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?!


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.  


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.

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