Trench Composting

A third easy diy compost method is trench composting

– more commonly used with crop rotation

Trench composting is way of composting yardwaste by setting up your garden so that you can do a simple three-year rotation of crop: a row of crops, a composting trench, and a path – all side by side.

Instead of burying compost material in separate holes as done in postholing, trench composting involves digging a long pit (usually between rows in a garden) to do your cold composting via soil incorporation.

In other words, you make compost on a regular basis by putting all kitchen and yard waste into this trench and cover the waste with soil.  Gradually the compost trench will fill up and the ingredients/material will be left to decompose throughout fall and winter readying the soil for spring planting.

Year One:

If you are doing your rotation trenching by using a three-year rotation system, begin by dividing your garden into three areas.

In the first year, dig out the trench along the full length of your garden (on either side), every day add table scraps (no meat or dairy) and/or garden waste, and cover with soil.  Use the row next to it to grow crops, and use a third row on the other side of the planted row as a pathway.

Successive Years

In each successive year, the fertile soil of the previous year’s trench is used to grow the crops, your new pathway is where you had crops, and the previous year’s pathway is used as the composting trench.  Thus the garden’s soil is continuously renewed . . . thanks to rotating the trench for trench composting.

Here’s a drawing to help you get a better idea of how you can set up your rows for rotation trenching in year 1, year 2, and year 3.

Other Options:
Although rotating the position of your trenches when doing the trench composting method demands far less space than a conventional composting system, it does require three rows to grow one row of crops. Each garden will suggest its own variations.

Trenches can be dug under the pathways in use . . . one section at a time . . . as the space is needed. In a garden too small for paths, a two-year rotation of crops and trench is fine.

The trench composting method is an easy way to do cold composting right where you need to enrich your soil to grow healthier crops.

My next post will be about Cold composting via Mulching.

Until then. . .

Happy Gardening!
Marcie


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