Thursday, December 13, 2018

Composting with Chop and Drop in the Garden and Containers

My former compost "barrel" next to the winter compost pit.
I lost the area where I kept my compost barrel and winter compost pit. I still have a garden, so I had to find a way to deal with garden waste.

Our Powell River Garden Club had Linda Gilkeson as a guest speaker. In addition to her excellent information about garden pests and growing techniques, she introduced me to a method called chop and drop. I later read more about it on the Terra do Milho website.

Chopped leaf mulch under the broccoli.
Chop and drop is a form of mulching. It's a good method during the growing season when you only have a small amount of plant material for disposal. Chop your trimmings into small pieces and drop them on the ground around plants. You get the benefits of mulching. For me,it was also a way to dispose of organic waste without taking all the way to town it to town to recycle center. 

Chopped carrot and beet tops protecting my garlic bed.

When the growing season came to an end I had lots of plant material for disposal. I decided to try using my empty half 55-gallon barrel planters for winter composting.

After the first layer of soil came chopped plant matter and Rot-It.

I removed all but the last 6 inches of dirt in the bottom. I layered that with 6 inches of chopped plant matter and a sprinkling of compost accelerator. I use Old Gardener Compost Builder: Rot-It.

Two plant containers with layers of compost processing.

I continued with layers until the barrel was full. I have several barrels layered in this manner. In spring I'll plant my tomato, squash and pepper seedlings in the barrels. The decomposed matter with feed the roots of my new plants.

How do you handle composting? Have you tried the chop and drop or barrel layering method? How did it work for you? -- Margy


  1. I failed at composting. At my old house, I slipped on leaves on my way downhill to the compost bin, injured myself and required months of treatment. At this house, I bought a plastic compost bin at Lowe's, put a couple feet of leaves and peels in there... nothing decomposed! Two years later, still nothing. Now I know why it was on sale.

    1. The bin style is much like our compost toilet. Because of the cool temperatures in winter it takes forever. - Margy

  2. I usually use just weeds, which I remove from the soil for the compost.


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy