Making a compost bin

Before you begin enthusiastically collecting your household and garden waste for composting, think about where and how you intend to store your compost in the garden. If you are gardening on environmental and/or organic principles, it is a good idea to make a homemade compost bin from reclaimed or spare pieces of wood.

Making your own compost bin is good for your garden and environmentally friendly. However, rotting waste piled up in the garden is a not a desirable feature, and it is a good idea to keep your compost out of the reach of small children and an passing pets—cat waste is not a good addition to garden compost.

To keep your compost heap tidy, it is best to contain it. You can do this in a variety of ways, ranging from smart ready-made units of varying sizes to weird and wonderful homemade constructions created from recycled materials—oil drums, old floorboards, leftover bricks, or chicken wire. Probably the most efficient is any structure with a simple front opening made of slats of wood that YOU can add or remove at will to raise or lower the height of your bin. Truly dedicated gardeners will have as many as three compost heaps, in varying stages of decomposition, so that there is always one pile ready tor use when required.


Use stable or poultry manure, dried blood, or bone meal to add nutrients to your compost heap.


By puncturing the lining with a pitchfork, you will create air channels that will encourage bacteria within the layers to multiply and break down the material quickly and evenly.



Tools and materials

■ tape measure
■ mallet
■ 4 posts, at least 4 in. thick
■ level
■ nails
■ 1 in. mesh-wire panels
■ stapler and staples
■ 2 x 2 in. wood
■ heavy-duty plastic sheeting
■ chicken wire
■ wooden boards

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