It’s Time For a Fall Garden/What Can I Compost?

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Our summer garden did remarkably well, especially for being organic.  I knew, being pregnant, I didn't want to mess with any kinds of chemicals or pesticides that weren't natural.  Our okra is taking off in this extreme Texas heat, but everything else is definitely end-of-season quality.  It was a very satisfying experience though, for our whole family!

Now it's time to start planning our fall garden.  I don't have big plans, but I do know I want to plant carrots, lettuce, and snap peas.  I have big concerns that the soil has been depleted of the valuable minerals and nutrients that are needed to sustain a fall garden.  We received a Toter composter at no charge to review and in July, we began piling it up with compostable items, and the compost is beginning to be ready!  How exciting can turning old yucky stuff into nutrient rich compost for our garden?!

Toter

I have looked at a lot of composters and have been very satisfied with the Toter composter.  It came with an indoor collection bucket that has been oh so helpful so we don't have to have an open container in the kitchen.  It is also a great reminder to think before we throw things in the trash.  Can this be composted?  I wasn't sure, so I did a little research!  Here's a list of things you can throw into your Toter composter:

  1. fruits and veggies, of course
  2. coffee grounds AND filters
  3. toilet paper and paper towel rolls
  4. tea bags (remove the staples if there are any!)
  5. paper napkins or paper towels
  6. paper
  7. wood chips
  8. cardboard, ripped into small pieces
  9. hay
  10. cut grass
  11. lint
  12. pasta
  13. rice
  14. bread
  15. popcorn
  16. paper bags, ripped into small pieces
  17. cereal
  18. corks
  19. paper egg cartons
  20. pine needles
  21. leaves
  22. matches
  23. toothpicks
  24. hair – human or pet hair
  25. paper muffin cups
  26. facial tissues
  27. bamboo or wood skewers
  28. cotton balls
  29. old cotton clothes
  30. wool
  31. wood ashes
  32. sawdust
  33. pencil shavings
  34. the stuff you clean out of your vacuum cleaner!
  35. flowers
  36. crepe paper
  37. egg shells
  38. vines
  39. garden soil
  40. latex balloons
  41. corn cobs
  42. gelatin
  43. feathers
  44. limestone
  45. soy products
  46. peat moss
  47. tree bark
  48. cotton swabs
  49. citrus waste
  50. potato chips
  51. nut shells
  52. straw

The list really goes on and on and on.  Toter recommends not adding these things to your compost pile:  meat, bones, fats, oils, dairy products, diseased plant material, feces from cats, dogs, birds, pigs, and humans.  Some suggest adding urine to your compost pile to speed up the process, but well, that's up to you!  I'm not sure I'm on board with that one yet.  

The Toter composter is SO easy to use.  Simply follow the guidelines on the lid, fill up your kitchen collection bucket, and check on your composter every few days.  It really doesn't require much work at all.  

compost

The Toter composter looks like a regular dumpster on wheels.  BUT it's what's on the inside that works.  There is a handle and "stirrer" that mixes up the compost.

composter(photo courtesy of Toter)

 Then, the finished compost falls through the grate into the loading chamber, ready to use in your garden!  Just open the door at the bottom and use what you need, all while more compost is forming in the top of the composter.  This video shows exactly what happens in the Toter:

Benefits of the Toter Composter:

  • self contained system that requires no setup
  • aerates compost from within
  • finished compost falls through the loading chamber into the holding chamber just by turning the brush handle
  • made with up to 50% recycled content
  • BPA free
  • polyethylene construction
  • wood slat design
  • latched lid keeps animals (and rain) out
  • 2 year warranty

You can purchase a Toter composter at Amazon or Home Depot for around $230.  Find out more information at the Toter website, Facebook page, Twitter, and Pinterest pages.  

Are you an avid composter?  Have any tips to share with me?

{The giveaway has ended and Katie R. is the lucky winner!}

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Gena is the mom of three boys, ages 5, 3, and brand new! She is the wife of a great man, a Christian, blogger, and former kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mom. They live in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth, Texas area.

Comments

  1. Marian Boll says:

    LOVE THIS CONTEST to keep my neighbor cleaner by me just doing this one action is great

  2. If I won I would give it to my father. He has a great landscape going on and he plants all kinds of things from flowers to fruit trees to veggie vines!

  3. Enizete Lane says:

    Would love to start using a composter for my organic garden….

  4. Cindy Peterson says:

    Composting made easy.

  5. Jennifer Rogers says:

    Yes we garden and love it.Decomposition does take awhile with composting, the best tip is to mix it regularly as it decomposes! 

  6. Tari Lawson says:

    I would like to grow herbs.

  7. Dorothy Teel says:

    One thing my mom used to say is if its brown paper, boxes it can be composted, and it is important to turn the compost at times with pitchfork to keep it alive so it can brak down appropriately and don't put meat in the bin.

  8. We just started our garden this year and learned what didn't work. Next year I would like to plant more zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant.

  9. I like to grow hot peppers and tomato plants. I had one plant that did extremely well. It grew over six feet tall. I used Jerry Baker tips from his book.

  10. We have a very large garden and I would love to start composting. I think that would be a definite help to our gardening.

  11. Ann Fantom says:

    We grow strawberries, corn, tomatos, peppers, peas, pumpkins, lettuce and cucumbers in our garden

     

  12. I have a salsa garden growing….lots of tomatoes!

  13. I sometimes use coffee grounds in the garden. Seems to help!

  14. Suzanne K says:

    I'd be careful and NOT add cat or dog food since they do have at least some meat/meat by products in them.

  15. love to grow corn and tomatos and squash

  16. Margie Young says:

    I'd love to grow lettuce and spinach !!

  17. Amanda Alvarado says:

    I would love to grow strawberries, tomatos, jalapenos, different types of lettuce, cucumbers, and squash.

  18. Diane Cooper says:

    The most important tip I have about composting is to turn often.

  19. Anne Perry says:

    I use dr. bronner's castile soap on my garden to keep bugs away

  20. I'd love to grow tomatoes and herbs!

  21. I like to grow veggies.  This year we have cucumbers, squash, green bell pepers, and tomatoes. 

  22. Don't really have any tips but we love to grow tomatos.  They are always a summer staple in our house.

  23. mickeyfan says:

    Instead of catching our grass to mulch around plants (we like to leave it in the turf) we use newspapers.

  24. I would love to grow a little of everything. we are beginners and would love to go completely green within the next 5 – 8 years. We want to become self sufficient..

  25. I would love to grow tomatoes

  26. Jennifer Aikens says:

    I would really love to have some tomatos but it is really hard growing anything out here in Phoenix!

  27. Cindi Decker says:

    I don't have any tips but love my flower gardens.

  28. im really new to gardening and composting and trying to learn more… thanks everyone for the tips!!!

  29. Carrie Peck says:

    I am just getting started in gardening so I am excited to get some fruit and veggies going!! 

  30. My hubby tries a garden every year, but it doesn't do really well. I think it's poor soil and this composter would really help. He loves tomatoes, but they just don't produce well here.

  31. Robin Wilson says:

    I would love to ave an herb garden!

  32. We grow tomatoes and cucumbers. We had so many this year we gave lots to family and friends!

  33. Coffee grounds are good for composting.  I also use my chickens poop!

  34. Monique Rizzo says:

    I have just started gardening, so I have no real tips, but I am enjoying everyone elses!

    Thanks for the chance.
    mogrill12@gmail.com

  35. I harvested my crop of onions & now I want to grow more onions. I'm still baking with my pears.

  36. Currently we are growing tomatoes & bell peppers. I want to grow onions again.

  37. My garden is kind of odd. By chance, I am growing Jalapenos and really tall wild Sunflowers.

    They are both sturdy and don't really need my care that much.

  38. Despite my black thumb, my daughter and I have been gardening. We {successfully} grew peas and sunflowers. Unfortunately the cucumbers didn't get pollinated {after reading about manually pollinating online I know what to do next year!}. It may not be much, but considering we rent and are limited to containers for now… I was happy!

  39. We had a garden this summer and grew corn, and watermellon, with some pumkins that should be ready by Halloween. I have tried to compost, but I don't get very good results. Probably because I don't turn it enough.

  40. Danielle Porter says:

    I grow black berries, raspberries and I just planted a pomogrante tree. Seasnal crops normally consist of tomatoes and sugar snap peas!

  41. I like to grow a salsa garden, tomatoes, jalapenos, green peppers and cilantro!

  42. I would like to grow lettuce and tomatoes for salads.

  43. I'd love to grow vegetables but the soil here is so full of clay, some compost would help.

  44. Our family needs to compost all the wastes from our garden and food that we eat. I started teaching my class about how to make our planet green and what started as Social studies and Science lessons has caught on with my elementary students.

  45. michele p says:

    we like to grow tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, carrots, cucumbers and green peppers! 

  46. I would like to grow some pumpkins.

  47. I like to pull a few weeds here and there so there is never an abundance. I don't have too many gardening tips though, we just bought a house this year and gardening is something I'm trying to learn. Would love to win this.

  48. Angela Cash says:

    I love to grow fresh herbs and seasonal vegetables. I am also trying my hand at growing a succulent garden.

  49. I'd especially like to grow tomatoes, strawberries and melons.

  50. Jill Myrick says:

    We have a lot of red clay dirt here so every year we mix several bags of topsoil into our garden. Over the years it has really helped build our soil up and helped us grow bigger and better vegetables.

    jweezie43[at]gmail[dot]com

  51. We have a big garden & I grow everything from tomatoes to pumpkins!  This would be great to have

  52. I'm hoping to grow lots of string beans and bell peppers!

  53. we grow tomatoes, cucumers, watermelon and cantalopes

  54. Julie Harris says:

    I would love to win this for my parents, they would grow onions, tomatoes, green beans, peppers and more, fingers crossed!

  55. I like to grow lettuce and cucumbers.

  56. I love the idea of using a compost bin since we're planning on moving soon. That would make taking the compost along easier!

  57. Great ideas! 

  58. I cannot wait to start composting again, this post is very inspiring :)

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