When DIY Doesn’t Work Out: Composting Edition

Sometimes a DIY project doesn’t entirely work out. In those cases, I am willing to spend a little extra to get the job done in a better way if needed. Most recently, my DIY open air compost idea didn’t turn out as planned. I didn’t have the time to turn the compost as you’re supposed to, and over a few weeks, it went to seed with tons of weeds growing through.

open-air-compost-seed

Unsure what that meant, I let it go, and then decided to read up on it as these giant beings began to take over. When compost goes to seed and you get weeds like this, unfortunately, the compost is unusable (or it can create more weeds in the garden you eventually put it in). Those weeds are sucking up the good nutrients, leaving little behind. In addition, an open air compost can take up to 12 months to fully decompose. Woozers! DIY #fail.

I opted to look into other composting options and open up our backyard area in that space. I removed the hand built chicken wire and pallet wood encasement first.

Then I removed the wood border around the compost area, testing it out in another area if we wanted to place a step garden. I decided on another use for the wood beams below.

compost-open-air-removal

Mr. FM helped me rip out the weeds and mow it all down. This way, we’ll dig it out and fill with fresh soil and grass seed in the fall. You can see one of the peach trees we’re trying to grow in the top left.

open-air-compost

And this is what we ended up getting: a compost bin and rain barrel combo. I couldn’t beat the price compared to other compost options, as it’s easy to turn, easy to load, provides a bonus”compost tea”, and received decent reviews on a variety of sites. We reused the wood border to build up the bin so that we could fit a watering can underneath.

After researching quite a bit, I decided this would be the best price for what we wanted compared to other compost options. It will keep the critters out, get pretty hot in the sun where located and provide us quicker compost. It produces compost in 4-6 weeks, with compost tea run-off into the rain barrel below to help when watering the plants. We just have to connect the downspout to the rain barrel and we’re all set to go!

The first rain barrel we received came cracked on top and without the spout, but the company Earth Easy was awesome to work with and they sent out another rain barrel right away. Once it arrived, it was a snap to setup and it feels like it’ll last quite some time.

While I don’t like to spend on extravagances often, this is frugal living for the modern family and we’re pretty modern I’d say. We wanted to jump on the compost train, and we tested it out with a low-cost idea spending $10 in chicken wire first. I found I enjoyed saving kitchen scraps and in the end, I believe this investment will be worth the cost in the coming months.

Since starting Frugal Momster, I have been on quite the spending spree! It seems unusual, but the frugal living we do every single day affords us the opportunity to make these decisions without hesitation when the time is right for us. Small investments in quality products will save us in the long term, and also provide us a healthier lifestyle today.

Since composting, I’ve felt encouraged to buy lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, because it’s fun teaching our Monkey about composting. He goes out and turns the bin daily for me now, and happily throws his fresh peels in the bin when he’s finished eating. I will take eating healthier food and teaching Monkey something new for the low price of this composter. Health is wealth, definitely.

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