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<  Composting, Mulch, and Soils  ~  Calling all trench/pit/spot composters!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:17 pm
User avatarJoined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:48 pmPosts: 41
I rely on trench/pit/spot composting as my only source of compost. I have a small yard (No, smaller than that. Smaller. Smaller. Smaller still. A wee bit smaller. There, now you've got the idea), and have no room for a compost pile (plus, my home owners association doesn't allow them). I've tried a bin, but I couldn't get it to heat up. So now I bury all my yard and food waste that doesn't make it into the worm bin. I dig a hole or trench (depending on how much waste I have to dispose of) in any empty spot and bury the waste. In the Fall, I dig big trenches all over the place and bury leaves and garden waste (disease-free only).

Recently, I've started tossing food waste (veg only, no meats or oils) right into the planting holes when I transplant plants into the garden. I've noticed no effect of this, positive or negative, but I figure I'm already digging a hole, so I might as well put it to good use. This method of composting works really well for me.

Anyone else do this? I'd love to read more about it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:45 am
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:21 amPosts: 1Location: Emeryville, CA
If you want to see some more dramatic results from your trenches, try adding worms. Bentley over at http://www.redwormcomposting.com has been running a trench worm project for a couple of years now with great results for his crops.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:41 pm
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:08 pmPosts: 187Location: Zone 5
You are not alone, Katxena, I've done exactly the same thing. Even though I have plenty of room for compost, in the fall when I'm tidying up the vegetable garden, I dig a trench down the middle of my raised boxs and stuff it full of anything that's not too course. By spring planting, I can't find it.

This doesn't take care of all my waste as I have a huge landscaped area and lots of leaves. Plus a scavenge around the neighborhood. But it seems like a good way to cut back on hauling compost around. It think it was Abbeysdad that mentioned, "Let the garden do the work."



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:27 pm
User avatarJoined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:48 pmPosts: 41
Here's something I've been wondering for a while -- what breaks down the trench composted materials? Is it just the various bacteria in the soil?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:34 pm
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 5:24 amPosts: 70
Bacteria, fungi, worms, and insects.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:48 pm
User avatarJoined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:48 pmPosts: 41
Interesting. I have very few worms in my outdoor beds, so I've always wondered what's doing the work in their absence.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:38 pm
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:56 amPosts: 34Location: Raleigh
I am more of a spot composter and it seems to work well for me. I use this method, when I have just finished building a new compost pile in my bin and I have more vegetable scraps to get rid of.

In those times, I dig a hole in a future planting area 10-14" deep, put in the scraps and cover. Nines times out of ten, I forget I even planting the scrapes unless I specially use that spot for a future plant.

I think it is a great way to get rid of extra kitchen scraps.



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:56 am
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:29 pmPosts: 1357Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
When I build a raised bed I lay down a heavy layer of stemmy stuff and cover it with soil. Anything relatively fine I use for mulch and let it compost in place on top of my beds.

Image

Here you can see some collards and spend brewing grains along the back edge of a big bed.


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