Do you want to compost ? The individual composter is an essential piece of equipment for the responsible gardener as well as for the urban dweller concerned by sustainable development. If the questions of layout and aesthetics are important for the positioning of the composter on your land or in your home, you should not neglect the consideration of environmental criteria.
Where to place your composter in a kitchen ?
In a kitchen, there are four choices of location:
– In a metal compost bucket placed on the work surface
Its vintage look naturally takes its place visibly in a beautiful kitchen.
In the bokashi composters, a compost activator must be added. It contains micro-organisms that start the fermentation process.
– In a bin in the immediate vicinity of the household waste bin
This makes it easier to manage food waste. Waste management habits will be maintained. Compostable packaging and coffee grounds can be added to the pile of organic matter to be composted in a single step
– Under the work surface (under a trap door or in a drawer)
From this area dedicated to cutting and preparing meals, it is then easy to put aside vegetable tops and peels, starch peels, fruit stones, tired salad leaves, spoiled greens and other food waste.
– Under a chopping board integrated in the sink
A sliding board makes it easy to uncover or hide the compost bin.
From the kitchen, compost tea (liquid fertiliser) can easily be sprayed on house plants.
==> Discover our selection of kitchen composters on https://composteurcitizen.fr/cuisine/
Where to place your composter on a balcony or terrace ?
On a concrete surface, it is essential to :
– Place a bottom to collect water under your compost bin. This way you will avoid any problems related to the humidity generated by the composting process.
– cover the underside of your compost bin structure as soon as it is installed. This way you can easily recover the results of your compost.
A vermicomposting bin can easily be placed on a balcony sheltered from the wind as earthworms thrive between 15 and 25°C.
Where to place your composter in the garden ?
In a garden, the composter will naturally find its place near green and brown waste (shrubbery branches, dead leaves, dried plants, weeds, grass clippings, hedge trimmings, various garden and window box waste). The fertilizer produced can be used immediately after harvesting: simply mix the compost (smelling of forest humus) with soil to obtain a fertilizing soil that is very rich in minerals and nitrogen for soil improvement.
Here are some tips on where to place your composter to encourage the natural composting process:
– A place that is neither too wet nor too dry
For your garden compost to take hold, there must be a good level of humidity without saturation. A place that is constantly being washed by rain or run-off is not the best place. The ideal location is slightly protected from rainfall but close to a water source so that the compost can be easily watered if necessary (especially in the summer).
– A slightly shaded position
Compost generates heat in its core. This energy is conducive to decomposition but should not exceed 70°C. An area exposed to direct sunlight can reach 93°C. These excessive temperatures kill certain bacteria that are favourable to the decomposition of the compost. A south-facing area should be avoided. On the other hand, a totally shaded area would cool the composter too much and increase the risk of frost. The ideal position is a balance of sun and shade.
– An airy but not too windy location
To avoid the inconvenience of sulphur and nitrogen odours, a naturally ventilated area is preferable. However, effective composters are not placed in the windiest parts of the garden or vegetable garden. Under the prevailing winds, the compost loses heat and decomposition struggles to take place.
If the natural aeration is not strong enough, do not hesitate to regularly stir the plant residues, fruit and vegetables, bedding, shavings and straw in the compost heap with a fork or a grelinette in order to increase the supply of air (oxygen) and ensure the generation of good compost rich in nutrients.
– A location away from neighbours
Your neighbours may be bothered by the smell of compost (« rotten eggs », ammonia, sulphur, sometimes fermentation). In order to maintain good relations, it is best to choose a location slightly away from the property line of your land. For small gardens, the question of the smell of decomposing plants can also influence the type of composter to be preferred: a rotating composter or a model offering proper aeration (e.g. compost silo or composter with a pierced lid).
– Near your home
On a daily basis, you will have to go back and forth between your kitchen and your composter. If you have a very large garden, proximity to your house will be essential for successful composting. A hectare to cover will test your motivation to regularly deposit your peelings and food waste in your composter!
– On the ground
To function, compost needs organic matter, water, bacteria and also small animals that use their digestive system to break down your pile of waste. In order for mites, sowbugs, earthworms, compost worms, millipedes, slugs and snails to colonise your compost, it is essential that exchanges can take place naturally between the soil and your compost bin. Digging up the soil before installing the composter will facilitate communication between the soil and your compost bin.
– A flat area
A flat area allows to :
1. create a large contact surface between your compost and the microscopic or small
fauna in the soil.
2. stabilise the structure of the compost bin
Large volume compost bins (several hundred litres) filled with organic waste can be heavy, especially in the first phase of composting. A flat area makes the installation of your home composter safer.
3. Choose your composter without any constraints
Most commercial models or DYI composting plans are designed by default to be placed in the ground. Whether you buy a composter or make one out of pallets, all possibilities are open to you.
– Away from any structure made of wood
Untreated wood is putrescible, especially in the presence of micro and macro-organisms. It is therefore recommended to keep your composter away from garden fences or terrace boards made of raw wood.