Super-Fast Composting above Ground with a Compot

How to make a super-fast composter above ground with a Compot

Super-Fast composting above ground with an eco-eze Compot is so easy you will wonder why you haven’t tried it yet. It takes all the hard work out of turning compost bays or tumblers. Plus it’s a faster and more efficient at composting more than just your kitchen waste.

Why is above ground composting using a Compot fast and easy?

The strange thing about worms is they want to level out soil all the time. Thus they keep removing all the contents inside your above ground system down into the soil below. All you need do is keep topping up your Compot. And and keep topping up your paper, cardboard and weed waste around your Compot.

The Soldier Flies do all the hard work on the inside of the Compot with your kitchen waste. While the worms do all the hard work on the outside of the Compot with the heavy fibrous waste. The Soldier Flies are so fast and efficient the contents keep reducing inside your Compot. Leachate produced from this process trickles into the soil below and nourishes your garden.

The worms are more efficient at breaking down paper, cardboard and weeds. They work their magic on the outside of the Compot breaking down this fibrous waste. This outer layer of paper and cardboard insulates the Compot thus keeping all the bugs happy inside. If you prefer you can fill this space with soil. I prefer to use paper and cardboard so I can compost more than just my kitchen waste.

All the bugs and critters found inside this system all help move the contents down into the ground below.

This method saves more waste from ending up in your council tip. And without all the hard work usually associated with composting.

That is not to say that other methods aren’t good or don’t work. They do. And all have their place in the garden depending on what you want to achieve. Or how much work you want.

The other methods of composting generally require turning or tumbling. Generally they are slower as well because of their size and how they function.

Using the above ground method with a Compot is is a fuss free super-fast method of composting.

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Compot full of waste inside a rubbish bin surrounded with compostable material

Benefits of using the Compot above ground?

  1. There is no turning required for this method.
  2. The Worms and Soldier Flies look after themselves.

  3. You may never need to empty it.  Just keep topping it up.

  4. You can move it around the garden to any position you like.

  5. There is no smell.

  6. Your worms do not die if you go on holidays.

  7. Your worms do not die if it gets to hot or too cold.

  8. You do not need to monitor your worms. They look after themselves.

  9. You can fit this method anywhere in your garden especially if you have a small garden with limited space or hard caliche or shale soil that you cannot dig into.

  10. It is fantastic as you get older and cannot bend down or you have a bad back.

  11. Anyone in a wheelchair can use this method.

  12. It is twice as fast as in the ground.

  13. You may never need to empty it, depending on how you want to use it.

  14. You can collect tons of beautiful rich composted soil every three months.

  15. All you must do is keep topping it up.

  16. The worms continually remove the contents into the soil below thus nourishing your garden without any hard work from you.

  17. The Soldier Flies are faster than worms at disposing of “ALL” your kitchen waste on the inside of the Compot.

  18. The Worms are better at disposing of fibrous waste like cardboard, paper and weeds on the outside of the Compot in the space between the Compot and the pot plant container.

  19. Together they break down almost all your bio-degradable waste that you produce in the kitchen and small green waste from the yard.  

  20. The worms and other garden critters keep moving the waste down into the ground, so the contents above keep reducing allowing you to keep topping it up.

  21. The waste around the outside of the Compot insulates the bugs inside the Compot so it does not get too hot or too cold for them to survive. Unlike large bays where the contents can get too hot for the worms etc. to survive.

  22. The worms can escape into the ground if it gets too hot or too cold for them, or escape up into the pot plant container if it rains and floods the garden.

  23. Because worms like to even out soil to ground level, they continually remove the contents into the soil below. You will notice this if you have an above ground garden bed that is open to the soil beneath it – the contents need topping up every year because the worms and ants continually remove the soil back into the ground below. It makes a lot of extra work if you have raised garden beds that are open to the soil below.  But it makes your Compot continually work to reduce your waste.

Disadvantages of using the Above-Ground Method

The only disadvantage I can think of is that it only nourishes the top 15cm of your garden bed. As opposed to the inground Compot nourishing deep down at the 30cm layer where most of your plants feed.

Nourishing the top 15cm layer is much the same as applying liquid fertilizer. Some nutrients will be lost to evaporation, but many will work their way down into the deeper layers over time.

And you won’t necessarily get the same 1 meter spread of nutrients around the Compot. But you will get all the nutrients going into the soil in the immediate vicinity.

You cannot compost large branches or twigs with this method either. Most people using this method would put that excess waste in their council bin. Or would mulch it up and put it back on the garden. Other people prefer the bay systems or tumblers for large green garden waste. Horses for courses as they say. Each has it’s place in the garden. It all depends on what you want to achieve, or how much work you want to do.

How to set up your above ground composting system

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Choose a nice pot that suits your garden aesthetics

Find a nice pot plant container which you might like to see in your garden as an ornament. One that matches your garden aesthetics. Or any old pot which has enough space to allow a Compot inside it. The space between the Compot and the pot plant container needs to allow easy access to fill it up with paper or weed waste.

Now fill this space around the Compot with paper, weeds, junk mail, old bills or any bio-degradable waste (not food). Keep the inside of the Compot free for ALL your kitchen waste.

Compot-Inside-a-Pot-Plant-Container
Compot inside a pot plant container

Leave enough space from the top of the pot plant container to cover your Compot with leaves, etc. This keeps the Compot hidden inside the pot plant container while allowing the lid to be covered on top. Roughly 3cm or 1 ½ inches. Do not cover with sugar cane mulch or dirt.

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Picture of pot showing paper around the outside of the pot

Pack old bills, junk mail, take away boxes, or weeds in the space between the Compot and the pot container. This insulates the Compot and keeps all your garden critters happy. You can shred the paper if you want to. It will break down faster if shredded but it’s not necessary. It all depends how fast you want or need to keep packing waste around the outside of the Compot. I personally don’t think it is worth the extra effort to shred the paper. Do not go buying a shredder just for this exercise. Just scrunch it all up and pack it around the outside. As long as it is wet the worms will break it down.

If putting cardboard around the outside, remember to wet it first. This makes it easier to pack around the outside and squash more paper in as well. The top layer of paper can be covered with dirt. Or the same covering you will use to cover the lid, such as hay, leaves or grass clippings. Whatever you use to cover the lid, use this same material to cover the outside contents after you fill your Compot with “ALL” your kitchen waste and lock on the lid.

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Container with food waste and water

You are now ready to fill the Compot up with “ALL” your scraps and wastewater. The water will leach out wetting the surrounding paper and or weeds. Unless you wet the paper before you packed it around the pot. If you think it is too dry you can always add more water. Or water it as you water your plants to be sure you are keeping the outside and inside contents moist.

As you water it you will be flushing all the nutrients from the scraps and paper, into the soil below. This in turn nourishes your plants. However, it only nourishes the top 15cm layer of your garden. Whereas the Compot in the ground will nourish deep down at the 30cm layer where many plants feed.

Compot-Half-Covered-with-Grass-clippings-and-leaves
Lid on top of Compot with grass clippings as a cover

Now lock your lid into place and cover the lid. Use leaves, grass clippings, hay, straw, coconut fiber, pea straw, or lucerne. My favourite next to grass clippings and leaves is shredded bamboo. Never cover with dirt or sugar cane mulch especially if you have a rat problem in your area. The sugar cane mulch releases a sweet smell of molasses which attracts the rats. As soon as they find your Compots they realize there is free food for the taking. Soldier Fly larvae on tap as well. Of course, this does not happen to everyone. If you don’t have a rat problem in your garden, then by all means use sugar cane mulch. You must work out what works for you in your garden.

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Picture of Compot top with Rabbit and other ornaments on it

Get creative and decorate your lid or pot. This way is doesn’t look like a composter but rather a lovely garden ornament. I screwed a hole in the bottom of a bunny rabbit (example above) and attached it to the lid. Another I decorated with pot plant container and plant. Make sure you still have a drainage hole in the pot plant container.

A customer sent in the picture of a gorgeous little house on top of her Compot. You can be as creative as you want to be and add your own touch. Remember to make it easy to remove the lid, and viola! – you have a super fast hidden composter in your garden.

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Scraps ready to fill the above ground Compot

What scraps can I put inside my Compot?

Fill your Compot with “ALL” your kitchen waste. The same as you would put in a Compot in the ground.

Meat, Citrus, Onions, Oil, Dairy, Paper Towel, Old dried-up Beans. Peas, Flour, Nuts, Protein Powder, coffee, tea bags, anything bio-degradable, even your animal waste. Literally everything you produce in your kitchen. Nothing need go in your council bin.

Remember to save all your wastewater as well in the same container with your scraps. Allow the waste to soak for a few days (whatever you can tolerate) This ferments the waste. The fermentation smell attracts the Soldier Fly but deters garden critters and many dogs. Even racoons in Canada.

The water starts the decomposition process and flushes all the nutrients into the soil when you fill up your Compot. Plus, it wets the paper and cardboard around the outside. And if you keep the waste covered in water it should not smell for roughly 3 to 5 days. Though some things (like cat food) go off quicker than other things.

Alternately you can use this method for worms only and therefore fill your Compots with worm friendly food only. It won’t be as efficient, but it will still work, and you will still get beautiful soil from it.

You will get richer soil if you are attracting the Soldier Flies to your Compots. This is because you are putting a greater range of nutrients into the compost mix. Thus the richer outcome. Actually, it is called “Frass” and is way richer than worm castings. Remember to mix it with soil or spread it around your garden. It is too strong to put in a concentrated heap in just one spot. Water it in well and watch your garden grow. Smelly waste to sensational soil.

Or you can take a handful or more of the “Frass” and put in a bucket of water to make an instant organic liquid to fertilise your garden. Remember to dilute it so it is not too strong or you may kill your plants with kindness.

Happy ECO-EZE Compoting.

Here are three videos you can watch as well.

Above Ground composting After Summer
Above Ground Composting After Winter
In Mark’s Garden

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