Monday, 23 March 2015

Making Compost Bins From Recycled Materials

Yesterday I knocked up some "rustic" compost bins and they didn't cost me a penny. 
I'm always thinking I need to sort out a proper composting system, as I use loads and produce no end of garden waste (lots of weeds as well). I'd put it off for the same reason as I had with the garden gates so I decided to just knock some together with what I had to hand. 
The area I chose to put it is just in the field outside the veg garden. This means I'll be able to fill it without leaving the garden and when I want to empty it I haven't got too far to walk. Unfortunately it's in full sun but I'll cover it with cardboard to keep the moisture in.
 The back is made out of an old shed I had put in the burning pile. I then added some posts in front to fix it to and to divide it up into four bays. I then added five posts four feet in front of these to fix the sides to.
 Using some old floor boards from our living room renovation (never throw anything away!), I nailed the sides on leaving a gap between each board. 
As you can see, it's certainly rustic (rough) but they'll do the job for a few years. I might add some removable front slats as well so they can be filled right up. 
The top bay will be for my chicken muck and the others will be for this summers garden waste mixed with straw and lawn clippings. My plan being to fill the one at the bottom, then move all that into the next one up and then fill the first again and repeat. That way I'll be turning my compost and be able to use it faster. I doubt it will happen though as I know what I'm like! 
How does everyone else make their compost? 

23 comments:

  1. An excellent job Kev and re-using 'knackered' stuff to boot! Reminds me that I have to build my second compost bay on the allotment, like the first it'll be made from discarded pallets.
    John

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  2. An excellent job Kev and re-using 'knackered' stuff to boot! Reminds me that I have to build my second compost bay on the allotment, like the first it'll be made from discarded pallets.
    John

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    1. Nothing wrong with making things from pallets - that's where my gates came from! I think the less I spend on that kind of thing the better so long as it does the job!

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  3. thats like the system I want to set up, well done at the moment I have side by side that were knocked up fro pallets, I think the removable fronts are a great idea keeps it all from spilling out as well :-)

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    1. Kev could you drop me an e-mail I have something for you :-)

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    2. I've sent you a message on you blog message thingy- I'm intrigued!
      This isn't going to be the permentant system but it should work for now.

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  4. Pallets and binder twine - of course! ( Though we have got a couple of green hexagonal council things. They were supposed to be for sale but we came home one day to find all the sections near the front door and so did our neighbour.......very odd........we said thank you to whoever had delivered them to the wrong place and have been using them ever since, never heard another thing about where they should have gone)

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    1. I have a couple of the large black bin things that work well to a point but I just produce too much and fill them in no time. Too many weeds you see...

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  5. Pallets, fence posts and baling string and rope. Plus a big pile of old hay and dung covering some nettles. I dig trenches later in the year and fill them with compost. You can do this with fresh compost material too. Even a pile of leaves makes great compost.

    Could you not make tractor size compost bins that you turn with a loading shovel?

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    1. I had thought about doing one for the tractor but the trouble is my fields are pretty wet and so it can make a mess when it drives on there. This way if I keep it smaller I should keep on top of it more. Thats the plan anyway...

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  6. Monty Don eat your heart out. Wish we had room for bins like that but have to make do with 2 black ones from the council. Work well though most of the time.

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    1. Not up to Monty's standards but one day I might get there (but I doubt it!). the black bins work really well but are tricky to turn the compost in them so I just end up leaving it longer to rot down.

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  7. We have heaps behind the wood shed and horrid plastic bins. Would like to have what you have made.

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    1. these look pretty rough though, up close they're no oil painting!

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  8. Composting attracts bears here, which is kind of a problem. I have lots of chicken "poop" but somebody told me not to put it directly around the roots of plants because it "burns" the roots. Do you know if that's true?

    I like your bins, why not look rustic, you live in the country so it fits right in!

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    1. Yes, it is too strong... add to the compost cycle!!
      Perfect addition and by the time it is out the other end...
      so to speak...
      it is fine for use!

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    2. I was thinking of rotting it down separately then using it sparingly as a booster for my plants.
      No bears around here so I should be alright!

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  9. Now you have me totally jealous. I will show your pics to LH and see if he will knock me some 'temporary' compost bins up too, he has plans for all singing, all dancing ones that I just KNOW will not appear for a couple of years if I wait ;-)

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    1. I think that the jealousy is only because you can't see them in person! That was the trouble with my good ones - they'd just never get made. At least I have something to work with now!

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  10. Same system as you are about to embark on...
    four-bin windrow system...
    all waste and some soil in the right-hand bin...
    then, for turning...
    all uncomposted gets heaved out to the right...
    next bin... all part composted goes to the first bin...
    third bin... all almost composted goes into the second bin.
    Then it is back the other way...
    all composted in bin three goes into the stock bin, bin four.
    Contents of bin two go into bin three and cover back on...
    contents of bin one go into bin two... and cover back on...
    everything you chucked out of bin one goes back into bin one...
    plus anything that has accumulated on the pile in the three or four days you've been shifting the contents.
    I don't try and do it all at once!! It is backbreaking!
    I tend to do a bin a day... it breaks up the strain!
    So we get the fourth bin full of useable compost, every three months or so...
    depending on how often I turn them and the outside temperature...
    and if I've kept them watered enough...
    Real work time to turn the lot back and forth...
    about four hours all told.
    BUT, it is worth it... just to know that what I am putting on the soil...
    and therefore feeding what we eat... has good provenance!

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    1. It was your comment about the windrow system the other day that made me look into it. I thought I'd do something similar and see how it worked for me. Thanks for that! Hopefully I should have some compost in a few months and I'll let you know how I go with it!

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  11. Well my compost pile is just that LOL a pile. LOL

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