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Trench Composting

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Trench composting involves simply placing organic matter in a dug trench of your soil. It is very cheap and very simple to do, but there are some things you should take into consideration:

  • This may be best for larger gardens since it is low maintenance, but also because you want to put compost in garden beds that you can let lay fallow for at least a growing season. This method takes a long time to produce finished compost.
  • If you are in an area that prohibits composting altogether, trench composting may be best for you since it isn’t going to attract as many pests or produce as many fun smells as other types of composting! 
  • When you do trench composting, you want to be certain that you have the right ratio of browns to greens. This is because your food waste will be right in the soil –  if organisms need nitrogen to break down brown materials, they will take it right from the soil and make it more likely that whatever you grow next will run into deficient soil nitrogen levels. 
  • If you are trying to practice no-till or low-till in your garden, trench composting won’t work for you. 

If you need a refresher on the basics of compost, use our post on Composting 101 and this infographic to help get up to speed.

A guide to trench composting is here if you would like to go more in-depth to this technique. 

Here is one for sheet (or lasagna) composting.