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gixxerific
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Building a compost bin in the shade okay?

Well would it be alright to have a compost bin in the shade? I know the main ingredients are air and water ( well compostables too of course). But would the sun's heat/light or lack thereof be of any consequence in composting?

If not I think I found a place to build a bin. It would be against my house, would that be okay as far as bugs an whatnot? What do the composting experts here think about all this?

Thanks,

Dono

cynthia_h
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I've been making compost in the (mostly) shade for quite a long time now. First we lived in a west-facing house on a 25' x 50' lot and the BioStack was jam up against the south fence. Now we live in an east-facing house on a 50' x 100' lot (mostly house, driveway, and redwood tree) and the BioStack is jam up against the south fence. Again.

In the shadow of the fence. Again.

Which is why I always refer to my cool/cold compost operation. But I *do* get compost, just not gobs of it, and just not very quickly.

But...compost happens! :)

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soil
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go for it, of course you can compost in the shade. compost is made by microbial actions not environmental.
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gixxerific
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Yeah I figured as much will have to look for a pallet at work today for a bottom.

That's right I'm actually working today first time in who knows how long.

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rainbowgardener
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congrats on the work!

I also compost in the shade, with my bin under some trees.

I do wonder about having it against your house though, re the critters. Not so much the bugs. The bugs that are in the pile, pillbugs and what not, are there because they like the decomposing stuff. They're not too likely to move away from that into your house. (I think, though my pile does sometimes have a cockroach or two and I wouldn't like having those up against my house.) But then it also does tend to draw mice, which are very mobile and don't live in the pile, just visit it.

I like having my pile well away from the house so I feel like it draws critters like that away from the house, not towards it.

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applestar
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Do you remember TheLorax who had/has her compost bin right outside her kitchen window (well, I'm not sure if it was RIGHT outside) -- but she said she can chuck stuff in it without going outside. 8)

Mine is in the shade almost at the farthest corner next to the shed. It only gets sunrise sun during the summertime. Location was dictated mostly by how the neighbors on either side use their yardspace and least likely for them to come too close to it (first and practically the only one to compost in the neighborhood, can you tell? :roll:). It used to be in a more central (i.e. convenient) location against the back fence, surrounded by the veg garden, but was usurped by the kids' play equipment. :wink:

tk421storm
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So I guess I should ask, though it's ok, is it better to try and attract sun to your pile? I know it's the hot temperatures that kill bacteria and weed seeds - but those temperatures are made by the microbes eating and pooping right?

So, does it make sense to try and paint/stain the outside of the bin a dark color to attract some sunlight? Does that added temperature make the microbes happier?

Toil
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if you have that much sun why not?

many people have so little of it on their property, they would never think of putting anything but plants in a sunny spot.

pile gets so hot on its own that you can hurt your hand. don't worry about the microbes, they can take a bit of sun. Any energy added to the pile will make it run faster.
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gixxerific
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That is not what I wanted to hear about rodents but I knew it was a possibility. What you should have said was "Sure do it no problems at all whatsoever, by no means" :P I do have plenty of fields around me and had at least one mouse in the garage last year. But all the HUGE hawks around here keep them in check.

My dilemma is I really have no other good place to put one. I have neighbors so I must weigh in their interest (somewhat). My yard is not the best place for one, the back 1/6 - 1/8 of my yard drops off at a pretty steep grade. That is where I would put it in a perfect world. I could put it at the north end of my garden but I a HUGE Willow tree there that would make access a pain, if it weren't for this willow my garden would be much longer, yet another Willow on the other side. I thought about putting it down there in one corner but than I would have to build something to keep it level and it would be far from the garden, not convenient.

The opposite (of the garden) side of my yard I plan to make another bed that would be a great choice for compost but, garden plans make it not feasible. Against the house side of that fence is where I can easily take up my fence and drive my truck back there with heaping amounts of leaves, compost, other peoples grass etc.

This has actually been keeping me up at night thinking about where to go. I have been thinking about this since last year. I need to go somewhere, I just don't have a GREAT spot.

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gixxerific
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Back of the house, a good spot if it were not for the critters, still a possibility.
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC03275.jpg[/img]
In this corner, it gets morning sun but is opposite side of garden
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC03277.jpg[/img]
Opposite side of garden proposed new bed here though
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC03278.jpg[/img]
Side of house other side of fence, I drive my truck down here, though I might be able to get around a pile but still opposite side of garden
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC03280.jpg[/img]

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applestar
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Another reason for NOT putting it at the bottom of your sloping garden is that all the composted goodness is going to leach right on down into your back neighbor's yard. :roll:
That proposed new garden area, however, has some possibilities....

To me, that rear wall against the house is just BEGGING for a trellis....

(and WOW I've never seen a central A/C unit on brackets like that)

But no wonder you're having trouble deciding -- lots of unclaimed space there -- too many choices, maybe?

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soil
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ooooh i see a nice terrace garden on that slope gixxerific.
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gixxerific
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Easy you guy's one thing at a time. :lol: :P I this will be my 3rd year here in mid summer. You'll notice those baby evergreens I put them in this year. I pulled out three of those grasses, but don't worry I transplanted them at my neighbors house. :) The middle is a Blue Spruce.

Soil I am going to do something with that slope not sure what yet, but you had a good idea. I was also thinking about bringing a stone wall across between the 2 Willows and filling it in and planting natives, this and that. That's another thread.......

Apple the back of the house is yet another future project, but it is shaded all day 'cept a few hours early and late. In the third pic that is due East the sun comes up basically between the 2 evergreens behind that pool. I am planning on doing something there this year.

Back to compost spot, bottom of yard is out than. I didn't like it much either. If my yard was flat it would for sure go there. That's my problem so many good place but there is a reason not to put one in each place as well. What "I" can give up is the real question. :?

Any other ideas on anything but preferably the Compost pile pick of choice maybe.

rot
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unwanted advice

..

I wouldn't build a bin against the house. At least four feet away I think. Vermin, ants, in-laws should be somewhat removed from the home.

Ideally not far from water.

If it were me I would lay down some pavers next to that patio out back and build the bin on top of that. The pavers will let the worms in but keep burrow critters and tree roots out. You can also sweep up on the pavers after turning. I'm not one to worry about aesthetics though. I guess my long hair can't hide my red neck and I'm more inclined to let form follow function. The other worry about my scheme would be sensitive noses. I noticed the open window in the photo and I use a lot of grass clippings in my piles [I'm starting to get away from that though]. I typically don't have odor problems but it does occur from time to time for two day spells. A couple of warm summer nights and a two day old pile of grass clippings could be uncomfortable.

Out here in dry country, I cover my bins from the sun. The sun just dries things out. I'm wary of the wind too.

Plan B - start with a movable bin and try different spots until you settle on a place that seems to work best with all your trade-offs.

to sense worth

..

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gixxerific
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Thanks Rot and I hope you didn't see an open window I took these pic's yesterday and it was in the 30's. :P Oops I looked at the pics I guess I did leave one open. I was only out for less than 5 min though. :oops:

Okay so near the house is out. I thought about the smell as well. I always had compost, and am aware of the smell, just not a bin, I don't want to use garden space this year my normal spot so I can utilize every inch of it.

I think the downside of my garden will be okay but that Willow there takes that area over dang near to the fence. If not there maybe I can squeeze it in on the other side of the yard. I would also kind of like to put it on the back side of the fence on the left of my house but that 8 foot section there is easily removed for truck traffic so......... I will figure it out.

I believe I will use a pallet from work for the base allowing airflow under it. that would be movable since it will be smaller.

Decision decisions decisions. :?

GardenGeek
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that's ok

Hi

I prefer shade to sun because shade keeps the pile from drying out too quickly. Although composting will take a bit much time but that is not a huge issue

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gixxerific
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I think I may have figured out a place to put it. On the down side of my garden. I hope this works out since I already built the frame for it. It will be a lap jointed wood and wire bin with no bottom. I will put pics up when it's done, I still need to get wire for it. Maybe that will be a mission for today. Yeah spending more money I don't have. :( Though the frame didn't cost me anything I already had the wood scavenged from a jobstite.

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