Composting in Wintercomments (7) January 14th, 2010
My compost pile is far from my house. Besides, it's busy working, getting itself ready to use next spring. So rather than add to it all winter, or worse, not compost at all (impossible!), I use trench composting throughout the winter.
Composting in Place
Trench composting is very simple, and is pretty much what it sounds like. In the fall, I choose a bed that either needs the most compost or won't be needed for early spring planting. I then dig a trench about one foot deep down the length of the bed, piling the soil along side of it.
As my indoor compost bucket fills up, I trek out to the garden and dump in in the trench, spreading it out, but only over a small section of the trench at a time. I cover it with just enough soil to hid the trash. The next load will go on top of the first, and that will be covered with the remaining soil so that section of the trench is filled.
Fill 'er Up
I continue this process, using about a foot or two of trench each time. When it is entirely filled, I can either dig a new trench if the soil is not too wet, or just start to store the scraps in a 5-gallon bucket until spring, as by that time it won't be far away.
Worms Love It
When it comes time to plant, most of the vegetable scraps will have been broken down and once the soil warms up it will be filled with hungry earth worms. The resulting soil will have lovely tilth and be ready to plant, with very little work. Any large scraps that I may dig up can either be dug in elsewhere or removed to the "official" compost bin.
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