It seems rather early to be thinking of planting and composting in January but spring creeps up quickly even in a zone 5 growing area. Those who live in warmer areas are already selecting seeds and plants.
I will also be starting plants both in my cellar and solar heated greenhouse in a week or so. These are early crops or perennial seeds that take additional time to sprout and grow. I enjoy playing in the dirt in the winter plus I save money starting my own plants. The plants are also healthier.
Another way to save money and have fresh compost is to compost indoors. Yes, this sounds rather strange but a gardener always need fresh healthy soil. And compost is wonderful for starting plants and keeping your indoor plants happy and healthy.
On of the easiest ways to compost indoors is with a trashcan. I keep the can in a warmer garage, utility room or spare bedroom. A greenhouse or sunroom will work equally as well. I myself select two 30-gallon trashcans. One trashcan will be started earlier and I will have compost material to use and the other will be a working compost can.
To start and use an indoor trashcan composting system put a pebbles or rock in the bottom for drainage – about 6 inches. Collect any composting material you can find. These would include leaves, sawdust, old plant dirt or shredded newspaper. You can also use manure, pine needles in moderation and straw or grass clipping if you can find them in your area. Table scraps help speed up composting but make sure the scraps are vegetables only. Do not compost meat or grease. Meat and grease can smell and attract mice and other rodents.
You can layer any compost material you have in 6 or 7-inch layers. This helps the compost to break down faster. I have learned that by using a blender and blending your table scraps the compost will turn into soil quickly.
For a compost pile to break down it needs to be warm and to have a small amount of moisture. This is why you use a garage or spare room. I also add a small amount of water but using an indoor composting method you need to use it sparingly or you end up with a soupy mess. I use a mister and lightly wet the top of the soil.
Turn the soil mix once in a while and you should have workable compost in a few weeks. Just in time for starting seeds and your spring garden.
P.S. Properly composted compost does not have an odor, so except for the fact it takes up room it’s not a nuisance.
Tags: Creative organic gardening, compost soil indoors, money saving garden tips, indoor plants