Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DIY Easy Compost Bin

Compost Bins can be pricey. The weekly budget can really take a hit when the average composter costs about $70. Just convert a 20 Litre bucket into your cheap compost bin.

Who said you needed something fancy or BIG?
It's true that a large compost heap builds up a really good heat to not only break down the waste but also takes care of the bacteria involved with the process. You can throw in a lot, but what if you don't have a lot?

The problem is that big compost bins that don't turn themselves often don't get turned at all, especially if the garden space is limited.

So what can a bucket Compost Bin achieve?

  1. Can fit almost anywhere in the garden
  2. Get worm activity into the parts of the garden that didn't have much before
  3. Because it is a smaller amount, you are more likely to turn it
  4. The sides are narrower to allow even heat from the sun to help composting
  5. No sides will fall off (unlike the big fancy bins)
  6. Durable plastic for all weather conditions

How to make a homemade Compost Bin

Grab your 20 Litre bucket, take off the lid and drill air holes down the sides - 3 or 4 vertical lines. Compost needs some air flow.

Cut out the bottom, leaving a small lip all the way around. You may need to start off the hole by drilling a few holes and using an appropriate cutting tool. Tin snips, hand pruners, standley knife, etc.

Find a good location that will receive sun for a few hours everyday, and give it a twist so that it sits deeper into the soil. This will not only prevent it from blowing away, but also encourage bug life to come up into the base. Fill with materials that you want to compost and pop on the lid to keep in the heat to aid good break down. It also helps to keep out vermin and spiders.

Make sure that your compost does not become dry (but not soggy) or smell sour.

Add a little newspaper, straw/mulch or leaves for carbon.

If you only add kitchen slops it will not become compost, just a sloppy, stinky mess. So carbon is a must!

To give it a little boost, add a sprinkle of Blood and Bone occasionally.

If Vinegar Flies appear, then your compost is too sour/acidic. Just sprinkle a little Garden Lime over the compost to reduce the pH.

REMEMBER: Stir it, turn it, make sure only the right things are composted. Turned compost breaks down quicker and stays sweet for the soil. Compost that sits for months on end goes sour.

Reduce - Reuse - Recycle - Save Money!

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