Rolling Compost Pile Method of Composting

I am committed to organic gardening. My vegetable garden is treated for insects with home made remedies and I control weeds by pulling and with vinegar.  I do not use chemical fertilizers, but instead add organic matter formed through composting. I don’t use a compost bin, but instead use a rolling compost pile.

Composting is super easy with a rolling compost pile

Rolling compost piles give rise to all sorts of gardening experiments.  I once tried planting directly in the compost to see what happened.  Hint…BIG vegetables!

A Rolling Compost Pile makes for easy composting.

Gardeners know that adding compost to gardens will enrich their soil and help to grow better flowers and vegetables. There are many types of compost piles which can range from fancy to very simple.

I have tried various methods of composting and have found that I don’t like large wooden bins.  For me, they are cumbersome looking, and it’s awkward to get to the finished compost. Commercial bins are great but expensive. My preference is a rolling compost pile.

Basically, you add compostable materials to one pile at one end of your garden and keep adding until it gets to about 3 or 4 feet tall. 

compost pile

Original compost pile with browns and greens starting to break down

Water it for a while, and when it starts to decrease in size, use a pitch fork or shovel and “roll” the pile over to an area about three feet from the original by picking up the compost and move it down the row. 

Pile has been turned once and is in the process of becoming compost

Pile has been turned once and is in the process of becoming compost

This leaves the original area free to start a new pile and you begin again.  When the pile you moved has decreased again, “roll it” to the next clear space, go back to the one before, roll that, and start in the clear area with more compostable material. 

Very fast method of composting

By the time you get to the end of your composting space, the compost will have broken down well and you will be easily able to use scoop it up, screen it and use it in your vegetable gardening beds.

See how I screen my compost with a plastic garden trays.

Finished compost read for screening

Finished compost read for screening

This method is fast and very easy on the back!

Rolling compost piles are not the tidiest looking things on the block, so if this is a factor for you, it may not be your first choice.  I have mine located behind a large play house along a wire fence that has been boarded at the back. The area is about 10- 12 feet long and works great for me and is out of sight.

In the fall, another great way to get compost is to collect all the leaves in a large bin and let them decompose.
See more on leaf mold here.

How do you screen your compost?

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