A Composting Conundrum: It Composted. Now What?

A Composting Conundrum: It Composted. Now What?

Amber Byfield
Jun 13, 2011

We're happy to report that despite some setbacks, we've got a little summer produce growing, and we're waiting on a few things (like corn, honeydew, watermelons, and sweet potatoes) to put out fruit. Like good urban farmers, we've been composting our vegetarian food scraps and coffee grounds obsessively. Suddenly, our compost bin is full of warm, dark, nutritious dirt—and to be quite honest, we haven't a clue what to do!

Some of you might be thinking, "Duh, use the black gold in your garden!" But we're not at a place where any of our beds are ready to be replanted just yet. There's nowhere for it to go just yet.

We're thinking that we have taken the composting approach slightly wrong. We started with just an open-air bin, which we wrote about here. Once that filled up, we decided maybe we'd upgrade to a compost tumbler, which promised us fresh, ready-to-use compost in just two weeks if conditions were perfect! So now we've got ready compost in both composters, and we don't know what to do with it.

The current plan is to spread it out over the front lawn. This will at least provide some much-needed nutrients to the grass. Then, we'll take a few weekends to turn our open-air composter into a three-bin composting area. That way, we'll have a new compost pile, a working pile, and a finished pile from which to pull from—when we're good and ready, that is.

Please tell us you've at least had this problem creep up before. What do you do with finished compost? Let it sit until you're ready to use it, or do you have a good garden plan in place? We'd love to hear your tips!

Related posts:
The Unwaste Station: A Cool DIY Compost Bin
All About Composting: Hot Tips, Best Bins, and Worms!
75 Things You Can Compost: Who Knew?

(Image: Jess S.; used by permission)

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