally, choose an area away from windows or entrances where unpleasant odors might linger.

Sunlight Exposure

If possible, opt for a location that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Sunlight aids in decomposition by providing warmth and energy necessary for microorganisms to break down organic matter effectively.

Avoiding Extreme Heat

Extreme heat can dry out your compost pile and slow down decomposition processes. To prevent this from happening, select an area with some natural shade, such as under trees or against buildings.

Distant from Neighbors or Living Spaces

To minimize any potential issues with odors or pests attracted to decomposing food scraps, ensure that your chosen location is not too close to neighboring properties or living spaces like decks or patios.

Selecting the Right Compost Bin

Type of Compost Bin: Once you’ve determined where you’ll store your compost outdoors, it’s time to choose the appropriate bin that suits both your needs and available space.

Tumbling Bin

A tumbling bin is an excellent choice for those with limited outdoor space. These bins are designed to be rotated, which helps aerate the compost and accelerates the decomposition process. Tumbling bins also reduce the risk of pests accessing your compost pile.

Stationary Bin

If you have more room in your yard or garden, a stationary bin might be a better option. These bins typically have open bottoms that allow worms and microorganisms easier access to decomposing materials.

Proper Compost Layering

Layering: Creating well-layered compost is key to maintaining optimum moisture levels, promoting decomposition, and preventing any foul odors from developing.

Brown Material Layer

The first layer should consist of brown or carbon-rich materials such as dried leaves, straw, or shredded newspaper. This layer provides structure for airflow while absorbing excess moisture from food scraps.

Green Material Layer

Add a layer of green or nitrogen-rich materials like vegetable scraps, grass clippings, or coffee grounds on top of the brown material layer. This step introduces essential nutrients necessary for microbial activity within the compost pile.

Maintaining Proper Moisture Levels

Moisture: Your compost pile requires adequate moisture levels to ensure efficient decomposition processes. Too much water can lead to unpleasant odors and slow down decomposition, while insufficient moisture can hinder microbial activity.

Sprinkling Water Regularly

To maintain proper moisture levels in your outdoor compost storage system during dry spells or warmer months, sprinkle some water regularly over the pile without soaking it. Aim for a damp sponge-like consistency.

Using a Cover or Tarp

In case of heavy rainfall, use a cover or tarp to protect your compost from becoming oversaturated. This will also prevent excessive evaporation during hot and dry periods, helping retain moisture within the pile.

Turning Your Compost Regularly

Aeration: Aerating your compost is essential for providing oxygen to microorganisms that break down organic matter. Turning your compost regularly helps maintain an even distribution of heat, moisture, and nutrients while preventing the formation of unpleasant odors.

Frequency of Turning

To ensure proper decomposition and avoid compaction, turn your outdoor compost at least once every two weeks. However, turning it more frequently can accelerate the process further if desired.

Mixing Outer Edges with Inner Core

During each turning session, make sure to mix materials from the outer edges into the inner core and vice versa. This ensures uniformity in decomposition processes throughout your entire compost pile.

Pest Prevention Measures

Pests: Keeping pests away from your outdoor compost storage area is crucial for maintaining its functionality and preventing any unwanted nuisances around your garden or yard.

Avoid Meat or Dairy Products

Avoid adding meat scraps or dairy products to your outdoor compost as they can attract rats and other unwanted animals. Stick with vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, and yard waste instead.

Cover Food Scraps Properly

To discourage pests like flies or raccoons from being attracted to food scraps in your compost pile outside, always remember to cover them sufficiently with a layer of brown material or soil.

Closing Thoughts

By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to successfully storing compost outside while minimizing any potential issues. Remember that patience is key as the decomposition process takes time. With proper care and maintenance, you can create nutrient-rich compost for your garden, reduce waste, and contribute to a healthier environment.