Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 What You’ll Need to Make Composting Bins
- 3 How to Make Your Own Composting Bin?
- 4 How to Compost
- 5 What to Compost and Not to Compost
- 6 What Makes Good Compost?
- 7 Tips on Composting
- 8 What are You Waiting for?
Composting is one of the best ways to make use of everyday materials that would otherwise end up in landfills and release harmful greenhouse gases. And if your composting efforts make you or save you a little money, well then all the better!
The key to safe and efficient home-based composting is using a good container. Inexpensive bins can be as simple as hay bales or wooden pallets, but sometimes the best available material is actually an old portable plastic playpen.
Thus comes the many different composting methods that exist now. They all come with their own advantages and disadvantages. However, we will throw our focus on learning how to make your own composting bins and getting compost from them.
There are some pros and cons of vermicomposting you need to know before trying it out, but a few cons can be prevented if you properly maintain and take care of your system.
What You’ll Need to Make Composting Bins
- Start with a few wooden pallets — the kind often used for the transport of goods. They make great material to make compost bins since wooden pallets are easy to find and cheap, not to mention very durably – perfect if you live in an area where there is rain, wind, or snow during certain seasons (most areas have seasonal change).
- The next thing needed on how to make your own composting bins list would be a waterproof tarp. We recommend using two 36 x 30-foot tarps but make sure that they are at least 8 feet high so they can stretch all the way down on both sides of the bin. You’ll use these for making floors for each bin since the pallets will make the walls.
- Two buckets are needed for get to know how to make compost bins better, with each bucket having its own purpose: one to collect used plant scraps and food waste, another to hold a liquid mixture that can make your compost pile healthier (and smell better too), and the third is to catch the leachate from the first two buckets – this is an organic liquid that can make plants grow faster as it serves as fertilizer. You need at least three buckets but make sure they are durable enough since you may have to carry them around during the collection or transportation of materials from the compost to the farm.
- Bin bags or composting liners are essential if you want your bins to be air-tight in order for decomposition to happen faster. This sheet should be thick and tight to make sure that the composting process will not be slowed down if you want easy access to your compost pile.
- You will need tools such as a hammer, tape measure, gloves, and saw. You will make composting easier and faster with these tools.
- You may also make use of chicken wire to make the compost pile air-tight so make sure that you have this material if desired. You can find it at local hardware stores for about $10 per 50 feet or less.
Note: You can make your own bin from recycled materials but make sure that you choose sturdy materials since it needs to hold the weight of the soil and compost mix. It should be tall enough for easy access when turning piles while being wide enough to prevent an overflow of decomposing material during the composting.
How to Make Your Own Composting Bin?
You have everything set and you can’t help but get down and dirty to make your own composting bin. To start your composting, you need this composting bin which you can make easily by following the following step to make your composting bin:
1. Find a Perfect Location
To make your own composting bin, you need to look for a location that will be perfect for you to compost in. The location should be close enough to your house so you can easily make composting bin by yourself and carry it back home
It should be in a place where it gets enough sunlight so everything will decompose well in the composting bin. The location should be found at a place where there are no wind, rain, or freezing conditions, and make sure the area where you make your own composting bin won’t be too hot because if it is, then the soil underneath might not breathe properly.
2. Measure the Area
Once you’ve found the perfect location, make sure to measure how big of a make your own composting bin you need. If there are other people living with you in your house or staying at your place, make sure to make it a make-able size for everyone.
3. Cut Your Bin Materials to Measure the Location Area
Start with the tarp. Measure it and cut it accordingly then lay it down on the location where the bin will be set up.
Then take the wooden pallets and cut them into the size that you have chosen to make your own composting bin. Use nails and harmer to join the wooden pallets together. This shouldn’t be hard, depending on the location, you are either making a rectangular or square compost bin. Create the structure on top of the tap.
4. Fence it with the Chicken Wire
Once you make your compost bin, make sure to make it secure. For the chicken wire fencing, cut two pieces and make a “U” shape on top of each other and place the U’s fence in-between the wooden pallets that have been joined together. This will make the structure safe from animals or unwanted pests while allowing airflow through your make-your-own composting bin.
5. Place Compostable Material Inside The Bin
Use cardboard or newspapers to line the inside of your make-your-own compost bin then place rotten leaves, veggie scraps, fruit peels, or shredded newspaper inside. Make sure to add enough materials so when you water them they can decompose without getting overfilled.
This is where the two buckets come in. You will have one near your home where you can easily collect the compost materials and the other at the compost site where you will use it to collect the compost and transport it to the farm. And just like that, you have your compost bin set and ready for use!
How to Compost
Learning how to make your own composting bin can only mean that you are ready to know how to compost in bins, right? To follow through with all your plan and to compost then just follow these few steps:
- Pick a location of where you are going to make your own compost bin. Make it and set it up.
- Add organic materials to your compost by layering them. Start with bigger materials such as twigs, and straws which should be at the bottom of the bin. On the top part, you can now place the green and brown materials that you have. There are some organic materials that should not include in tour compost, something that we will delve into in the next section of the article.
- Water the compost. This you should do from time to time if you are in a place that is not raining. But in the presence of the rain, then you should let it do the job.
- Cover the compost. It doesn’t really matter what you cover the compost with, it could be with iron sheets or with carpet scraps. Just cover with anything and allow the compost to retain heat and water.
- Turn the compost from time to time. The preferred duration that you should take to turn your compost should at least be within a weak as you wait for the compost to be ready. This will help the compost become well aerated.
What to Compost and Not to Compost
As stated earlier, there are certain organic materials that you can compost and some that you just can’t include in your compost. This will make the composting faster and make it even safe to use.
Key elements to include in compost are organic materials like leaves, grass clippings sweet potato vines, weed stalks, coffee grounds. Also, you can add non-organic materials like manure and seaweed. You can also add eggshells and ash from your wood fire. These are all okay to have within your compost
However, there are some items that should be excluded from the mix: dog waste, meat scraps leftovers (animal or vegetable), sawdust, and synthetic fabrics. Similarly, some organic materials such as meat and bones should not be added to the compost
Other organic materials that should not be composted are banana peels, orange peels, peach peels since they may contain some pesticide residues. Also, leaves from black walnut and pet manures should not be added and just make sure that if you include sawdust then it should be scattered all over to avoid clumping.
What Makes Good Compost?
Much of the success or failure of making good compost depends on how often you turn it. It is not advisable if it takes a long time for you to turn over your compost pile since this will make the Funghi or bin worms that make bins more efficient at turning it, less active, and could make your compost pile end up anaerobic.
When you turn your compost pile make sure that you do not stir it vigorously to avoid bringing oxygen into the pile which will speed up its decomposing process and makes it produce methane gas. Instead, make several small turns of the pile every few days rather than stirring all at once so as to allow the fungi that live in there to have enough time to access every part of the pile.
If you make the pile too dry, they will be forced to move into a drier location in the compost bin and leave behind their carbon-consuming residue. They are usually made up of a durable material such as plastic which is ideal for keeping out wetness and keeping it at a steady temperature.
This helps make sure that you can make use of this efficient organic tool without worry about the material breaking down. If your plan for building your own compost bin includes putting holes in it using wood or metal, make sure to seal them with silicone so they do not allow moisture to come through them or make them easier for bugs or rodents to get into since they provide an entryway.
Tips on Composting
a) Composting Leaves
In case you find that you have so many leaves that you can add to the compost and might surpass your bin, then you can make a new compost all for the leaves alone. When you make your compost around a large accumulation of leaves, make sure that you turn it frequently to make space inside for the new material.
b) Make Leaf-Tea for Your Plants
You can do this by wrapping the leaves in a mesh, and then make sure that you make an opening on the mesh for water to drip through.
In this case, make sure that you put it in an area where it can get enough sun so make sure no leaves are in shaded areas because it will make composting take much longer. Also, make sure that you don’t make your tea too strong, or else your plants will not be able to use all the nutrients present in the leaf tea.
c) Have a Number of Buckets
Having more than one bucket when you learn how to make your own composting bin and during composting. This way makes sure that there is a place to store your compost, and there will be space for a new batch of materials when the time comes.
d) Balance the Brown and Greens
Brown and Green material means materials that have nitrogen are the greens and those that have carbon are the browns. The ratio of the brown and greens should be well balanced. About 3 parts of browns and 1 part of green make for a composting bin with high-quality compost. This will help you keep the odor levels in check.
What are You Waiting for?
This has been a successful guide that has shown you how to make your own composting bin and finally how to make compost in bins. Is it hard? Is it easy? It is not that hard definitely and it even gets easy if you are a handy person. It gets easier if you understand the different composting methods.
The benefits derived to make the entire process worthwhile and are worth the effort. There is no doubt about this, you can learn how to make compost bins today!