Headed towards back to the basics living.

Starting a Compost Bin, Part 2


So you’ve decided to give composting a go? After yesterday’s post you probably realized you pretty much already had everything you needed, right?

Well, now the next thing you really need to decide is what type of bin you want to house all those compost ingredients. Bins can be made from heavy mesh wire formed into a ring, old pallets or concrete blocks. You can even just start a big pile somewhere in your yard if you’re the free spirit kind of soul. Or you can always buy a container. If I was in the market for one, I’d probably get this one because it makes easy work of turning the materials for faster breakdown. Luckily for us our landlord had some old scrap wood just lying around waiting to be used. So use we did. Here’s the design plan we followed.

Here’s how ours turned out. As you can see DH has already begun Step 1 in the composting process.The soil beneath the pile needs to be loosened up.

Step 2. Begin to layer your materials.

Just remember brown, then green, brown then green.

Step 3. If you have food waste put these in the middle of the pile to avoid attracting unwanted critters.

The smaller the food waste pieces are, the more quickly they break down.

Step 4. Keep adding brown and green materials alternately.

Step 5. Make sure to finish your pile with at least 2″ of brown materials. Then water thoroughly. You want a consistency of a wrung out dishrag.

***Now you’re on your way. As the materials begin to decompose temperatures will reach up to 165 degrees! Yikes, that’s warm! You can check by inserting a metal rod or your hand-but don’t say I didn’t give you fair warning it will be hot!

Step 6. About once a week, before the materials cool down you will want to reactivate the decomposition process by turning your pile using a pitchfork or some other sturdy tool to really mix up your “compost ingredients.” Now is the time to add more water if needed and any green material you have accumulated since the start of your project or since the last turn.

Step 7. Repeat step 6 again and again (for about 6 weeks or so) until you have that dark coveted gardener’s gold. If you have some compost ready but there are still a few large pieces in the mix simply use a screen to filter those out and throw them back in your pile.

Step 8. Add compost to your garden and enjoy  how great your veggies are growing and how beautiful your flowers look. And it didn’t require a trip to your local garden center and it didn’t cost you hardly a thing! Perfection!

5 thoughts on “Starting a Compost Bin, Part 2

  1. Nice job, you two!! I’m using barrels right now. Can’t wait to get that stuff mixed into the soil and get to planting=) If it’ll warm up that is.

    • Rach, I know what you mean!I think it maybe reached 65 hear yesterday for maybe an hour. You’ll have to keep me posted on how your garden is going!!!

  2. Brightyn and I like this! Can’t wait to try it my self!

  3. Wow! That is a nice setup. Very good size, lots of space to “breathe”,and simple. I’m jealous of your nice yard, now that I am only composting in my apartment under the kitchen sink. Let me know if you need me to stop by an turn that for you – I bet it smells like great compost. 🙂

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