A COMPOST CONUNDRUM

One of the trees we took down in our latest round of tree trimming and (dead tree) removal was an evergreen that the compost bin was located next to. Even though the only thing that shielded the bin was a (rather large) bare trunk, it somehow made the placement of the compost bin make sense. Now that the tree is gone the bin is RIGHT THERE and seems to have been plunked right in the middle of the yard.

As you approach our house from the road, the first view you get of our house is through the trees, with the compost pile right in the middle of the view.

Yep, not so attractive.

Moving a compost bin isn't that big of a deal. It's actually a really good excuse to give the pile a proper turning and pull out the remainder of finished compost (which is at the bottom, still frozen solid). The problem is where to move it to.

Even though I think my compost bin isn't too visually offensive, it's not exactly charming. And of course there are ways to screen a bin. But the easiest way to deal with a compost bin, is to stick it somewhere that is convenient to access but completely out of your line of sight.

I've come up with two potential places to move it to. One is just about 10 feet behind where the bin is now, tucked up under a couple large evergreens. The other is over by the raised vegetable gardens, shielded from the road by another large evergreen.

OPTION 1
You can see where I've started moving the pile already, but now I'm rethinking the placement.

OPTION 2

That bare spot sort of by that pine tree would be a sunnier location for the pile. 

I have no doubt that the second location is the one that is better for compost production. It's a sun vs. shade situation and material breaks down much faster the warmer it is. Organic matter will, of course, decompose no matter what, but the speed at which that happens is affected in part by temperature.

The second location is also better from a "shield from the road" perspective. One of the things I dislike the most about the current location is that now that the tree is gone, the very first thing you see when you are driving up to our house is the compost bin. "Welcome friends, please put your fruit and veggie kitchen waste in the bin as you leave."

But I'm pretty sure we would see the bin from the house if we look that direction. And there's a chance I might someday want to claim that bit of sun for another raised bed. And, to be perfectly lazy about it ... it's a much longer way to move a pile.

I've got plenty of time to think about it. The bottom of the pile is absolutely a frozen block of ice. I tried to jam a shovel in it over the weekend and chips of ice literally flew out. Maybe that's one more thing to think about: if I move it to the shadier spot, I probably won't have a thawed pile until July.


5 comments :

  1. I say move it back the 10 feet from its original location. Better the occasional visitor sees it than you looking at it every day. We have ours tucked away behind the garage. BUT everyone who walks their dog in the neighbouring park sees it e very day. But I don't have to look at it 24/7.

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  2. Can you paint it like the tower so it becomes one of the assorted "containers" by the veg garden? That way it is part of the "practical" garden.

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  3. Is the green tower a trellis for your peas? I love it whatever it is!! Did you make it yourself? So cute!

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    1. I actually use it for my goji berries and then other random vines. Here's how I built it (or tried to anyway): http://www.theimpatientgardener.com/2013/05/coming-in-for-landing-one-big-ol-obelisk.html

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  4. I'm thinking that if you went with Option 2 and then eventually decided to add a garden space there...wouldn't the compost be conveniently positioned to amend the new bed? : )

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