How to Make Compost Bin? 2 DIY Methods for Hobbyists

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As much you love gardening, producing compost from garden, kitchen, and yard waste can be an interesting and inexpensive idea. A compost bin is therefore an essential item which, no matter how cheap or costly, can be made out of some basic household tools. In this article, you will learn about how to make compost bin with 2 easy DIY methods.

Whether you have plenty of dry leaves and grass clippings or a large amount of vegetable peelings and kitchen scraps that you want to utilize, you need a container or something like that to allow those organic materials to decompose.

While a commercial composter may cost 100 dollars or even more, the tools you need for either of the two methods I’m going to discuss here cost almost nothing except your time and labor. Let’s know the easier of the two at first.

1. Using a Spare Trash Bin

You’ll only need a few things such as a drill machine, paddle drill bit, and a trash can that you currently have no use for. Having no drill at home doesn’t mean you should purchase one right away. Ask your neighbor to lend it to you for a while.

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Compost bin with spare Trash Bin

Prepare the Trash Bin

Rinse the bin thoroughly with lukewarm water and a little amount of cleaning solution or powder so that it becomes free of the existing non-biodegradable matters. Even you are sure the bin is clean, you can wash it lightly.

Drill the Holes in a Pattern

Prep the drill by attaching the paddle bit and plugging into the nearest electric outlet. Drill a small hole into the bin going a few inches down from the lid. Drill another hole making sure that the two holes are three inches apart.

Drill more holes maintaining the same distance and keep the last hole a few inches away from the bottom. Once you’ve finish a column of holes; start drilling more columns. Keep one column 5-7 inches apart from another.

Clean the Bin Again

You may not want to take this hassle, but you don’t want to keep non-biodegradable material like plastic bits and shavings inside the bin. At this point, the compost bin should be ready to contain the waste you want decomposed.

Well, that is one way to make a compost bin. Now, I’ll tell you about another way. You’re probably going to need it for a larger garden that is full of so many trees.

2. Using Old Pallets

Since this bin is four to five times larger than the one I talked about, you’ll need a rake or spade, four wooden pallets, six stakes, a sledgehammer, a bow saw, and chicken wire. I hope you don’t have to pay a visit to your next door or local store for any of these items.

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Compost Bin with Old Wooden Pallets

Level the Soil

Choose a place where the bin will be placed. I would suggest keeping it on bare soil. Get rid of any obstacles. Clear everything that makes the ground unsuitable. Use the rake or shovel if you have to level the surface soil.

Should you have reasons to worry about rats or other rodents, you can use chicken wire to create a base to keep those little animals away from the compost.

Fix One Pallet

Take one of the pallets first. Locate the long edge of the pallet and stand on it, so you can shape the bin’s back edge. Take a stake and push it hard through the pallet’s layers at either of its ends. Use your sledgehammer and drive them forcibly straight into the ground. The depth should be 20 to 30 centimeters.

Fix All the Stakes Firmly into the Ground

Now, you’ll be making the sides, and for these, take two pallets in a way that they stand at the right sides to your first pallet. At the same time, you need to butt their corners firmly together, so the compost can be prevented from spilling through those gaps. Put the pallets in place using stakes as I mentioned in the last step (Fix One Pallet).

Wire All Pallets

You got a structure, didn’t you? Is it stable enough? Wire each corner of the pallets firmly together. It’ll make the whole thing more steady and stable. Finally, use your bow saw to trim the top part of each stake.

Make the Gate

Sometimes, you’ll need to get yourself in. So, a gate is required. Tie your last pallet onto the front section of the right pallet. This access point is essential as you need to add waste or get the compost when ready.

Cover the Bin

For the composting process to be uninterrupted and fast, the bin has to be warm from inside. You can use old rugs or carpet to cover it properly. However, you should add some water during warm weather.

Now that you’ve had two different ways to make a DIY compost bin, I would offer you some help with choosing composting material and other factors.

You can either go for cold composting or hot composting. The cold technique involves a very slow process in which all the materials are kept in the bin, and it takes almost a year for the compost to be ready for use.

A much faster way is hot composting that decompose whatever you keep in the bin in the presence of air, carbon, nitrogen, and water. In only a few months, your compost will be ready. Let’s see which materials are recommended and which ones are not.

Tips for Choosing the Right Material for Composting in a Bin

Many people seem to believe that compost is all about waste matters and that we need not pay special attention to what we choose to allow for decomposition.

Some materials are simply not recommended as they’ll only cause harms to the trees and eventually have bad effects on the garden. I know you don’t appreciate such a consequence.

The most suitable materials include coffee grounds, eggshells, fruit peels, dry leaves, vegetable scraps, shredded paper, sawdust, chopped or untreated wood, and straw. A mix of these materials breaks down easily and help make high-quality compost.

Exclude animal feces, treated wood, diseased plants or parts, weeds, bones, raw meat, grease or similar fluids, dairy items, fat, and oil from the list. All of these materials are what might make your compost rather harmful than useful by accelerating the growth of pathogens.

Final Thought

After doing everything right, you can rest for a couple of days. Then, you should give the plastic bin a good shake because the compost needs to be turned once or twice a week for air and moisture distribution. Use a long stick to shake the materials inside a pallet bin.

To hasten the process, you may want to add some nitrogen fertilizer. Alternatively, you can buy commercial compost starter. After all, you would love to give the plants in your garden something rich in nutrients which they can thrive on.

Being a hobbyist, I can fill you in on a lot more things about gardening in case you need to know. Feel free to send a message anytime.


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