This is a picture of my fully packed in compost bin on October 10th. I’ve got about 6-7 weeks of time before the weather gets really cold. I’ll work this bin every day, mixing it, mashing the ingredients, keeping it moist, and continually moving it. My thought is to get one more batch of compost before the bad weather gets here. As of the time of this post, I’ve lost almost half of the original mass. Free ingredients make up this compost bin. And if it seems a little too moist, or if I can smell something that I can identify, I’ll add leaves to balance things out.
Compost bin should smell earthy after a couple of weeks. Done correctly, you can produce an excellent quality of compost in as little as 6 weeks. The benefits of making your own compost can be seen here. While some experts will say you need 18-24 months to make a quality compost, that is true only if you don’t work you compost. If you do nothing and just let the contents sit, you’ll certainly get compost in this time frame. But by working it every day, you can speed up the process substantially.
Quick tip: this is the time to gather and save your leaves? You don’t have to rake them up and send them to the dump. Save and cover them for use in next year garden. It makes an excellent mulch and also a great compost ingredient to add-in to balance the green or kitchen items you’re using. Click here to learn more about composting leaves. My experience is that you don’t really need to shred them. If you feel like you want to and don’t have a shredder, use your lawnmower.