• Marianne Kuzimski

How To Make Black Gold All Winter

In my last post, “How To Make The Fastest Black Gold,” I detailed how to make and use an outdoor, aerobic compost system for both summer and winter use.


As northern climates tend to slow down the decomposition process of even a winterized composter, choosing to set up an indoor system may very well be the route you will need to take in order harvest that precious, Black Gold, by spring planting season. That’s because indoor systems thrive in controlled room temperatures between 40 and 70 degrees.

For a fully operational composter to be used indoors, you will want to choose from two types. An airflow system, or one using worms to get results. The biggest question will be which type to go with, so I have outlined each system below with an overview of how each type works.


Aerobic Composting

Obviously, the purpose of an indoor system will be for a quicker return on your Black Gold, so basically, the indoor aerobic composter is a smaller version of your outdoor system.

To make your own system: For a 2-4 family household, pick an 18 gallon or larger, plastic lidded container for your compost. For a smaller household, a 5-to-10-gallon container is probably large enough.


1. Choose your container

2. Drill a grid of ¼” holes, evenly spaced in both the cover and bottom of the container, for aeration and drainage. (25 or more holes for each.)

3. Drill 2 rows of ¼” holes along the bottom edge of the container spaced approximately 1-½” apart.

4. Set container on a sturdy tray with at least a 2” lip, measuring larger than the container to collect excess moisture.

5. Start compost with ¾ of shredded brown matter such as cardboard, newspaper, or dead leaves.

6. Lightly sprinkle a cup of potting soil over the top.

7. Bury kitchen scraps and plant clippings into the brown layer.

8. Aerate the compost weekly by turning the mixture with a handheld gardening rake.

9. Keep moist by adding water as needed.

10. Add dirt and brown matter if compost looks too moist or gets stinky.

11. Drain tray weekly. Note: This liquid can be used as plant food by diluting it with 10 parts water.

12. Compost may be harvested in 2-4 months.

13. Remove all but 1 cup of the finished compost to mix with the new bedding to start the process over again.

Aerobic composting uses oxygen and bacteria and replicates natural decomposition.” Just like your outdoor aerobic compost pile, turning the pile for aeriation is imperative for rapid decomposition. It’s when you stop stirring the pot that your compost becomes an anaerobic pile similar to a landfill which takes years to accomplish the decaying process.


To use your compost, add 2-parts compost with 1-part potting soil for the perfect Black Gold mix.

Indoor Vermicomposting

Vermicomposting is the same process as above, except you add red worms to do all the digesting and aerating.

1. Choose your container

2. Drill a grid of ¼” holes, evenly spaced in the cover and bottom of the container, for aeration and drainage. (Minimum of 25 holes.)

3. Drill 2 rows of ¼” holes along the bottom edge of the container spaced approximately 1-½” apart.

4. Set container on a sturdy tray with at least a 2” lip, measuring larger than the container to collect excess moisture.

5. Start compost with ¾ shredded brown matter such as cardboard, newspaper, or dead leaves.

6. Lightly sprinkle a cup of potting soil over the top.

7. Add 1 pound of red worms on top of the soil layer.

8. Bury kitchen scraps and plant clippings into the brown layer.

9. Once per week, add your scraps by carefully burying them into the worm layer.

10. No need to turn your compost as the worms do all the work for you.

11. Compost may be harvested in 3-4 months. At this point, the finished compost can be carefully pushed to one end of your container.

12. Add new bedding to the empty side of the container to start the process again. The worms will find their way over to the new bed.

14. Again, keep compost moist by adding water as needed.

15. Add dirt and brown matter if compost looks too moist or gets stinky.

16. Drain tray weekly. Note: This liquid can be used as plant food by diluting it with 10 parts water.

The only major downsides I have read, so far, on the vermicompost system is that:

1. your worms may be finicky on what you feed them at times – which means you need to remove food waste they do not digest; and

2. the worms will multiply, so if you don’t have a way to rid yourself of your growing worm family, this may not be the system for you.

For the perfect compost bin, shop the wide selection of both aerobic and vermicompost bins on Amazon, and/or any other favorite gardening supply store. There are so many containers to choose from, so make sure to read the customer reviews for the best fit for your needs.



#composting #indoors #recycle #blackgold #aerobic #vermicomposting

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References:

Max, August 20, 2020, 10 Best Indoor Compost Bins – The Kitchen Storage and Composting Solution That You Should Not Lack, https://www.trees.com/best-indoor-compost-bins

Powerknot, July 23, 2012, Aerobic Composting vs. Anaerobic Composting,https://www.powerknot.com/2012/07/23/aerobic-composting-vs-anaerobic-composting/

Puisis, Erica, March 20, 2020, The 10 Best Compost Bins of 2020, https://www.thespruceeats.com/best-compost-bins-4150354

Reddigari, Manasa, 2020, All you need to know about indoor composting,https://www.bobvila.com/articles/indoor-composting/

Seaman, Greg, November 8, 2019, Tips for Winter Composting, https://learn.eartheasy.com/articles/tips-for-winter-composting/

Vanderlinden, Colleen, July 30, 2020, Tips for Indoor Composting, https://www.thespruce.com/tips-for-indoor-composting-2539618

 

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