Build Your Own Compost Bin

Featured in the February 2011 handbook.

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Start by making the bin.  You will need 16 or more slats (200mm x 20m is ideal), four stakes and four batons.  Ideally this would be second hand treated timber that your neighbour is about to take to the local tip.   If you have to improvise with an old gate or discarded bedstead so much the better.  If it all seems too daunting you could buy a compost bin but they really are not difficult to make. Arrange the slats for the two sides on the ground.  Nail a stake to each end of each side to make two panels.  Add a pair of parallel batons to each panel to guide the front slats. Ask a friend to hold up the two sides while you nail on the back slats.  If the sides are not very substantial, you may need to prevent the front stakes from leaning outwards by knocking a supporting stake into the ground. You can now start making your compost. Add organic ingredients as and when you have them (vegetable peelings, courgette plants, grass cuttings, guinea pig bedding etc).

Do not add any meat or anything too woody

If it is very dry, add a bucket of water

If most of what you compost is kitchen waste, mix it with egg boxes, kitchen paper or loo rolls. And that’s all there is to it.  After 6 months the bottom two thirds should be wonderful rich compost.  Spread the compost on your flower beds and vegetables and use the top third to start your next compost heap.


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