When the word hears compost, you may think that it needs a good amount of backyard space. There is an alternative method that we can easily make compost in an apartment or condo balcony. However, it needs the correct equipment. Indoor composting easier and faster and it does not make any odor or attract pests.
When compost Indoor the main issue is it attract flies, rodents, and odor (especially methane). Because it uses aeration. Unlike the traditional compost pile in the backyard, this method we have to use an air-sealed method. In a closed airtight system, not face such a challenge. That is the main advantage of this system.
In a properly managed compost bin, you can easily compost indoors. In an apartment or condominium, you can mainly use food waste, coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, and fruits. These food scraps are rich in nitrogen and carbon. Vegetable scrap, coffee grounds rich in nitrogen, and fruit scraps rich in carbon. Adding balance vegetable and fruit waste you can manage the correct nitrogen and carbon ratio in your organic indoor compost.
When adding food wastes, you have to chop everything into the smallest pieces. It will improve the decomposing process. Earthworms and red worms can reduce the decomposing time, but we cannot use them. It will mess up everything. Therefore, in an apartment, you have to compost without worms.
Never, add dairy, meat, and fish scraps to your home compost bin. These things will attract pests and rodents and made very bad smells. Though if you use air sealed Bokashi method, it is not a big issue.
There are several options to compost in an apartment balcony. This method highly uses advanced equipment than traditional backyard composting. Depending on your apartment space and your budget, you can select either one method.
Compost In An Apartment Without Worms.
On an apartment balcony, we can compost without worms and maggots. There are mainly three options.
- Apartment Compost tumbler.
- Bokashi indoor compost bin.
- Electric composting.
Apartment Compost tumbler.
Compost tumbler uses traditional composting methods without a bad smell. This is a raised compost pile and periodically you can easily be turned. You can add food waste, vegetable, and fruit scraps, but never use meat, cooked foods, and dairy products. It will give a bad smell. Once the indoor compost tumbler is full, rotate it every 5 days to provide more aeration. Leave it for a while to properly breakdown the food scraps. You can get compost in around 4-6 weeks.
When you are selecting an apartment compost tumbler you have to select a leakproof version to prevent spreading compost tea on your balcony. Most of the tumblers are odor controlled. When you are doing balcony composting the biggest challenge is space. But this apartment compost tumbler is portable and most of the device.
When you are shopping tumbler check its the drum is plastic or metal and drum capacity. Also, some of them come as single or dual chambers.
This one of the popular methods. In this method, you can use dairy, meat, and fish scraps too. Unlike the traditional aerobic composting, the Bokashi bin method uses an anaerobic process, which means keep the air sealed closed system. This method can use any biodegradable waste. It uses microorganisms (Bokashi bran) to anaerobically ferment food scraps. Due to its airtight method, it does not attract insects and there is no odor. You can get compost for around two to three weeks. This is one of the easy and rapid methods for compost in an apartment or condo.
Bokashi bran is home to millions and billions of friendly microbes. These essential microbes help to break down the foods and soft kitchen scraps in the Bokashi bucket. This bran consist of microbes, sugar, wheat, or rice bran.
Since it uses an anaerobic method no need to turn the compost pile periodically. In this method, every couple of days you will receive Bokashi tea (also called Compost Tea), which is a liquid that generates as a by-product. It is rich in nutrients, bacteria, fungi, and other microbes, which are essential for organic gardening. If you put too much compost brewer into the soil it will burn the plants’ root system. Using high nitrogen not good for plants. You can mix compost liquid with water and add it to your plants. The ideal Bokashi tea recipe is 1 teaspoon of Bokashi tea to one galloon/3.7 litter water. It is rich in nitrogen and other nutrients.
Worms in Bokashi bucket: If this is, sounds organically breakdown materials, we cannot use earthworms and red worms. Bokashi composting is a more acidic process. Bokashi pre-compost has the 3-4pH level, though in the final stage has 6 – 8 pH level. Worms cannot live in acidic and fewer oxygen conditions. Even so, adding the final product to the soil is not harmful to the worms and plants.
Maggots in the Bokashi compost bin is a rare chance, do not worry. They cannot live a long time. Due to its airtight and high acidic level, they die quickly. The dead larva provides more nutrients (protein) to your indoor compost bin. Once the bin full, you can place it on the apartment balcony.
This is another easy indoor compost bin with no smell. Technically, it is not a complete compost. However, we can get nearly composted final products. Because it does not provide a fully cooked compost mix. This electric compost tumbler free from odor and methane so it is totally safe.
Electric composter uses aeration. First dry foods scraps, kitchen waste using heat air, and then grinding them into small parts and cool down the heated materials. This electric composter can reduce the food scraps water and reduced size around 90% (from its original volume) within few hours (around 5-6 hours). It is just like compact the garden leaves using leaf mulcher. You can use meat and processed foods in this apartment compost bin.
This electric indoor compost bin can provide a final product as powder-like small particles. They can directly burry in your indoor pots and containers soil for further decomposing. Once the final product is incorporated with the soil, it can release nutrients to the plant’s root system with the help of water.
Organic compost has a high bacterial population, but this rapid composting method does not have enough time for bacteria growth. Moreover with drying process can kill most of the friendly bacteria. Unlike the Bokashi composting, this method does not provide bacteria, microbes, and nutrients rich compost tea. In a limited space environment, this is one of the good alternatives to provide organic fertilizer to your indoor plants.
Common Questions & Answers in Apartment composting.
How To Compost In An Apartment Without Worms?
You can use either the apartment compost tumbler or the Bokashi bin. These two methods prevent flies, worms, and maggots’ growth in the indoor compost pile. Tumblers and bokashi buckets are sealed containers. So these pests, not able to access.
Are rotating compost bins any good?
The simple answer is Yes. The main advantage of these rotatable compost bins and compost tumblers is that they provide easy aeration for decomposing. Good ventilation especially oxygen requires microorganisms to breakdown the organic matter.
Can you put worms in a rotating compost bin?
Introduce worms to the tumbler not provide any benefits. When the organic matter decomposes temperature in the chamber gradually rises. If you place the bin on your balcony it can exposure to direct sunlight. The earthworms and redworms can not survive at high temperatures. Above room temperature, they will die. So there is no benefit to adding worms to compost tumblers if it’s air sealed. Though adding red wiggler to compost bin more beneficial.