How to Make Your Own DIY Compost Bin for Home Composting

Compost is a valuable resource for your garden, as well as being a great way to deal with garden waste. But a compost heap is not an attractive garden accessory, so if you are considering getting into composting at home, you will probably want to build a compost bin in order to keep all of that unsightly waste out of sight while it slowly breaks down into compost. 

The good news is that making a compost bin as a DIY project is easy! With some basic equipment and a couple of hours of spare time, you can assemble a great-looking and effective compost bin at almost no cost at all. Below, we will introduce you to two different ways to make a DIY compost bin, so you can choose whichever option most appeals to you.

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DIY Wire Compost Bin Guide

Wire is one of the easiest materials to use to build a compost bin for your garden. It might not be the most attractive option, but it is very affordable and easy to use to make something entirely functional and effective.

For this method, you will need 10 feet of chicken wire (preferably galvanized), some sturdy wire to use as ties, 4 wooden posts, some wire cutters, a hammer, and a pair of pliers. That is all!

To start with, choose a spot in your garden for the bin. Then, bend the chicken wire into a large circular tube, and cut the sturdy wire into short lengths to use as ties. 

Using your pliers, bend back around 3 inches on each end of your length of chicken wire. This will give you an easier surface to tie together with your ties, making the next step of the process much more straightforward.

When you are happy with the chicken wire, use your sturdy wire ties to fasten the two ends together. Space these out evenly, and then use your pliers to tighten them up as much as possible. You are looking to get the tightest and firmest clamping together you can.

Set out the circle of wire in the spot where you want your bin to go, and place the four wooden posts inside it, spaced out as evenly as you possibly can. You will need a second person to hold the posts into place here. With that second person holding each post in turn tightly against the circle of wire, use your hammer to firmly drive each stake into the ground. When they are all in place, your new compost bin will be ready to use.

Because a wire compost bin is quite a loose, flexible option, turning your compost can be frustratingly tough. However, with proper maintenance, turning is not actually strictly necessary. If you ensure that your heap always contains a good mix of green and brown substrates and keep it regularly moistened, you can actually get away without turning it and still get great results.

DIY Wood Slat Compost Bin Guide

A wood slat bin is a little trickier to build than a wire bin, but it looks amazing and offers great composting results. If you are willing to put in the extra effort in order to get a more aesthetically pleasing compost bin, then the wood slat option might be perfect for you.

What you will need for a wooden slat compost bin is fairly straightforward: 7 pieces of untreated 2×6 lumber, 3 feet long per piece. 4 wooden stakes, sturdy enough to hold it up, 3 feet long per stake. A selection of galvanized nails, at least 2 ¾ or preferably 3 inches long. You will also need a hammer.

Start by nailing your 2x6s to your wooden stakes to construct the sides of the bin. Make sure you use at least two nails on each end of each one of the 2x6s for a sturdy connection. You will be using two 2x6s for each side of the bin, apart from the front, where you will be using a single one. That arrangement leaves a gap at the front, making it easier to reach in and turn the compost. 

Make sure you leave a gap of around 3 inches between the slats of the sides of your bin and several inches of space free at the bottom. You will need quite a lot of protruding stake at the bottom in order to drive it into the ground safely and securely.

Once you are happy that everything is nailed securely together, put your new bin in place and use your hammer to drive the stakes into the ground. Sink them in at least a few inches, ensuring that everything is even and firmly fixed into place.

If you build two of these bins next to each other, you can easily turn your compost simply by shoveling the entire pile from one bin into the other. This is much easier and simpler than trying to turn the pile in a single bin!

Conclusion

Making your own compost bin can be a very satisfying DIY project, taking up no more than a single afternoon of your time and requiring no specialist skills at all. Even if you are a complete novice, you can easily build yourself a great-looking and effective compost bin, all at a fraction of the cost of purchasing a ready-made compost bin from a store. You can even decorate your new compost bins however you want, ensuring that they fit in with whatever aesthetic you prefer for your garden.

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