No Waste Gardening: The thermal composter turns garden waste into brown gold

After the hot and dry summer, I have to say goodbye to my compost heap for good. To be honest, it has never worked out really well with both of us. why? It’s just way too dry in my garden and the microorganisms responsible for decomposing the organic waste can’t work properly or die completely. The garden waste therefore remains waste and is not converted into valuable compost soil. Since I don’t want to buy compost soil in the long term, but urgently need it for soil improvement in my vegetable beds, now comes Plan B: The Thermocomposter!

Arguments for a Thermocomposter

On the net, I made myself smart about the alternatives to the conventional compost heap and came across the Neudorff thermal composter with enthusiasm. Perhaps you think now: “What’s “Zero Waste” about it, it’s made of plastic!” That is true, but at least from recycled plastics – I think that is a good compromise to finally produce compost soil from my garden waste. I would like to briefly show you the advantages that such a thermal composter entails:

  • The thermal composter is double-walled insulated and lasts much longer to maintain the heat generated during decomposition.
  • This also makes much faster progress with rotting, because heat is the secret behind the implementation process. This means that you can get to the rich compost soil after only 3-4 months! In winter, even the thermocomposter sooner or later stops decomposition. If frost prevails for a long time, the cold creeps into the composter. But in the spring we start again with full power.
  • Since the material does not dry up from the edge as in an open compost rental, the rotting is much more even and you end up with a nutrient-rich mulch compost. This means that small branches or parts of plants are still visible.
  • Removing the finished substrate is easy! You just open the lower flap and you’ll get the brown gold!
  • Since composting is much faster than in an open compost rental, I don’t need that much space.
  • Elaborate implementation is eliminated. However, in the course of composting, the material should be mixed with the help of a manure fork. This allows you to see if there are dry nests or if the compost is too wet and counteracts accordingly.
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The ideal location

With this type of composting, it is not so important where the composter is placed. But it shouldn’t get too much sun – a semi-shady place is ideal. Personally, I have made sure that it can be reached quickly, that you get to him from several sides and that he is a little hidden. It doesn’t smell, but purely visually, such a thermal composter is not really an eye-catcher.

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Food for the Thermocomposter

For something good to come out at the bottom of the flap, the right thing has to be done at the top – you are what you eat especially for the compost heap! Especially now in autumn, a lot of garden balls are used. I add a natural compost starter the first time I fill it. If you want to do without it, you can get some buckets full of compost soil from your neighbour and mix them under the garden waste. This will speed up the rotting process.

This all wanders into my composter

  • Foliage of fruit trees or bushes.
  • Remains from the vegetable beds such as.B. tomato plants that are still cut into small pieces.
  • Eggshells: i crumble as best I can
  • Lawn cut: fresh lawn cut faults very quickly. If it is at all, it should be slightly dried beforehand and added in small quantities.
  • Coffee grounds: I dry this and then scatter it evenly over the compost.
  • Tea bags: only without metal clamp.
  • Kitchen waste: vegetable bowls or apple brushing.
  • Branches or pruning must be neatly crushed beforehand. A chopper is a good place to be. Only then will the material decompose quickly and evenly.
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Basically, everything that goes into the composter should be made small. Only then can the industrious microorganisms quickly exploit the materials. A chopper is handy here. Otherwise, you can also drive with the lawnmower over hedge cutting or raspberry rods.

You don’t come in here!

There are also organic wastes that should not be used by composters as they rot badly or attract vermin, such as:

  • Meat
  • Citrus fruits
  • Banana peels
  • very large seeds, such as those of mangoes or avocados
  • Unloved weeds such as Girsch or Dandelion, if the roots are included. Weeds that have already formed seeds also remain outside.

If the composter is full (my copy holds 530 liters) it’s time to wait. It takes about 3 to 4 months for the brown gold to appear. In order for this to happen, everything has to be done right in advance and take care of the compost – just throw everything in and hope that gold will come out of it unfortunately does not work out. A compost needs a little care, just like our plants 🙂.

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