How to Build a DIY Compost Bin

Seasoned gardeners know the advantage of having an excellent supply of compost, and a DIY compost bin is maybe one of the best ways to make sure that. Filling the heap with nitrogen-rich supplies which might be balanced by carbon and micronutrients helps us construct soil with out having to supply it from outdoors. 

There are numerous methods to DIY your compost, too. Vermicomposting, utilizing regenerative methods, or just making a pile are all efficient methods to spice up the expansion of your vegetation. Making one thing a bit of extra technical like a bay system is even higher and provides an attention-grabbing look to the backyard.

On this piece, we’ll focus on make your bin, and keep it. We base this on our latest video (linked right here) that covers make a stunning bay compost system. We’ll additionally contact on different modes of DIY composting you can check out at house. 

DIY Compost Kinds

Earlier than we get into our favourite design, let’s focus on completely different DIY compost kinds. This gives you an concept of which fashion is finest for you and your backyard area. 

Vermicompost Bin

One very straightforward method to compost in a small area is worm composting, often known as vermicomposting. You should purchase a worm composting equipment – just like the City Worm Bag and the City Worm Bin Accent Bundle we inventory in our on-line retailer – or you can also make your personal worm bins.

One method to DIY your vermicomposter is to construct a worm tower, which is a straightforward design that entails a big PVC pipe the place you drill holes to create perforation alongside its sides. You place your meals waste and different worm meals, like shredded paper inside, and look ahead to the appropriate kind of worms to roll in.

It’s also possible to use staggered plastic bins which you inventory with worms, feeding them all through the whole compost course of. Perforations on this case are on the lids of the containers, and the whole system is closed and above floor. Ideally, you must be capable to carry the bins indoors when temperatures get too excessive or low in your worms. 

Compost Piles

Subsequent, there’s the traditional compost pile. Merely put, a compost pile is a big heap with layers of inexperienced and brown materials which might be repeatedly heaped collectively and turned repeatedly. Usually the pile is immediately on naked floor so helpful fungi and soil microbes can entry the fabric being composted above. It is a no-frills – and so long as you flip it and heap it repeatedly – no-fuss methodology.

Compost Tumblers

What’s nice about compost tumblers is that they enclose the compost in a bin, making it inaccessible to rodents, most bugs, and any animals who could discover your compost tasty or attention-grabbing. Turning your compost is as straightforward as turning a deal with on the facet. You gained’t must do a lot apart from guarantee your stability of compost supplies are right. 

Trench Composting

That is principally a pile, however one step additional. Meals scraps and brown carbon-rich supplies are positioned in a trench the place they’ve much more contact with helpful microbes and fungi. The identical primary guidelines are current, with a bit extra ease within the course of required to start out composting, as entry to the naked floor the place helpful micro organism stay is simpler resulting from extra floor space contact. 

Plastic Container

An inexpensive compost bin might be made with a trash can or plastic tote with a decent lid. On this design, there is no such thing as a want for a tiered system. Merely discover a suitable-sized container, drill some holes within the sides of the highest, and canopy it with a lid. Then take away the lid so as to add natural supplies and begin composting kitchen scraps, yard waste, and the like. 

Compost Bins

In case you’d wish to create one thing a bit of extra technical, you possibly can create your personal bin with wood stakes and {hardware} material or hen wire. You’ll be able to enact a very easy design by staking in a sq. or rectangle with the wooden and wrapping it along with your fencing of alternative round three sides of the stakes. Construct your compost heap inside. 

Create compost bins which might be very comparable with none fencing by stacking concrete blocks or giant stones on three sides, and throw your compost inside.

What Is Bay Composting?

Put together in your construct by getting the provides.

Whereas any of the above choices are nice for house gardeners, farmers, and nursery employees alike, you may get much more technical along with your DIY mission. Not too long ago, Jacques, Kevin, and Paul constructed a 5-bay compost system on the Epic Homestead. The design they executed is straightforward however makes the composting course of extra organized than a number of the others talked about up up to now. 

Lots of the compost bins we’ve talked about are adaptable to a bay system, although, so that they aren’t excluded from this. However we’ll concentrate on the design applied on the Homestead.

Bay composting often consists of any variety of compost bays which might be hooked up and separate the heft and generally kind of compost or materials. In Jacques and Kevin’s plans, they created a 5-bay system. You’ll be able to construct only one bay, and even ten if that works finest in your state of affairs. 

Benefits of Bay Composting

Any DIY mission affords some adaptability to the prevailing circumstances. With a set of compost bins, you possibly can resolve the way you wish to use them. You might use 2 to separate the brown matter you’ve collected from the lively compost pile, or you possibly can have three the place you take a look at out several types of composting. 

How Is Bay Composting Totally different Than Different Strategies?

Versus a compost tumbler, or any kind of enclosed composting bin, the bay leaves a lot of the compostable supplies within the open air. Nonetheless, it’s considerably enclosed to stop spillage of natural materials out into different areas of the backyard. Being open to the weather helps you produce contemporary compost extra simply, with the pile getting access to irrigation and oxygen. 

One other distinction is the power to arrange your backyard area in an aesthetically pleasing means. Whether or not you wish to separate your supplies by retaining your leaf pile in a single bay and actively composting supplies in one other, otherwise you wish to use the bins to progressively compost, solely including supplies externally as wanted, you could have that choice.

This not solely retains the entire composting course of contained but uncovered sufficient to advertise a wholesome system, but it surely additionally seems to be nice too!

Constructing Your Compost Bin

Assembling the panels
Every of the facet panels is assembled by sandwiching the rails between two items of wooden.

Now let’s define the method of constructing your compost bins in a bay system. We’re going to work by way of this course of from the planning levels all the way in which to harvesting completed compost. We’ll additionally contact on a number of the upkeep duties required to maintain your bays as much as snuff. 

Planning Levels

Earlier than your collect your supplies, plan your design on paper or in your laptop. Embody the measurements of your area, and that of your full bay system, in addition to the person bays. Contemplate questions like, the place will the compost bays be situated? How lengthy will I take advantage of this technique for making compost? Do I need it to be modular or extra everlasting? 

All these issues will aid you decide one of the best methods to collect supplies and implement your design. 

Gathering Supplies For Your Compost Bins

On this part, we’ll focus on the supplies wanted for a single bay. Extra bays would require supplies for the back and front and just one further facet. Here’s a checklist of the supplies wanted for the one bin design Kevin and Jacques applied with Paul.


All items reduce to three′ lengthy

  • (6) 1×6” boards
  • (1) 2×4” boards

2 Facet panels

All items reduce to three′ lengthy

  • (4) 2×6” boards
  • (4) 2×4” boards
  • (10) 1×6” boards
  • (4) 2×2” boards


  • (6) ea 1×6” boards reduce to suit entrance, roughly 32” every



  • Round noticed
  • Clamps
  • Energy drill
  • Shovels/Rakes for clearing your area

Now, it’s applicable to create a number of stand-alone bays that sit subsequent to at least one one other. The advantages of doing this are that your design might be modular and might be moved round, and buying your supplies could also be simpler. 

Nonetheless, extra supplies usually imply extra expense. However you possibly can supply your supplies without cost and use upcycled wooden pallets, repurposed wooden, and different {hardware}. Take on a regular basis that you must do that if you happen to select to go this route. 

Constructing Your Compost Bin Design

Setting up the frame
As soon as your sides and again are in place, set the bin upright.

Begin by leveling and clearing the location of your bins. You probably have a hen coop, just like the EG Homestead, possibly near that offset from the edible backyard is one of the best spot. Or maybe you could have an area far off from the backyard. Filter out sufficient area in your 3-foot by 3-foot bins multiplied by the variety of bays. 

Make sure the area just isn’t up towards a wall, which may create water pockets. Then, if you happen to’re not utilizing repurposed pallets, reduce your wood slats into the suitable measurements. Fortunately, this design is fairly easy, and as soon as you understand how to construct one bay wall, you understand how to construct the remaining. 

The fundamental design is a sandwich of two 2x4s and two 2x6s on the ends, which maintain 5 1x6s. Then drill two screws by way of every of the slats. When all of your panels are constructed, set them up subsequent to at least one one other, and connect them with a stack of equally sized 1×6 boards to utterly enclose the again of the bay set. 

Make your entrance panel holder by utilizing two 2x2s to create a channel the place you possibly can drop in your entrance slats. Use a 1-inch spacer to set the 2x2s broad sufficient aside. Then clamp every little thing down and drill in your 2x2s.

Then drop in your entrance slats, and also you’re executed!

How To Use Your Compost Bins

Now that you’ve got a stunning wood bay DIY composter, let’s speak about use it. As I discussed earlier than, utilizing one bay for brown supplies, one bay for contemporary supplies which might be presently composting, and one for usable compost is ideal. 

It’s also possible to divide the bins into several types of composting, the place one is a worm bin, one is stuffed with straw bales, and one is for inexperienced waste. You might additionally reserve one for grass clippings and different yard waste the place you break down refuse, killing weed seeds earlier than including them to your new compost bin. 

Your DIY compost system might be oriented nonetheless you need. It might be made strictly for a conventional methodology of composting or developed to host a number of.

Upkeep of Your Compost Bin

Adding front sliders to the DIY compost bin
Including the slider rails to the entrance of the compost bin.

Now let’s discuss composting suggestions. If you compost open air, you’re going to must cope with the weather. Which means, after some time, you could wish to examine your wooden for indicators of rot and put on. Change boards and beams as crucial. 

Monitor the compost itself. Guarantee there’s sufficient airflow, and if you happen to’re working with worms, guarantee they’re fed sufficient natural waste to thrive. Equally, feed your compost with applicable quantities of inexperienced and brown matter, including a bit of inexperienced when it’s too dry and brown when it’s too moist. 

One other factor to think about is cleansing the bins once you’ve emptied them. Spray them down with some water after you harvest so as to add to your backyard soil. Hold issues like plastic trash out of your bin. Whereas many sources will let you know tea luggage and occasional filters might be composted, usually they’re made from supplies that don’t break down simply. 

Separate filters from espresso grounds and both shred them earlier than you add them to the pile or throw them away. Egg shells are one other materials that may want some sterilizing and grinding earlier than heading to the heap. 

Citrus fruit peels needs to be added in sparing quantities, as they are often very acidic and kill microbes doing the nice work in your pile. Leftover leafy greens are nice! 

In case you see flying bugs that love composting materials across the pile, that’s fairly regular. After they infest a pile, flip it and add brown matter.  

Harvesting Your Compost Pile

Now that you understand how to make use of your compost bay, and also you’ve fed your bins appropriately,  you could have the privilege to reap completed compost. You probably have a staged bay system the place you add meals scraps to at least one, and transfer ready-to-use stuff to a different, that’s fairly straightforward. Merely sift by way of the highest portion of the pile, accessing the wealthy backyard modification that’s compost on the backside. Transfer that to the completed bay. 

In case you’re working with completely different compost techniques in your bays, you may need to sift the nice compost from different natural matter, like kitchen waste, vegetable peelings, or fruit and vegetable scraps generally. When you’ve eliminated these supplies, you can begin including compost to your backyard beds. 

Methods to Use Compost

Utilizing completed compost is fairly easy. Add it to your out of doors area in rings round vegetation or incorporate it into a mix of topsoil, fertilizers, and present backyard soil as an modification. It’s also possible to use actively composting supplies in a hugelkultur raised mattress, including them whereas they’re breaking down for later planting.

As an example, I’ve been making ready a mattress for fall and winter gardening a few months forward of time. On this course of, I’ve constructed my hugel base with logs and branches, with leaves and grass clippings between the areas. As kitchen scraps are comprised of cooking in the home, they head outdoors to the hugel mattress. In a few months, I’ll have a wealthy soil to plant in. 

If you use your personal DIY compost versus the bagged stuff from the backyard middle, you’ll watch your backyard develop way more in a shorter interval. Blissful Composting!

Incessantly Requested Questions

DIY compost bin
Constructing a DIY compost bin is surprisingly straightforward!

Q: How do I make a home made compost bin?

A: Use a plastic bin, compost tumbler, or use our directions right here to make a bay system. It’s also possible to trench compost. All of those matters are coated on this piece. 

Q: What materials do I must make my very own compost bin?

A: It may be so simple as a plastic bin with holes in it or a worm mattress. 

Q: How do you begin a compost bin for novices?

A: Test a number of the DIY choices talked about within the first part of this piece. 

Q: Does a compost bin want air holes?

A: Sure. This is essential. You want air for the cardio course of that breaks down composting materials.

Q: Does compost want solar?

A: Not essentially, however it would assist warmth the pile and catalyze the method. 

Q: How usually ought to compost be turned?

A: Flip your compost pile each 4 to five weeks. 

Q: How lengthy does it take for compost to interrupt down?

A: Relying on the fabric, the composting course of can take wherever from just a few weeks to a couple years to interrupt down. 

Q: Do compost bins scent?

A: More often than not, accurately composted matter gained’t scent. Nonetheless, it relies on what you’re composting. Many occasions, a smelly compost bin signifies an imbalance within the supplies being composted. 

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