A green thumb – a coveted trait that some people seem to possess, while others desperately try to keep their plants alive. But what if there was a place where waste was turned into fertile soil and plants grew to unimaginable heights? Here comes a whole new kind of composting plant!

A composting facility is a great way to recycle organic waste and create nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden. One effective way is to create a compost trench. The trench provides space for the natural decomposition of garden waste, kitchen scraps and other organic materials. Compared to a regular compost pile, the trench has several advantages:

Aesthetics: a trench as a composting facility is more discreet and aesthetically pleasing than an open compost pile.

Thermal regulation: a compost trench benefits from the natural thermal regulation of the soil. The soil acts as an insulator and helps keep the temperature in the compost trench stable. This can lead to more efficient decomposition of the compost.

Protection from the elements: The buried compost bin is better protected from extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, high winds or freezing temperatures.

Protection from animals: A compost trench that is properly constructed is less likely to be visited by animals, such as rodents or strays, that may browse the compost pile for food.

Space saving: A compost trench requires less space than a compost pile.

Here are some steps to help you create a compost trench:

  1. Site selection

Choose a suitable location for your compost trench. A shady area in the garden that is well drained is ideal. Avoid areas heavily populated by animals or areas near water sources.

  1. Size of the trench

Decide how big you want your compost trench to be. Roughly, you can stick to a minimum size of about 3 feet wide, 3 feet long, and 3 feet deep. The larger the compost trench, the more waste can be processed in it.

  1. Preparation of the soil

Remove grass or other plants from the area where you want to make the compost pit. Remove the soil underneath with a garden hoe or shovel. You can redistribute the removed soil in the garden.

  1. Building the compost trench

Begin with a layer of coarse material such as branch cuttings, small twigs or cardboard at the bottom of the trench. This will promote aeration and water drainage. Then add a layer of leaves, grass, or compost that has already been made, as worms thrive in this material. After this step, you can add fresh litter. Repeat these steps until the trench is filled. At the very end, add the compost worms. They accelerate the natural decomposition tremendously.

  1. Moisture and aeration

Keep the compost trench moist, but not too wet. If needed, water the compost or cover it when it rains to prevent nutrients from washing out. To aerate the compost, you can occasionally use a pitchfork to shuffle the pile and add oxygen.

  1. Time and patience with the composting process

Composting is a natural process that takes time. Depending on the conditions and materials in the compost trench, it can take several months to a year for the compost to fully decompose and become ripe for use in the garden. So this is where your patience is needed!

The big advantage is that you can use the area as a nutrient-rich bed afterwards without having to harvest the compost. But even during the composting process, you can plant high-yielding plants in the compost trench, as they will be supplied with nutrients.

Creating a compost trench is a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to reduce waste while providing valuable fertilizer for your garden. Would a compost trench look good in your garden?