DIY Compost Bin ideas

Jeffeff95

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Hey everyone!

This weekend I plan on putting together a DIY Compost bin for the yard.
I have looked at different articles via google but I am just wondering if any of you have any good ideas you are willing to share.
I have a couple 55 gallon drum (plastic) but also have some spare pallets I was thinking of using as well (Depending on which direction I decide to go in)
Looking forward to the responses!
 

frustratedearthmother

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I have taken a plastic drum and cut out a door - reattached it with hinges, drilled holes in it for air exchange and called it a compost bin. I started it with some potting soil/sand mixture and started adding scraps, grass clippings, and other compost-y additions. I'd roll it around a little bit to mix the contents. It made great compost. Years later my DH built a stand for it and we could rotate it while on the stand...similar to this one:


(photo credit to Pinterest)

My barrel was blue plastic and my stand was made of metal w/rollers - but other wise fairly similar.
 

Britesea

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My FIL made something similar for me, only he made it with 1/2" hardware cloth with wooden ends, and put it on a stand. I actually had the compost pile in a large area to the side of the garden, and I would just wheel my cart to stand under the bin and shovel some of the compost into the barrel and spin it around. The finished compost would spin out, leaving the clumps behind. I had to spin rather slowly or you got compost in your hair and face, but otherwise it worked really nicely. When the cart was full, I just dumped the unfinished compost back onto the pile.
 

Lazy Gardener

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Do you want a bin that you load, and simply wait for the compost to "cook it'self"? Or do you want something that requires you to turn it? I like @Britesea 's spinning bin, but that sounds like a bit of a difficult construct, and sounds like she just uses it to "sift" not to cook her pile.

Late last fall, long after ground freeze, I made a double bin with pallets. 3 sided affair, kind of like a capital E. It took about 1 - 2 hours for me to screw it together. If I do a compost pile at all, I'm just gonna pile it up and walk away. I'm not young enough to be turning compost.

However, most of my composting efforts are not your standard fare:

Sheet compost, trench compost, stack the stuff on top of my hugel kulture mound, lasagna gardening, dump it into the chicken run so they can turn it and amend it, or add it to the BTE woodchips. And even vermicomposting.

If you use a barrel, you're gonna need to add LOTS of ventilation. Otherwise, it will turn into an anaerobic mess that will smell like a cess pool. And a closed heap requires much more attention to your mix of greens and browns. The only good thing I can say about a closed heap is that it is less likely to attract rodents and other creatures of the night. JMHO.
 

Hinotori

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Snow melting into the holes in a barrel composter will also turn it into a smelly mess.

I'd given Mom the one I'd bought as it didn't handle bigger things I needed and Mom lives in town and needed something like it. It has to be turned once a week and you must make sure the browns and greens are balanced well. Mom keeps back a lot of leaves and dead plants to balance all the potato peels she has.

Make sure you toss in a shovelful or two of garden dirt in the first time you fill it to help get it started with the right decomposition bacteria.


I'm going to see about just making some basic 3 sided compost bins by the new garden this year.
 

Marianne

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I did an actual compost pile just twice. One time it actually smoldered in the center. I was stunned when I got in there and there was a pile of ashes. :hu
After we moved out to the sticks, I just put up a fence ring and threw stuff into it throughout the year. That worked pretty good and was basically effortless. I had some nice compost the following year. Eventually I just started throwing stuff all over the garden and letting the chickens in to do some fertilizing and light tilling in the fall.
I also mulched with straw and would add grass clippings, chicken coop stuff (in one corner during the year) and kitchen scraps.
I had fairly good garden soil without too much effort.
 

Jeffeff95

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Do you want a bin that you load, and simply wait for the compost to "cook it'self"? Or do you want something that requires you to turn it? I like @Britesea 's spinning bin, but that sounds like a bit of a difficult construct, and sounds like she just uses it to "sift" not to cook her pile.

Late last fall, long after ground freeze, I made a double bin with pallets. 3 sided affair, kind of like a capital E. It took about 1 - 2 hours for me to screw it together. If I do a compost pile at all, I'm just gonna pile it up and walk away. I'm not young enough to be turning compost.

However, most of my composting efforts are not your standard fare:

Sheet compost, trench compost, stack the stuff on top of my hugel kulture mound, lasagna gardening, dump it into the chicken run so they can turn it and amend it, or add it to the BTE woodchips. And even vermicomposting.

If you use a barrel, you're gonna need to add LOTS of ventilation. Otherwise, it will turn into an anaerobic mess that will smell like a cess pool. And a closed heap requires much more attention to your mix of greens and browns. The only good thing I can say about a closed heap is that it is less likely to attract rodents and other creatures of the night. JMHO.

I was thinking more of a barrel or pallets. The turning concept looks good but for now I think I’d like to stick with a sit and wait method.that is a very good point though about ventilation I’ll have to keep that in mind.
 

Jeffeff95

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I just got a few pallets screwed together. Good nuff compost bin. Sometimes ill make a circle with 2×4 fence wire and fill that with stuff closer to the garden. Seems the fance wire has made the best compost
Yeah I was thinking of using the spare Pallets I have around the yard. The fence wire sounds interesting though. Do you ever cover it with anything?
 
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