Sep 20th, 2011

DIY Compost, Compost for Kids, & Soil 101

One of the great things about working at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is that as a staff we are always learning.  Our weekly staff meetings are for learning. Today’s presentation was Hort University: The Life Beneath Your Feet (all about soils).  After shooting off a few tweets from the meeting with facts I was learning,  I got a response from Laura McLay (@lamclay) who wanted to know if we had some tips on composting for people who are busy or lazy to share with the rest of the compost-loving world.
Well,  Laura, here are a few things to get you started: A do it yourself compost bin, composting with kids (a 1-minute video) and (if you can spare the time) a class all about the soil.

3 bin compost system for DIY compost

Do it Yourself Compost Bin

Making your own compost bin can help reduce the cost of gardening. All you need is a lidded, heavy-duty plastic garbage can and a drill. From the top to the bottom, drill small holes every three
inches along the lid, sides and base. Place the can in a well-ventilated area that is protected from strong winds and direct sunlight. Fill the container over time with layers of green leaves, grass clippings and non-meat, non-dairy kitchen scraps, etc. Turn the compost occasionally, and add water periodically to keep it moist. Eventually, the layers will decompose, forming rich compost that’s ideal for use in garden and landscapes.

Composting with kids! 

I made this video one day when I was hanging out with some of the children visiting the Children’s Garden on a field trip.  If you have enough room to make a 3-bin system, this would probably be a faster, better way to compost than the DIY project above.

Updated March 2020

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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