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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Homemade Composter

After reading Colleen's blog about how she made her own composter out of a plastic storage container, I decided to give it shot.

I have several of these blue Rubbermaid storage containers and back when my bare root hedge roses arrived, I dumped the stuff out and used it as a tub to soak my roses. After that, I really didn't see the point in cleaning it and converting it back to a storage container, so it's been sitting in the garage.

I poked millions of holes in it using my drill but I noticed that Colleen's holes are much larger and that's got me a little worried. I'd like to use this one to dump kitchen scraps into along with the coffee grounds and filters I'm getting from work but what if my holes are too little? I think that means it smells bad, right? So far all I put in there was the filters from the coffee grounds, a little straw and the deadheaded roses. I'll add apple cores, lettuce we don't finish and other kitchen stuff to it as it accumulates. This should be interesting...


  1. Hey Gina,

    It's great to compost kitchen waste, but not so easy as it sounds. If you don't get the correct mixture of browns and greens it can turn into a real stinky mess. Also, in addition to the holes you've made on the sides of the container, it needs to have oxygen/and or air from the bottom so make some slits there and sit it on a foundation so that it'll drain or get air.

    If my compost starts to smell like rotten eggs, I add more dried , shredded brown leaves, some lime and an all purpose fertilizer .

    Search the internet for more info on how to compost kitchen waste.

  2. Hi Carolyn! Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the advice. I actually did put holes in all sides, including the top and bottom. I'll make sure to add plenty of browns. Lord knows I don't need anything smelly.

  3. Good for you :-) It should be fine, even with the smaller holes. You put lots of them in the container, so you should be good. Like I said over at my blog, when I noticed it getting soggy, I added shredded black and white newspaper, which is an acceptable "brown," and which most of us have on hand all the time. It breaks down really fast, so that's great.

    I don't know if I was doing it "wrong," but it actually was really easy, and I had finished compost within about six weeks. Good luck!

  4. I like this idea as it will keep the compost above ground. The holes in the bottow, I would think, would have to be there for drainage. I live in Atlanta and we don't have the snow, so I use a mounding technique with bag of cheap garden soil. I create layers. Later I take the fully decomposed material and work it into the garden. I plan to show this technique via my blog.

  5. So, how did this homemade composter work out for you?! I would think it would be a little small as far as volume goes to really heat up... I'd love to hear if it worked out well...

  6. Just curious how the Rubbermaid tote worked as a composter.

  7. How did the composter turn out?