I live in Los Angeles and want to begin composting. I was wondering if you had some advice for me as I can’t seem to get a clear understanding of how this all works. I’m trying to decide if I should buy one of those big plastic barrels that you can spin (like all my friends have) or if I should just start a heep out behind the garage. I can’t get a sense of how much stuff those big barrels actually hold. I feel like I’m going to fill one of up pretty quickly as I have a lot of yard waste (we fill a big green garbage can that’s the size of one of those barrels every two weeks). Given that it’s like a $400 investment I’m leaning towards starting a heep behind the garage. I saw that you just have yours open – do you have a problem with rats / rodents? Answer honestly – does your pile stink? How long does it take for the compost to become usable? Any advice you can offer this aspiring city composter would be greatly appreciated. best, samantha
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.