If you are looking for a simple and easy way to compost without the hassle and mess of a compost pile, then trench composting is your answer!
Trench composting is one of the oldest methods of enriching the soil. In fact, it has been practiced by nearly every civilization dating back thousands of years.
And for good reason! Not only is it simple to do, it really works wonders for enriching the soil.
What Is Trench Composting?
Trench composting is the practice of burying compostable materials directly into the soil.
And it can be done in two distinct ways, both of which are quick and easy to do.
In fact, so easy, it is often called the ultimate “lazy” way of composting!
The first method, which is called hole or ditch composting, helps to build nutrients into the soil for future crops.
While the second technique, often referred to as “side-dress composting”, helps to fertilize and power existing plants.
Which method is best?
Well, actually they are both great. It really all boils down to the time of year, and what materials you are trying to compost.
Here is a look at both methods, and when and how to use each to compost without a pile.
The Basics Of Hole / Ditch Trench Composting
Hole or ditch composting is by far the most simple of the two methods. And it is a great way to compost large amounts of materials all at once.
Many folks will save their scraps in a 5 gallon bucket or a kitchen composting pail for a week or two, and then bury them all at once in the garden or flowerbeds.
The technique simply involves digging a hole deep and wide enough in the soil to bury whatever scraps you have.
Once the ditch has been filled, you cover with soil, and let the worms and decomposition process work it’s magic.
Within a few months, the materials have broken down and enriched the soil. As with a compost pile, the more shredded the material, the quicker it will decompose.
This method also works great in the fall with leaves. Simply shred them up with your mower, and bury them around in the garden or flowerbeds soil.
You can also put them in whole as well, although shredding again speeds up the decomposition process.
The Side Dress Composting Method
During the growing season, you can also use the power of trench composting as a side dressing to help power existing plants with nutrients and minerals.
This is a perfect way to power plants with everyday kitchen scraps.
Egg shells, coffee grounds, and vegetable scraps are all great for trench composting with the side dress method.
Simply dig a few inches out from the roots of your vegetable or flower plants, and then bury the materials a few inches down in the soil.
As they break down, they provide extra nutrients that the plants use as they grow.
Coffee grounds (filters and all) are perfect for this. They provide trace amounts of nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil. In addition, they help to increase overall soil structure and health.
Crushed egg shells are a good choice to bury around tomato and pepper plants.
As the shells break down, they enrich the soil with calcium. And calcium is a key mineral in stopping blossom end rot for both tomatoes and peppers. (See : Fighting Tomato Blight And Blossom End Rot)
Vegetable scraps like potato and carrot peels break down quickly in the soil to provide extra nutrients as well.
Side dressing with the trench composting method is a great way to use up scraps quickly and effectively during the growing season.
So if you don’t have the room or desire to have a backyard composting bin – try out trench composting! It really is a great way to compost hassle-free!
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