Trying to create a compost in a limited space, such as an apartment, can be tough work. Apartments will give you either a very small garden or no garden at all.
When it comes to composting, there are many benefits. Composting can make your soil healthier. In addition, you will cut down on food waste. A study found that Americans get rid of nearly 80 billion pounds worth of food waste each year. This startling statistic becomes even more shocking when you remember that a lot of this leftover food could have been used to create a compost.
By creating your own compost, you will stop this food from going to landfills. Thus, you will be creating less methane gas.
To help you start a compost in your apartment, we have gone through some of the best composts to build in your limited space.
Types of Composts
Below are three different types of composters that can be used in an apartment setting.
Worm bins are ideal for apartments since they are small and do not require a lot of room. In addition, worms are kept at room temperature. They thrive at temperatures between 55 and 75°F. Not only this, but these composters are portable. Because of this, they are perfect for indoor composting.
Thankfully, they do not produce much of an odor. As a result, you will not have to worry about this worm composter stinking up your lovely little apartment. You should, however, ensure that your apartment is well-ventilated.
Worm composters can be purchased online and in supermarkets for affordable prices. However, if you consider yourself to be good at DIY, you can make your own worm composter. These are easy and effective to make. In terms of the worms, red wigglers are the best to use. Red wigglers are fairly easy to acquire.
You need to make sure that you give your worms a balanced and healthy diet. Worms are quite versatile since they can eat lots of different types of food. Fruits and vegetables will be beneficial for your compost. Coffee and tea bags will be good options, as will eggshells. Scraps of bread can also be composted. Hair and fur can also be added, making it a good option if you have pets.
However, you should avoid giving them citrus peels. Citrus fruits can upset the pH balance of your compost and so you should steer clear of them. Dairy products are also not advised. Unfortunately, you should avoid adding meats, fish, and bones to worm composts because they may attract flies and will probably cause your apartment to smell unpleasant. Spicy foods are also not very good.
It will take you a few months until a worm compost yields good soil results.
Though it might sound surprising to some, you can obtain electric composters. They are designed to be small and compact, meaning that you do not have to be concerned about them taking up loads of your valuable space. Instead, they can simply be put on a desk or counter. Consequently, they are perfect for those who live in apartments.
These electric composters are also very fast-acting. While more standard forms of composting can take months to work, electronic composters only require a few hours. They are also more versatile in terms of what they can process. As you will have seen in the section above, there are a number of foods that worms cannot consume or that should not be added to a worm compost. Electric composters are less limited in terms of what foods you can add. As a result, you can add meat and fish to them.
One of the disadvantages of electric composters is that they will be considerably more expensive than worm composters. While you can build your own worm composter at home, it is not advised that you attempt this for an electric composter. Additionally, they will have a larger effect on the environment due to the electricity required to power them up.
To buy an electric composter, they can be found online.
Like the following two suggestions, countertop composters take up a limited amount of space in your apartment. Not all countertop composters are electric and so you can buy one that will use up very little electricity. This will make it more environmentally friendly. These composters will prevent any nasty smells from escaping. If you are composting on a budget, you can also use Tupperware containers.
- Start small – setting up a big compost will not only be unsuitable for your apartment, but it may mean that you are taking on more than you can handle.
- Avoid upsetting your compost – be sure to only add things to your compost that will benefit it.
- Remove plastics – fruit and vegetables can be sold with plastic labels. You should remove these stickers before contributing them to your compost. They will not be easily broken down.
- Keep it moist – a compost should be quite moist. Of course, adding too much moisture can damage it. Compost should be at least 40% water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you compost on a balcony?
Yes, if your apartment has a balcony, you can compost there. Using a worm composter on a balcony will be particularly effective. This will be a particularly good option if you are worried about your compost creating a nasty odor in your apartment. However, there are a few downsides to using a worm compost on a balcony. One thing you should be concerned about when creating a compost on your balcony is that flies are more likely to get to it. As a result, you should be particularly careful as to what foods you put out.
In addition, birds could eat your worms. To prevent this from occurring, you can use some form of cover. You should also avoid putting a worm composter outside if you live in quite dramatic climates, as these may not be suitable for worms. Instead, you should only use an outdoor worm composter if you live in an area with more mild weather conditions.