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Build Your Own Compost Bin In 3 Steps

by For Content

Composting is the process of natural organisms within the earth breaking down leaves, yard trimmings, food waste and other organic materials. This process is occurring naturally all of the time, but it can also be facilitated deliberately to accelerate the process for a specific purpose. Composting results in a nutrient-rich organic material that can help enhance your landscaping and facilitate better growth when added to lawns, flower beds and vegetable gardens.

While compost bins can be purchased pre-made at your local hardware or home improvement store, you can also make a basic bin yourself. Here's how:

Creating Your Own Compost Bin

While there are numerous bin styles and composting methods, the most basic is often referred to as a "holding bin." As its name implies, a holding bin structure will contain your organic materials within a small area that facilitates a faster decomposition process. While compost will be created even if you don't do a thing after dumping your organic waste inside, if you mix or turn the contents occasionally, you can help accelerate the composting process.

Creating your own DIY compost bin requires some basic materials that will allow you to enclose a portion of your property. Materials that can work very well include chicken wire, snow fencing or a fine wire mesh-type fencing. You'll need a roll of heavy wire, tin snips and four posts as well.

1. Select your area.

Start by choosing a section of your property for your composting area, preferably some distance away from your home. Most compost areas are relatively small, but the exact size is entirely up to you.

2. Create the corners.

Dig four holes for your fence posts and bury the posts to create stable, secure corners for your bin. Measure and verify that the corners will create a true square or rectangle and create 90 degree angles (or close to it). Pack down the dirt around the posts to secure them, then loosen and turn the existing soil in your designated compost area, especially if it's packed down.

3. Create your bin.

Wrap your chosen fencing around the posts and use your wire and tin snips to attach the fence at each post. Make each fence wall of the bin as straight, taut and stable as you can. Place a layer of mulch at the base of the bin and around the outside to absorb excess moisture.

That's it—you've created your own holding bin. Be sure to check your local area's regulations about what can be composted and what cannot; generally, most organic non-meat food waste should be fair game. For faster decomposition, mix/turn your compost every few weeks. If you have questions about composting or wish to fertilize your lawn and garden before your compost is ready, consult a professional landscaping service for ideas and information.