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How to Choose the Right Composter

Over 25% of waste is organic-based and considered compostable. Much of what we toss each day, such as paper towels, coffee grounds, and newspapers can actually be repurposed through the natural biological process of composting- which breaks down existing products into a usable, simple substance. Composting is a popular way to rid yourself of certain wastes in a way that makes them a helpful product both in your gardens and houseplants.

Composting isn’t just a seasonal habit. Year-round attention yields the best results (and much less environmental waste), and choosing a composter for your situation, whether you are an apartment dweller or live in the country, can help you get the “black gold” so many gardeners want for their gardens.

 Why Compost? 

First off, other than a few initial costs surrounding the building or buying of a composter, this process has the capabilities of producing an endless supply of rich materials to use in your yard, garden, and houseplants to produce vigorous growth and high crop yields. If you are gardening on a budget, it doesn’t take long to reap the many benefits of composting. Not only will you save on costly fertilizer for both your gardens and lawn, your vegetable and fruit production may also produce more than expected.

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MANTIS-Back-PorchComposter-675x675 How to Choose the Right Composter

 Apartment Dwelling 

Just because you live where land isn’t available doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of all the great things composting influences- such as a smaller environmental footprint, and healthy, lush plant growth. Small composters for countertops, or under your sink, are not only readily available, so are many tutorials to build your own. Contrary to popular belief, compost is not a smelly process, although it may create a rich, organic smell as the organic materials break down. This entire process is contained, however, within whatever you have chosen to use as a composter.

When choosing an indoor composter, you need to consider the size of the area you have to use. Countertop or cabinet sink composters are usually small and simple in design and will take only the minimum amount of food and paper wastes. If you have a bit of a larger area, than you may want to consider a worm composter (SUPER popular with the kiddos), or layered composter to break down larger amounts of household wastes.

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 Homes With a Yard 

If you have a yard, however small, then you will have many more options available to you for your composting needs. As with apartment dwelling, your space will dictate what sort of setup you will want to create as your choices are going to be more plentiful and varied. The first thing you need to ask yourself is, do you want to eventually have a larger continuous supply of compost to use once the process gets going, or have smaller batches available more quickly?

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1 Continuous Composters

Continuous composters take a bit more time to get baking. Basically, these are the throw and go versions that allow you to dump your waste and walk away until it has decomposed enough to use. These can take a few different forms either for purchase or design to build. The concept is to provide layers of waste that decompose from the bottom up, allowing you to remove finished compost from the bottom when it is needed.

These are typically bin styled products that are taller and allow for easy access to the bottom, all while keeping your compost enclosed within. Homemade versions are similar in design or may utilize multiple bins that can be accessed to turn for quicker composting, or various stages of composting within each container.

Continuous-Composter How to Choose the Right Composter

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2 Batch Composters

Batch composters are exactly what they sound like, and create batches of material to use all at once. These are a tumbler type style bin that allows you to regularly turn and flip the waste within to keep it enclosed and oxygenated- and providing the perfect environment to ‘cook’ your compost. These often take up much less room than continuous composters, but also provide less compost at any given time. The payoff is that you can create compost much more quickly (4 to 8 weeks) than other versions that can take the better part of the year to get going.

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 Take Your Pick 

When deciding which composer is right for you, you need to first truly consider the space you have to take advantage of this awesome process. Once you have determined this, you can better decide if you are looking to create a lot of little batches, or fewer larger batches all at once. Whether indoors or out, there is a composter design out there that is right for you, and with a little research and time, you should be able to discover something that fits your needs easily.

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