Trench Composting FAIL!

As of last year due to odor problems in the regular trash we have been throwing organic trash in a separate bin outside.  I wanted to try vermicomposting, but our weather here is extreme and I can effectively regulate the temperature in the bins to keep the worms alive.  Last year the bin outside was invaded by some kind of fly larva and decomposed everything at a rate quicker than we could feed them.  They multiplied like crazy and the odor smelled like something out of a polluted sewer.  I just left it because I figured that the larva poop might be beneficial and they were decomposing our trash.  When the snow melted I threw the bin in the corner of the garden because there was still a massive amount of dead or dormant larva.  This year we amassed about a trash can full of organic trash and I thought I would give trench composting a go.  I read a few articles about it and it seemed easy and people who planted on top said they got good results.  So late March I dug a trench about 2 feet deep that ran across my garden where I was going to put my tomatoes.

dug trench

I spread the compost evenly and lightly across the bottom of the trench.  And then I refilled the trench with the dug out soil and covered it with plastic.  My tomatoes would be planted in the middle of May giving the trench contents almost 2 months to decompose.


ready for tomatoes

However what I didn’t expect was the local kamoshika to come dig everything up.  This deer/goat looking creature has an incredible nose and has foiled all my previous attempts at just digging a hole in the garden and burying my trash as well.  I figured since the trash was lightly spread and covered with soil AND plastic it would go unnoticed.  WRONG!!


kamoshika by tree

After the kamoshika dug everything up and had its fill on my trench our little toy poodle decided it was his turn and dug up the rest getting completely dirty in the process.

All of my burying composting attempts have failed and I have tried numerous ways to bury my compost.  I have dug holes near garlic, basil, and onions.  I have put rocks over the holes, sprayed bug spray on the holes, and even mulched heavily all in hopes of throwing fooling the noses of the animals around the house but all have failed miserably.  I’m also too lazy to fence the garden area just to compost and the local wildlife excluding the crows normally leaves everything in the garden alone.  So now all our organic trash gets thrown into the woods behind our house for any local wildlife to serve themselves.  This is OK with me because it gets eaten or broken down within a matter of days.  And as you know, we recently moved to the country from the city and our kids are having a blast seeing all the animals.  Our local critter population includes fox, deer, kamoshika, all types of birds, and even an occasional boar.

Point being if there are animals in the area: dig deeper, fence, or put in a place you don’t care if it’s dug up.

I figure that dogs are the main culprits for ruining most compost that is buried, but I wonder if anyone else has had a similar problem with deer.  Would be interested to hear peoples results on burying compost as well as any other problems or solutions you think are relevant.

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