To Compost or Not to Compost?

After once again deciding to put a bunch of green things into pots this year (it’s funny, only the ones with leaves seem to grow, my literal money tree was a complete non-success), I read up on container gardening online and ended up subscribing to @CanarsieBK (an urban organic container gardener) for his interesting ideas and creations.

"We must be new, we're still alive."

(My plants: You can tell that they’re new because they’re still alive.)

Today, he mentioned his new worm compost bin, which got me thinking about composting again.

I love the idea in theory: you save on lawn and garden materials (we just bought 8 bags of black mulch), it’s pretty easy to use, and you have a healthier yard. We could use all the help we can get in this area, as we have this huge patch in our backyard that looks like we recently raised several undead, due to the area being totally sun-scorched and completely unshaded.


It seems pretty cheap to start and you can put in all kinds of things into it, which for me is the major perk – I can see myself and Maddox having way too much fun pitching organic food waste into a big bucket on a regular basis. Also, I have this thing about laundry lint, which can go into the compost heap – I feel like it should be useful for stuffing bunny toys or insulating walls, but you can’t keep it around inside the house or you’re just asking to be set on fire.

I would probably start pretty small, since buckets around here aren’t $15 (they are like $40 at home depot) and I already have a few medium-sized plastic containers that are just dying to have drill holes in them (read: I am dying to use my drill to ventilate them).

My main concern is the grossness factor. We’ve had fungus gnats in our plants before, and although I’d have this outside on our sunny deck, who knows what weird things might grow in it? Also, what if it really smells? Then I’ll have to pour the half-digested contents of the bucket into a trash bag so we can dispose of it, or bury it silently in the night (or, more likely, cursing loudly) in our backyard.

Finally, worms are all helpful and good for gardening, but they are gross, and I don’t really ever like being reminded that they have a large role when it comes to growing my herbs and vegetables. Who wants to think about that? Thomas Rockwell, I shall cringe in thy general direction forever.

What do you think? Have you ever composted, or do you know someone who has? What’s it like and is it worth the effort?

Amendment April 21: We are off and running, on a small scale! Thank you to everyone online who posted with advice, and to my friends who chimed in with their own composting stories.

Amendment February 8, 2017: Take a look at Amelia’s Composting Guide here – it’s friendly, informative, and has some interesting ideas!


Image credit: skeleton photoshopped into my backyard

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