Turn garden and kitchen waste into the most effective soil treatment – compost. The best part about it? It’s free! Composting with a compost bin is one of the easiest gardening jobs and, when you build it the right way, can transform your gardening experience.
According to This Old House, the compost bin should be in a location that is level, preferably out of direct sunlight, and away from any roof drainage. Keep the bin close to where you might be using the compost – like the garden – but make sure you keep it somewhat close to your house too, as you won’t want to travel far in bad weather with kitchen debris.
According to Better Homes and Gardens, the ideal size for a compost bin is 3 feet high and 3 feet wide. However, if you generate a large amount of biodegradable kitchen waste, you will need to build additional bins.
There are several different types of compost bins you can build. Here are three of the most popular we found:
Wire-framed: The wire-framed compost bin is considered one of the easiest compost bins you can build. With a couple of simple tools and some inexpensive wire fencing (available at Lowe’s), you’ll have a compost bin constructed in less than an hour. For instructions on how to do this, follow com Organic Gardening’s instructions.
Slatted: Slatted compost bins made out of wood are a nice way to hide yard clippings and kitchen leftovers. For best results use a rot-resistant cedar wood (available at The Home Depot) and leave half-inch gaps between the boards to allow for air circulation. To learn how to make a slatted compost bin, check out This Old House’s directions.
Three-bin: A three-bin compost is built similarly to the slatted version, but the bins share common walls. For directions on how to build a three-bin compost, check out Good Housekeeping’s step-by-step directions.
When it comes to a starting a compost pile, one of the biggest questions is what goes into it and what doesn’t. Knowing which foods can go in the compost pile is the key to creating gardening gold. Check out Earth Easy’s list on what you can and cannot compost here.
Tip: Before building your compost bin, coat nails with WD-40® Multi-Use Product to protect them from rusting.
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