The composting demonstration at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is an ongoing project. Our goal is to collect and compost as much of the Horticulture Center's garden waste as possible and reuse it on site.
Several years ago Master Gardeners evaluated many types of stationary and tumbler compost bins: big green tumblers, stacking black plastic, simple black plastic bins, homemade bins made out of wood slats, and others.
After many seasons we have a few dependable, tried-and-true favorites. Our very favorite is a simple black plastic bin, reasonably priced, easy to construct, open, sift or turn, and move if necessary.
|Our favorite black plastic bin
|Bin has easy access
We built a “Sunset Magazine Perfect Compost Bin” style stacking bin made out of redwood fence boards. It was easy to build and the re-stacking sections make turning the bin easy.
1. Place top section next to the bin.
2. Start forking top bin materials into the section on the ground. Add new greens, if desired. Water each layer.
3. Continue to re-pile/fork composted browns and new greens; water each layer.
4. Repeat until "new" bin is completely full.
A fun “bird’s nest” “bin” was started in January 2015. It's 5 feet in diameter and we have added height and materials each month. It now stands about 40 inches high. We will build to 60 inches high and let it decompose for 2 years. It's not fast compost, but it is an attractive and fun project.
Start in January.
We built the side up 18 inches the first day and layered green and brown materials.
March--sides 36 inches; layering greens and browns continues.
April--40 inches high with surprise visitors!
We continue with our worm composting (vermiculture or vermicomposting) demonstration. This is our permanent worm bin on wheels which brings much delight to our visitors, kids of all ages.
All the compost we produce is returned to the other projects within the Horticulture Center. We attempt to recycle as much garden waste as possible, keeping as much as possible out of the landfill.
Stop by on your next visit to the Horticulture Center. We are at every Open Garden workday and will be in full force at Harvest Day in August when we will present mini-workshops for your learning pleasure. Come see us soon.