Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Liquid Fertilizer from Compost? Nice!

What?  I can do what?!  Why did this never occur to me???

Way back when I first began Even Green Boots Leave Trails, I talked about composting.  

Specifically, I talked about the process that's involved in composting: dirt, green and brown materials, as well as what percentage of each component to use.  I talked about my kitchen compost pail and my compost heap that I began in the backyard.

Later, I began yet another compost pile, using a cracked wheelbarrow that had been left here by the former occupants of the house.  I never mentioned this one, largely because there's only so much that needs to be said about my soil creation habits.


That's all changing now, thanks to Amanda, the creator of In Heels and Backwards.  See, she wrote this piece entitled, very simply, "Composting!"  I expected the usual:  How to do it, why it's a great practice, etc.

That's not what I read about.

Well, ok... that was covered... but there was more to it than that!

She used a large plastic garbage bin, did all the proper drilling of holes and addition of materials, and then did something that never once, for all the composting that I do, occurred to me:

"I took the wheels off and placed the bin in a plastic storage container. This is because all the water and liquid that drains out of your compost bin becomes liquid fertilizer and is really really good for your plants."

Oh my gosh!!!

How is it possible that this never once crossed my mind?!  It's so simple, and so perfect!

Composting produces fertile, rich soil for the garden.  The new soil becomes nutrient rich, and provides a healthy growing environment for your garden.  

Composting during the winter helps prepare you for the spring, helping you reduce, or even negate, the need for buying pre-bagged soil to mix into the garden.  That's one less expense you have to worry about!

By placing a plastic container underneath your DIY compost bin, therefore, you get even more benefit from it, as any nutrient rich water drains out.

And here I was, solely looking at my fish tank for this purpose...  

Naturally, I'm now in the process of looking for a plastic storage container that's big enough to place beneath my wheelbarrow!

Her post on composting is really worth checking out.  The entry is a great read, and her photography is outstanding.  I'm really glad I subscribed to In Heels and Backwards!


  1. Hi Becky, Amanda here! I did some more research on this and the stuff that goes into the water catcher needs to be mixed with more water before being used on plants. It's too potent otherwise, and might kill stuff. I suggest waiting until the container is half-full, then filling it the rest of the way with clean water from the garden hose. That should be enough to keep your plants safe. :)

  2. Ah, yeah. That makes perfect sense. I'll have to mix it with water at least once every 2 to 3 days, due to high mosquito populations around here. Thanks for the heads-up!

  3. Here I am again! Now that I read this post I realize I could out my garbage can on a pallet with a tupperwar container underneath, dont you think? It woudnt be a problem for the liquid gold to be touching the wood on the pallets first, right?

    Im only stuck on elavating the garbage can because it rains so often here in the rainy season and the more things you have in constant contact with your roof, the wetter it will be and it may weaken the roof.

    Hmm. Thoughts?

  4. The tupperware container idea is perfect for catching the runoff water. Great call!

    Plastic milk crates on their sides instead of a pallet would even allow multiple small containers to be placed underneath, which would decrease the weight whenever you need to get a hold of the water they're holding. Just be sure to place something heavy along the edges of the crates, on the sides of the garbage can (Rocks, maybe? Or bricks?) so that it doesn't topple over on particularly windy days.

    I wouldn't worry about the runoff touching the pallets first, but I do worry about accumulation of water producing mold on the edges of the tupperware container. I imagine that switching the type of platform to something that gives you even more airflow (like the milk crates, or something along that line of sturdiness) would be the best bet.