How the eco-eze Compot Works is a detailed guide of a few simple steps to install a Compot, fill a Compot, propagate with a Compot, empty a Compot or move a Compot. Plus there is lots more info in the FAQ’s and Tips and Tricks
As a rough guide, One ECO-EZE COMPOT per person and One for the Garden is a good starting point. You can always get more if you find you need more. If you are vegetarian, you might find you need two per person and two for the garden
Step 1 – Dig a small hole
- Simply dig a hole for each COMPOT, roughly 30cm deep, and roughly 30cm or more from a tree. Positioning in an ornamental garden or vegetable patch can depend on where you want to put the COMPOT or the type of plants you are growing.
- If you have nowhere to dig a hole, or your soil is impossible to dig, or your garden is overrun with tree roots, then try the “Super-Fast Composting above Ground with a Compot “. This method is like having two in the ground, but it will not nourish your soil deep down at the 30 cm layer as it does with a Compot in the ground. But it saves your back and is very portable. You can literally put it anywhere you like in your garden and nourish your soil whereever you place it, and watch as the contents constantly disappear into the garden below.
Step 2 – Place COMPOT
- Place the COMPOT into the hole level with the ground. This makes the COMPOT virtually invisible in your garden.
- One pot will fertilize and nourish an area roughly 50cm to 1metre around the pot. This area expands the longer the pot is left in the same position and as long as you keep filling your COMPOT to feed your worms and other garden critters plus keeping your garden soil moist. Worms can’t move through the dry soil.
- The COMPOT is totally portable, but there is no need to move it unless you want to. It is small enough and light enough for anyone to move easily.
Step 3 – Fill with organic matter
- Fill your COMPOT with ‘ALL’ your kitchen waste or anything biodegradable, even doggie doos. Food can remain un-chopped. As long as it fits in the COMPOT the Soldier Flies, worms and other composting critters will take care of it.
- Ideally you want to soak your scraps in any wastewater you might be tossing down the drain. This softens the waste, starts the decomposition process, ferments the waste, and makes is easy for all the garden critters to break it down.
- You do not need to add worms to your COMPOT unless the quality of your soil is poor, such as sandy soil and clay soil. The normal earthworms will find their way to your pots. But by all means, add worms (which are specialized worms for composting) if you have bad soil, or there are no soldier flies in your area. If you have the Soldier Flies inside your pot you want to put the worms on the outside of the Compot so they will move around the garden spreading castings.
- You can usually get worms from a Garden Club. Or you can purchase them online. We now have a supplier who will post worms straight to your door. If you live in Brisbane you can choose to pick up and save on post.
- Rotate filling your pots. By the time you have filled your last pot, the first pot should be empty enough to top up with more waste. You don’t need to wait for everything to decompose before you top them up. So just keep topping them up and they will look after themselves. When they get to a point where you can’t fit any more waste in, then let it rest for a while to be sure all the contents are decomposed. Them remove the soil and begin to fill with more waste again.
The COMPOT is designed to save you time, not make more work.
Simply …… Fill …… Forget …… Refill…. when ready
turn your smelly waste into sensational soil
Step 4 – Twist and lock lid into place
- Position your lid in the open slots and twist clockwise to lock into place.
- The lid can be used up right as in the picture or inverted.
- If the pot is near a tree that you normally mow around, then invert the lid so you can MOW straight over the top of your pot.
- The holes in the lid have been removed as lizards were getting caught inside the pot. The Soldier Flies, whose larvae will devour your waste quicker than worms lay their larvae on whatever covering you put over your lid. These are good flies so do not kill them. Their larvae are large and easily distinguishable from maggots when they get big.
- If your COMPOT gets maggots in it, don’t worry. They either will not be able to get out and become further compost, or they get eaten by other wildlife such as birds and lizards creating a mini ecosystem around your pot.
Covering your eco-eze Compots
- Cover your COMPOT with grass clippings, bark, hay, leaves, coconut fibre, bamboo mulch or large garden waste (tree branches) that has been through a mulcher. Do not to cover too thickly with heavy mulch.
- Remember not to cover your COMPOT with soil as this prevents the compost from breathing and prevents the Soldier Flies from finding your waste. Your Compot waste will still decompose if you cover it with soil, but it will take much longer to decompose and is, therefore, less effective. Covering it with dirt is the same as digging a hole in the ground. It just takes too long to decompose. And you might find it hard to locate.
- And don’t use sugar cane mulch either (if you can help it). It blows away for one thing and secondly it appears to attract rats as it emits a sweet smell of molasse. It is fine if you don’t have a rat problem in your area, but when filling a Compot with worm friendly food only, you will almost certainly attract rats who would generally dig this waste up if you buried it under soil unless you buried it at least 30 cm deep so the odour cannot reach the surface. You need to work out what works in your garden and your neck of the woods.
- The heat created inside the pot helps break down the grass clippings placed on top of the COMPOT, adding valuable nitrogen and carbon (if you mow all your leaves and grass together) to the soil while reducing excess weed growth. Continue to cover with grass clippings each time you mow your lawn and watch how quickly the clippings disappear.
- If your pot is not attracting Soldier Flies, you may have to uncover one or two of the holes to allow the odour to spread in the air so the Soldier Flies can smell it on the air. You won’t smell it, but they will. Then cover it up again when next you top it up, to keep it nice and dark inside the pot and to keep out hot or cold air. If you planted your Compots in winter, you may need to wait till Summer to first attract the Soldier Flies. Once they find your pots they will always come back. It can sometimes take up to 3 months for your pots to acclimatise to your area and attract all the right bugs, especially the Soldier Fly and worms in the surrounding soil.
- Your COMPOT should not smell, but sometimes it can when you first start to fill them. Make sure you cover it nicely to filter any of these odours till it acclimatises to your garden. If you have a real problem, you may need to add some cardboard or lime to reduce the smell. I have never had to do this. Under normal circumstances, there should be no smell. Adding cardboard or lime is usually not necessary unless you have really bad clay soil and your pot is not emptying, for which there is an easy fix. See the FAQ’s on composting in clay or sand. I personally prefer to put paper and cardboard in the council bin as they take too long to be eaten by the worms. Or you can follow the “above ground method“ to dispose of paper and cardboard. Or you can wet the cardboard and paper and lay it on your garden bed then cover it with mulch. But you must keep it moist for the worms to eat. Place your irrigation pipe or tape underneath the garden cover.
- If for some reason your COMPOT turns into a sump and fills up with liquid, it means it is not draining into your soil (e.g., really bad Clay soil). Either move the COMPOT to a better location or dig around, and below the pot, (roughly 3in) and fill with cheap potting mix and worms to help break up the soil. It may take a while, but eventually, you will have well aerated, nourished soil. Other horticultural methods may be needed depending on the density of your clay.
- Or it might be a simple case of dry soil which has become hydrophobic. All you need to do is add a teaspoon of liquid detergent into your waste and wastewater. This will break the surface tension of the soil allowing the water and leachate to seep into the soil. There is no harm adding some detergent all the time, but you might prefer to use a bio-degradable detergent. If this doesn’t fix the problem, then use regular detergent- only if your soil is dry. If is it clay or sandy soil then you need to follow the steps to improve clay and sandy soil in the FAQ’s section or tips and tricks.
Step 5 – Rotate to remove
- To remove your pot simply twist it and wiggle it. If it has been in the ground for a long time you may need to dig around it a little as the soil can become quite compacted around it. I personally never move mine unless I am re-arranging the garden. This to me is more work and more time. Much like digging holes to bury your waste, and if you don’t have a big garden eventually you will run out of places to dig holes.
- Just plant a few around your garden, rotate filling them, and then you never need to move them. But if you want to you can. They are very portable and relatively easy to remove with a little jiggling.
Emptying your eco-eze Compots
- Allow one of your Compots to rest for 4 to 6 weeks before you empty it so you can be sure all the contents have fully decomposed. This ensures you spread well-composted soil around your garden.
- When emptying your COMPOT simply dig out the soil with a trowel or your hand, removing bones and large objects before you spread it around your garden. You can mix the bones in with your soil to help aerate the soil but beware if you are mowing over them. They have a tendency to find their way to the top and can be flicked out of the mower if you are mowing over your Compots, causing harm to you or someone else. Alternately, lift the pot out the ground and spread the soil around your plants, or use the soil for your indoor plants or for propagating seeds.
- You can use the pot like a sieve by shaking the soil around your garden. All the bones and big seeds will be saved inside the pot to then dispose of in your bin. I personally just leave mine in the ground and scoop the soil out with a trowel or my hand. But do whatever works for you. Just remember it is very rich soil so spread it around the garden. Do not put it around the base of a plant in large quantities or it may kill your plant from over fertilising.
Step 6 – To Propagate – Reverse lid, fill with soil, plant seeds
- You can use your COMPOT to grow plants from seeds. Simply reverse the lid and place in the slots of the COMPOT. DO NOT LOCK the lid in this position or your Compot Top will not lock into place.
- Fill the lid with the composted soil you have created, or buy some potting mix. (Be aware that your composted soil can be very rich so remember to mix it with your potting mix or garden soil). Plant your seeds and water to begin propagation. It is now ready to cover with the COMPOTTOP.
- You can also use toilet rolls as an easy way to propagate seeds and you will never run out of toilet rolls. When sprouted simply lift the toilet roll out of the lid and plant directly in the garden. At this point if you have a particularly sensitive seedling you can cover the seedling, in your garden with the Compot Top and secure in place with the stakes – See Step 8. Excellent for protecting new seedlings in the garden.
Step 7 – Twist COMPOTTOP into place
- Position your COMPOTTOP over your seedlings on top of the Lid and put a little downward pressure on the Top as you twist it clockwise to lock it into position. Your COMPOTTOP now acts like a terrarium, maintaining a moist, warm environment for your seedlings to grow and thrive.
- The heat created in the pot below also warms your seedlings. Remember to water your seedlings occasionally. If you find they are drying out too quickly it means the water is draining out too quickly. Simply place some paper in the bottom of the lid before you fill it with soil or use organic soil and coconut coir to help retain water.
- Replant the seedlings in your garden when they are ready.
- The holes in the top of the COMPOTTOP allow for gases to escape and water to get in. You can line up the holes on top of the pot with toilet rolls below to make watering the seeds easy. You, therefore, do not need to remove the Top when you are watering your plants, but you can if you want to. You will find the plants grow faster underneath the COMPOTTOP, but results will vary depending on the time of year, your location, climate and what you are trying to grow. Like all gardening, it can be a trial-and-error process. Fortunately, I have had mostly successes. Give it a go yourself. It’s fun and easy, especially for the kids.
- You can also use your COMPOTTOP directly in your garden to grow your seedlings. Plant your seeds, water, and cover with the COMPOTTOP. Secure the COMPOTTOP in the ground with the stakes provided to keep vermin and birds out. Your COMPOTTOP now acts like a terrarium in your garden. See Step 8.
Step 8 – Drive in stakes
- Use the stakes to secure the COMPOTTOP directly in the ground if propagating directly in your garden. This keeps all the slugs, bugs, birds, and possums from feasting on your new seedlings or baby plants.
- The stakes can also be used on the rim of the COMPOT or through the holes in the base of the COMPOT to secure the pot in the ground to prevent dogs from digging it up. However, feedback from people suggests big dogs can be an issue. So, if you have big dogs then refrain from putting meat in your Compots or follow the simple solution covered in the FAQ’s section of how to soak your scraps to deter dogs. But if you don’t want to use your Compot for your kitchen waste, then use it for your doggie doo waste. It works a treat. Just remember to put your doggie doos by an ornamental plant and not in your veggie patch. If your dog eats his own waste, then unfortunately you will have to put the Compot somewhere where your dog can’t access. Test it first with their waste and the fermented waste, with and without meat, to see if it does deter them or not. Only you know your dog.
- Remember to cover your Pot with grass clippings, leaves, hay, bamboo mulch, coconut fibre or straw. This will filter any odours (which you should not be able to smell) and keep the hot air out in summer and the cold air out in winter. Basically, you can cover it with anything that allows it to breathe. You don’t have to do this, but it makes a difference to how quickly and efficiently the waste decomposes.
- Remember not to cover with dirt or sugar cane mulch.
- You can put anything in your COMPOT except chemicals or anything treated with chemicals.
- Medicated animal excrement should be OK by a big tree, not in your veggie patch.
- Whatever goes in your Pot reduces your council waste and methane gas thus helping the environment. You can’t be perfect so just do the best you can. 🙂
Happy Simple ECO-EZE COMPOTing. Vicki