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Composting – What method is the best for you?

Choosing the right method of composting depends on each individual and as you can imagine, there are pros and cons to each.

Layers of compost
Layers in an aerobic style Keyhole compost bed

Aerobic Method (Requires air) 

If you are an active gardener who produces a large amount of yard waste then likely the Aerobic method of composting is right for you. Aerobic composting will produce large amounts of compost in proportion to the amount of yard waste contributed. If done right, it has little odor and will produce compost at very little cost. The cons are that in order to have an effective and efficient aerobic composting pile – it takes effort in the form of turning the contents of your pile to make sure sufficient air is present.

Anaerobic Method (No air)

Anaerobic Composting - no air.
Anaerobic Composting – no air.

Anaerobic composting is sometimes valued for a family interested in mid-size waste reduction and may be more suited for a non-active gardener. Advantages include waste reduction in the kitchen and minimal effort. However, the anaerobic method tends to take longer to complete. Along with that, anaerobic composting tends to generate unwelcome smells. To reduce the smells, a special sealed container is usually recommended which requires a bit of up-front investment.

Worm Composting Method

Worm composting is for the smaller young family with little space or no yard. The finished results are called vermiculture worm castings which have high beneficial nutrients as a soil additive. The cons to worm composting is that it tends to attract fruit flies in the summer. It also requires more monitoring than usual. There is a cost associated with purchasing worms and potentially containers.

Worm Composting
Worm Composting