How to make your own compost bin
Making your own compost bin is simple and a great thing to have to keep your garden happy. These easy steps allow you to create your own composting bin, one that is suitable for any home or business, big or small.
Making your own compost is also a great alternative to using pricey composts bought at local nurseries. And it’s as simple as putting your fruit and vegetable scraps, paper, grass and plant cuttings into your bin and letting the magic work. Of course, you’ll need to do a small amount of maintenance to get the best compost you can, but it’s worth it for the great compost you’ll get in the end!
What You’ll Need To Make Your Compost Bin:
- A storage bin with a lid
- A drill
The beauty of this project is that it’s very simple, doesn’t require much, and doesn’t cost much too. If you have a bin with a lid somewhere at home already, then that saves on cost, otherwise you’ll be able to find one at your nearest Makro, Game or even a Pick n Pay. If you can find one that is black, that’s even better as it’ll retain the heat and moisture, which means happier compost.
Making Your Bin:
Using a small drill bit, drill plenty holes in each side of the bin, including the lid and the bottom to allow for plenty ventilation and water drainage. The holes don’t need to be perfectly aligned or positioned, they can be randomly placed all over the bin. The more holes, the better it is for the compost!
Using Your Compost Bin:
To start off your compost, add some soil from the garden, or you can use a bag of top soil from your local nursery. It should at least cover the bottom of the bin, and form a good base for your compost.
Now you can begin to add any fruit or vegetable scraps, including peelings, cores and cut offs. These break out well and add great nutrition to your compost. Here are a few other simple things you can add to your compost to get the most out of it.
- Grass clippings
- Dead garden weeds
- Dead or old flowers and cuttings
- Wood ash
- Coffee grounds
- Tea leaves
- Shredded paper
- Wood chips
As well as having great additions to your compost heap, you need to be careful what goes into your compost. There are plenty things that should never be used, including these:
- Bread products
- Treated or diseased plants
- Coated or printed paper
Add to your composting bin as often as you can, whenever you have something that can go in it. It’s much better to compost it than to throw it away, especially if it’s biodegradable. Whenever you add to your bin, give it a shake so that the compost can be mixed and aired, which helps the process along. As well as giving it a good shake, be sure to add some water, about a glassful should be enough, to it to keep it moist.
Your compost bin can be placed wherever it is most convenient for you to use, whether it’s outside your kitchen door, on your patio or in your garden. Most compost heaps take roughly a year to product compost, but if you keep adding to your heap often, you’ll get good compost within 4-6 months.
- Keep your compost moist, which allows for perfect conditions for things to decompose into compost.
- Place your bin in an uncovered area so that it can catch rain water, which saves your water bill and keeps the compost moist.
- Make sure you add compost-friendly ingredients to your compost heap – if it grew in the ground, it can go into the compost.
- Keep shaking and aerating your compost as often as possible
- Make sure you add small pieces of whatever you’re adding to your compost, so it can break down faster.