Fall 2019 Three-Bin Composter Update

This photo is about a week old, but shows you (basically) the current state of our three-bin compost setup that I made in the easement behind our lot.  Using some fence panels and long stakes, I made three 36" by 36" square 'bins' that I've been using this Summer and now Fall.

Here's the original post showing the three-bin composter being setup in May of this year.

Also, one note (for the garden diary):  I've also filled the Compost Tumbler again this fall with a combination of greens and browns.

The three bins all have distinct purposes and you can see that kind of taking shape here.

Bin one (on the left): making a layered batch. Nitrogen. Then Carbon. Then Nitrogen. Then Carbon. Layers. Earlier this year, I added a bunch of grass and most of our weeds to provide some nitrogen.  I just added a layer of browns to this bin to get that layering going. But, before I add more, I need to add some 'greens'. With Winter here, that means that the 'greens' are going to have to come out of the kitchen.  You can see that this bin has compacted way down to be about 2/3rds of the total height of the bin.  I haven't done a good job of mixing this, but will try before everything freezes.

Bin two (in the middle): storage of Carbon (leaves!) for when we want to make a batch or add to the batch.  You can see that I've piled up a bunch of this Fall's leaves in this bin.  It currently does not have a front panel on it, but now that I've filled it, I'm thinking I should add it?  Maybe in the Spring.  (Note to self:  put it on 2020's to-do list!)

Bin three: storage of Nitrogen (greens) for when you want to make a batch.  Right now, I don't have anything to put in this one, but when I collect more nitrogen/greens, I'll store them here.

Now that I've had a season to use this setup, I'm wondering if it is really best to have a four-bin system?  That way, you can have two 'cooking' while leaving an excess storage bin for each the carbons and nitrogens.  Without that extra bin, I'm going to keep adding to the pile on the left, but then that defeats the idea of a 'batch' process.  Meaning...if I keep adding to it, it won't ever fully be 'done'.  Something to consider as I finish my leaf cleanup this Fall and get ready to go in the Spring.  2020 to-do list, indeed.


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