Drivhusklubben/Greenhouse Forum/Gewächshausclub

24 Jul 2023 09:43

A compost bin on your balcony is a great idea.


There are several advantages to composting that you should consider utilizing: vegetable leftovers, leaves, and roots from the garden can be reused along with organic kitchen waste. This not only reduces waste but also produces new soil. Composting saves you a trip to the container with organic waste in the backyard and the need to buy new soil for refilling the beds. Composting isn't just practical; it's also quite easy. Lid off, waste in, lid on, wait, and you're done!


Compost is an excellent natural fertilizer. It is rich in nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as micronutrients necessary for plant growth and health. You can use either the compost fluid or the actual compost itself instead of buying fertilizer to add nutrients to your plants. Furthermore, compost improves the soil's structure and increases its ability to retain water. This means that the soil on your balcony will dry out more slowly, which is very practical during droughts or when you're away on vacation. As you witness the composting process, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between humans and their environment. It becomes clear that plastic and similar materials absolutely do not belong in nature when you see how long it takes for them to break down.

Compost container vs. Bokashi compost bucket vs. worm composting

Composting is great, but why choose a compost container over a Bokashi compost bucket or worm composting? There are three types of composting methods that differ in how long they take to break down, their capacity, cost, and care requirements.

A compost container holds organic materials that break down over time. It usually takes a couple of months for vegetable leftovers to turn into fresh, nutrient-rich compost and compost fluid that can be used as fertilizer. A compost container is inexpensive and can be partially constructed from large, used plastic pots. However, it does take up a fair amount of space on the balcony.

In a Bokashi compost bucket, organic kitchen waste is mixed with microorganisms that ferment in an airtight container. After a few weeks, they produce worm compost and compost fluid. In some cases, the container can even double as a bench for sitting. The worms in worm composting need regular feeding.

Because my balcony is relatively large, I had enough space for a compost container. Due to space and economic considerations, I opted for a DIY compost container. I had everything I needed at home, and it was quickly built. However, my compost container doesn't have enough capacity for all the plant waste generated throughout the year. If I fill the compost container with some of the harvested plants in the fall, I can use the compost to fill up the low beds in the spring.

DIY-compost container for the balcony.

  • A large plastic pot
  • A screw driver
  • A planter that the pot can be placed on


The how to. 

  1. Drill holes in the bottom of the pot with the screwdriver. The pot also needs some air holes, so drill about 20 small holes in the bottom.
  2. The planter should not have any holes, as it needs to collect the compost fluid. Place the pot on the planter and ensure it can't tip over.
  3. Fill the compost container with a little soil and mix in leaves and chopped vegetable leftovers. Remember to water it a bit.
  4. Close the compost container by placing the saucer on top of the pot as a lid.


What belongs in a compost container?

Organic waste belongs in a compost container because it is biodegradable and can easily break down. You can add fruit and vegetable waste, cooled-down coffee grounds, cooled-down tea leaves (without metal clamps), finely crushed eggshells, nutshells, leaves, weeds, and plant waste to the compost container. Citrus fruits should be added in moderation as they take a long time to break down and can lower the soil pH level. Meat, fish, milk products, boiled produce, and diseased plant parts should not be added to the compost as they can spread diseases.