Sunday, March 2, 2008

How To Store Compost

Once you've made it, how do you store compost?

Why would you want to store compost? There are a number of reasons. You might have made a large amount which you can't possibly use all at once. Or you might not be able able to compost on a regular basis and would like to store some for future use. As I said, there are any number of reasons.

In my case it was a timing issue. The current compost heap was finished and I was ready to make some more, but the garden bed I planned to use it on wasn't yet finished. So I set out to find the best way to store compost. My fall back position was to create a pile in the corner of the garden somewhere, but I was worried about it drying out and getting blown all over the place.

After doing some research, I found that one of the easiest methods for storing compost is to put it in plastic bags. Since I had a few spare bags in the garage, this was the method I chose. It had a few advantages. Firstly, it kept it moist and easy to work with. Secondly, it meant I could keep it for an indefinite period. I'm hoping to have my new garden bed finished soon, but you know how it is - best laid plans... And lastly, it meant I could store it out of the weather in a neat and compact way.

Other suggested compost storage methods I came across include the following:

One of the simplest methods is to simply leave it where it is. Although not really an option in my case, if you're not using your compost bin or enclosure again straight away, this is your best option.

Another convenient storage method is to form the compost into a pile then cover with a large sheet of plastic, then weighting the corners down with bricks or rocks. This simple method will protect he compost from the elements while still allowing worms and other organisms from the soil beneath to enter the pile and weave their magic.

If you have any other easy methods you can share, let me know. If I get enough new ideas, I will post them in another "How To Store Compost" article.