You can compost at home with one of many commercially available compost bins , but making your own compost bin is really easy. Although most of us will not be able to make finished compost in two to three weeks as some manufacturers claim, there are advantages in using a tumbler. Includes a plywood lid with a latch to keep pests out, while the slatted walls allow air flow in. We’ll get the process started with some worm castings and leaves. It’s helpful if the composter is close to where you will be using the compost, such as the vegetable garden or potting bench. I think the final plans should be good though (maybe I’ll make another one..). This is a fun way to compost. It is possible to use sawdust, wood shavings and bark as a pathing material or as a mulch.
While a rot resistant wood (like redwood, cypress, or cedar) would be best, the newer pressure treated wood that uses ACQ (alkaline copper quat) or CA-B (copper azole) hasn’t been shown to cause a problem with leaching into the soil, and should be okay to use. While we encourage this for the homeowner (for hotter and faster finished compost), we also know for a fact that most people use the Add-as-You-Go method.
Generally, direct seeding into a compost is not recommended due to the speed with which it may dry and the possible presence of phytotoxins that may inhibit germination, 15 16 17 and the possible tie up of nitrogen by incompletely decomposed lignin. You can also jump start” your compost by adding alfalfa meal , cottonseed meal , blood meal or compost starter Also, you may want to add ashes from a wood-burning stove if you’ve added a lot of acidic materials such as pine needles and oak leaves. It’s a great choice if you like to compost leaves, which take up a lot of space.
You definitely don’t want to use creosote or penta treated lumber to build a compost bin. Anyway, in the spring we remove whatever beautiful black compost is there and then pile up the clippings on the same spot again. As with compostable plates and such, compost in a residential compost bin or pile typically doesn’t get hot enough to sufficiently break down meat or bones. Use the spacer blocks to position the remaining boards on the back end of the compost bin, and attach them with screws.
However as the compost will be moist so it wont simply drop down easily as you take the first spadeful out – you will have to prod around or push it down from the top. This version includes three bins for more convenient harvesting of finished compost. The places where I got compost mixed in have good drainage and grow very well (like many clay soils, mine is actually pretty good stuff once you get it broke up and solve the drainage issue). When I place my scraps into the composter I mix it 50/50 with shreddes paper and make sure there is always a couple of inches of shredded paper on top of the bin.
You need to choose one that is strong and robust but most important it needs to hold a generous amount compost to ensure it can heat up. The Rowlinson Beehive Wooden Compost Bin is attractively styled to fit into any garden space where it can also be used as a planter if required. This tumbling composter holds 12 cubic feet of compost, and has a large, 16′ wide lid. With a removable bottom panel and lifting lid with stay for easy access, this wooden composter is stylish and looks great in the garden.
Compost bins are best when covered, since too much rain will cool the compost and slow the composting process. The mulch will gradually break down over the years, weeds will grow in it and, after 3 or 4 years, it can safely be added to your regular home compost bin. Doing it properly means having the right size composter in the right place and feeding it the right stuff. Most often, however, users discover that a tumbler cannot keep up with the garden debris generated throughout the seasons, without needing to get a regular compost bin.
The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery provides detailed instructions for building a portable wood and wire composting bin, single compartment wooden bin, wire mesh composter, and rotating barrel composter. A good compost tumbler aerates, turns and heats the organic material very efficiently, creating finished compost in as little as 3 weeks! I personally put those in my tumbling composter and use the kitchen scraps for the worms. Many lumber yards will pre-cut planks to the sizes specified on your plans – however, these cuts may not be as precise as you could do at home.
Old growth wood has several growth rings inside it, which makes it more dense and durable. Compost with charcoal can have chemical residue from the additives in the charcoal. In a large garden is ideal because you have one bin you are filling, one bin that is full and decomposing and one bin that contains compost that is ready to use on the garden. Although not traditionally used in the United States, Bokashi is an ancient practice of fermenting food waste by covering it with a mix of microorganisms that suppress odors and eventually creates rich, healthy organic compost.
Cedar is very durable, and it’s also a readily available wood that is eco friendly. The coop compost experiment has shown me that easier and better can go hand in hand. The compost material is started in the first bin and allowed to heat up for three to five weeks. Avoid lumber that has been treated with creosote or arsenic, because these toxins can leach into the compost, then into the plants the compost will feed. Unlike other wood models, there is no designated bottom unit so every bin can be rotated.
Pallets wouldn’t generally be treated with wood preservatives, but they can be treated with insecticides to kill off wood boring insects. The University of Missouri Extension has instructions on building a rotating barrel composter, wire mesh holding unit, and a snow fence holding unit. Seriously, if they could just find a way to drive to Master Composter Certification they could totally teach that class. We are proud to say that our 3’x3’x3′ (1-yard) compost bins are built using mostly (if not all) salvaged wood! He creates a chimney out chicken wire that he then places in the center to provide aeration deep within the compost pile.
Though you can buy a compost bin made from budget-friendly plastic or even chicken wire, a wood bin, typically made of rot-resistant cedar, will conceal those yard clippings and kitchen leftovers without sticking out like a sore thumb on your landscape. In conclusion, using wood products as mulches or composting ingredients, is some of the best stuff in the world to use for soil building. Attach the bottom end board below the door using a screen door latch or barrel bolt to hold it closed. Let’s look more closely at the different types of compost bin as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of each type.
This 2-chamber wooden compost system would be a suitable size for a family, school, apartment building, or government institution. Stationary bins are easy DIY projects if you remember the basic elements needed for compost to thrive: moisture, oxygen, and warm temperature. Once the compost is ready, simply spread it on the lawn, use as mulch in the garden or combine with potting soil. In six months, if I want it, another several cubic yards of compost will be mine for the harvesting. If the compost bug” bites or if you want to meet the challenge of hot composting addfitional modules can be added to double or treble the capacity.
The advantage of this method is that little working time or effort is required from the composter and it fits in naturally with agricultural practices in temperate climates. Effective Micro-organisms, or EM’s for short, are taking the compost world by storm and for good reason. The Leisure Season Wood Compost Bin is made from solid wood, which makes it strong and durable, and suitable for use in the garden or yard. The wood should still be regularly treated with a non-toxic preservative for longevity. I really like this booklet that has a bunch of different plans for compost bins that you can build yourself.
Ashes tend to raise the soil pH , so you shouldn’t use it directly on plants, especially acid-loving ones like rhododendrons , azaleas , and blueberries Also, in high amounts, wood ash can inhibit plant growth by restricting nutrients, like iron Don’t apply it directly unless a soil test indicates a low pH level, or low potassium. If you want to get started with composting without a large investment, get the compost wizard eco square. If you love to garden, nothing feeds your plants better than compost from your very own backyard, and its price (free!) is impossible to beat. Drill pilot holes with your 1/8” bit if you have it to prevent the wood from splitting.
Because the unit is insulated and sealed, it converts kitchen waste to compost in as little as two weeks. It has a really nice look, and the wood has been heat treated for extra durability. Compost decomposes in a heap on the ground, but placing the material in a bin has two advantages – the compost stays neat and contained while it breaks down, and more heat builds up inside the compost. The plan below can be embellished by adding a second cross-piece on the front, and a lid on top to keep the rain from over-watering the compost. The Jora JK270 Insulated Composter simplifies and speeds up the process of making compost.