When You Don’t Have Room for a Compost Bin.
Trench Composting is an easy and inexpensive way to get nutrients into your garden soil when you don’t have room for a compost bin. Many years ago in another city, I made friends with a wise master gardener. She had the same love of gardening that I do and was well into her 80’s by the time we became friends. I went to her house every few weeks to help her prune bushes and glean everything I could about gardening.
She was experienced at trench composting and it was her preferred method for improving her garden soil.
It was the first time that I had a chance to see this technique in action and the process of creating your trench is incredibly easy.
My friend would have her grandsons come over and dig a trench 12 inches deep and 20 feet long in a specified area of her garden. (You can make it any length and width and you can even just dig a hole and fill it.)
Then each evening she would take her kitchen scraps and a shovel, and head out to the garden. Starting at one end, she would empty the contents of her compost pail into a pile in the trench and cover it with 6 inches of soil and then let nature do its thing.
Fruit and vegetable scraps are great for adding nutrients and moisture to your soil. You should avoid putting bread products, oils, meat, dairy, sawdust, human waste, and rice in your compost. Also, be careful not to compost weeds in your trench, they could sprout up in your garden!
Related post: Teach your family to compost kitchen scraps
Each year move your compost trench to a different part of the garden.
Begin by dividing your garden into three spaces: Zone A, B, and C.
- Zone A will house your compost trench while B and C will be your walking space and plants.
- After year 1, move your compost trench to Zone C and your plants to Zone B.
- By year 3 you should be digging your compost trench in Zone B and planting in Zone A. This ensures your compost is evenly dispersed below your garden.
- After year three, begin the process again.
You can also place compost trenches between evenly-spaced plant crops, along shrub borders, and around flowers and vegetable plants.
Be sure to save this handy infographic from fix.com
Source: Fix.com Blog
Lauren @ Hillsborough Homesteading says
This seems way simpler than trying to turn a heavy, top-loading compost bin like I have. I bet if you left the soil dug out from the trench and a shovel handy nearby, it would be even easier to do daily. I’ll have to try this!
I love the trench composting method too. It’s just SO much simpler than building a compost pile, which I also do, but I just prefer the speed of the trenching system.
As I age, I become lazier and lazier. Not for manual work per se, but just try to avoid work that can be done more easily. This is a great system for reducing the workload when it comes to making compost.
I used it last fall to prepare ground for my fruit bushes too, they have gone mental this year, although the weather has been good too, quite hot and sunny, but with plenty of rain…the typical English summer!