Composting

GUIDELINES FOR COMMUNAL COMPOSTERS – Use and Maintenance

Maple Community Garden is moving to the use of Communal composters due to space constraints. Although some Sections may decide to have a composter within their own Section, all Sections will have access to the Communal composters as outlined below.

Communal composters for all to use are located in Sections 4 and 5. These composters have been lined at the bottom with wire mesh to deter rats tunneling through the plastic bottom.

  • Section 4 composters can be used by Sections 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • Section 5 composters can be used by Sections 5, 6, and 7
  • Please be respectful of Sections hosting the composters.

We plan to keep composting simple, clean and rodent resistant by following these guidelines.

GOOD STUFF TO GO IN:

  • Grass clippings
  • Green (fresh) and brown (dried) garden trimmings – stems, twigs, leaves and roots must be cut up into 3 to 4 inch chunks to compost faster and take up less space.
  • Leaves are a great addition and necessary for a healthy, balanced compost. Gather leaves in the fall, store in plastic bags or containers, add in as needed to create layers.  Soil or manure can be added from time to time to introduce the good bacteria needed for composting.

DO NOT PUT THIS STUFF IN:

  • Do not put in Kitchen scraps from home…it will attract rats, racoons and flies.
  • Invasive weeds, weed seeds or roots, such as morning glory, creeping buttercup, gout weed. See the website for photos of these invasive plants under ‘Gardening Tips/Plant Info’   http://maplecommunitygarden.ca/gardening-resources/gardening-tips/
  • Diseased plants or soil materials such as tomatoes or potatoes with blight, leeks / garlic with rust. Ask if you are in doubt.
  • Do not put in pine needles as this will create an acidic soil.

MAINTENANCE GUIDELINESwe will review at work parties to provide guidance.

  • Please cut up all plant material into 3 to 4 inch chunks – stems, twigs, leaves and roots.
  • Create layers as available green (fresh) and brown (dried) plant materials as well as any manure or soil to aid in the breakdown of material. Think of making lasagna layers.
  • Turn often by forking over a few times at least once a week, or whenever you add new material, to mix and incorporate composted material with new garden waste.
  • Keep the compost material moist but not wet. Dry material will not compost. In summer add water to keep material moist…make sure it is not soaking wet.
  • Check the composter often for potential infestations with rats…they like it warm and dry, but not moist or damp…a good reason to keep the composters from drying out.
  • Ants also like to make their nests in composters…you just need to turn the material often and moisten the nest area to deter them.
  • It takes about a year to produce well broken down material. Less if material is cut into small bits and turned over often.
  • When we remove the compost we can take the well composted material from the access panel at the bottom, or wait a full year to empty it out and start over.

Send questions to:   with the Subject Line ‘Composters’ and a member of the executive will respond.   Guidelines will be reviewed and revised as needed.      

If you would like more information, there will be opportunities at the work parties to learn and assist in compost maintenance.

Thank you.

The Executive, Maple Community Garden  [May 24, 2015]