It’s been a week since we last posted an update on our two compost bins. To have a quick overview of the previous update, click here. Alternatively, you can view chronological updates on our compost bins by following the “lazy” experiment.

Before sharing any details, we would like to (proudly) declare that both bins have been completely neglected by us once again – since 28 April! We wanted to see how “lazy” we could get with our composting method (hence the “lazy” experiment), by assuming the unmotivated recycling/composting attitudes of most Singaporeans today.

The result? It is possible, but only with the right preparations in place! 😉 For more information, visit our ‘Compost!‘ page.

Just yesterday, our left and right compost bins turned 4 weeks old and 6 weeks old respectively:

Our compost bins - right outside our HDB apartment beside our plants

The left and right compost bins just turned 4 weeks old and 6 weeks old respectively

As usual, no odours, no flies, no pests - except for 2 or 3 very small flies hovering in the vicinity. Completely normal and negligible.

Not convinced? We lifted off the bins for a better view. By the way, we use these plastic pots to prop up the bins for better aeration. You can also use stones, pebbles, bricks etc.

Zilch, nothing, zero bugs. There happened to be a bright afternoon sun, hence that beautiful column of light 🙂

Top view of the right compost bin - notice how the hay remained clean and dry despite rains and hot humid weather

Top view of the left compost bin - the withered mushrooms at the sides still remain, except that their white stems have quite disappeared (dried up perhaps)

A closer look at a group of them - the black parts are actually released spores from the mushrooms before they withered up

For more information on mushrooms and how we first found them in the bin, click here and here.

Check out some of the spores that got onto the edges of the compost bin - they look like brown powder (you shouldn't breathe them in!)

A closer look - I may wipe them off since I don't like touching them while I'm inspecting my bins!

If you are new to this site and wondering what’s all the deal about hay, click here. We can very confidently tell you that with regards to composting in a completely fuss-free way, hay is a big deal 🙂

And now on to the best part!

We found a white stem which seemed to have grown and wound itself inside the right bin! (Note: So far, we only had mushrooms growing inside the left bin as seen above.)

A very noticeable long white stem inside the left bin. It seems long and winding!

Upon closer look, we noticed some green algae near the white stem as well.

Could this white "bud" be the end part of the white stem? We're not sure, but it seems like it.

By the way, some of the pictures have been edited for lighting and contrast to give you a clearer view. So don’t panick if they look like a freak show, especially for the white “bud” picture above – even I thought it looked like an alien aquarium!

Well finding this white stem was good news! It’s a sign that more fungus is growing (finally) in our pretty stasis right bin. For more information about mushrooms/fungus and why they are good for composting, click here.

Next, we noticed that the paper products (e.g. newspapers) and leaves have become increasingly porous as they gradually break down into compost:

Holey moley!

And we thought pores can only be found on skin. Oops, bad joke 😉

The browner and more soil-like everything gets, the more you're headed in the right direction.

An overall outside-in view of the right bin

An overall outside-in view of the left bin - complete with withered mushrooms

Keep in mind that both bins are completely odourless (despite the look of the pictures you saw earlier), and have no flies or pests (except for two to three negligible small flies).

Oh wait! We spotted this:

Seems like our all-too-familiar housefly came to visit one of our bins. Completely normal, I would say. And it was so negligible that we weren’t too sure if it had eventually stayed or gone away.

Next, if you were to scrutinise the contents inside both bins, you could actually see some really really reeeeaally tiny insects/bugs. Personally, they were as small (or smaller) as pinheads. Likewise, this is normal and completely expected for a compost pile – you get bigger bugs in a backyard or garden! What’s most important is that they remain in the bin as observed, and that they do not emerge as pests.

Moreover, these tiny organisms are perfect in helping the compost materials break down into soil. I wish I could say to them “thank you” in bug language.

Lastly, we noticed that the materials in both bins have shrunk in volume overtime. This is expected, because when materials break down (decompose), they lose moisture and structure. In other words, once the composting process is complete, you won’t find food scraps, newspapers or other wastes in their original form. You should only find dark brown soil-like material that smell earthy.

Amazing, isn’t it? We can be lazy in composting, and still yield encouraging and wonderfully fuss-free results. As mentioned earlier, once your compost bin has been set up well in the beginning, all you need is to continue dumping in your ‘greens’ and ‘browns’, cover the top with hay each time, and simply leave it uncovered till everything breaks down into fertiliser!

Can we all say hurray?

HURRAY! 😀

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