How to Build a Compost Bin
Take a Saturday to make this compost bin using lumber and materials available at your local hardware store.
By backyard composting, your trash will become your garden's treasure. Throw your everyday kitchen scraps like banana peels, apple cores, coffee grounds, and egg shells into this DIY compost bin to create the ultimate plant food. This pallet-style bin looks attractive in any landscape and can be personalized with your choice of paint or stain.
Once your compost bin is assembled, few skills aside from patience are needed to make nutrient-rich compost to feed your garden and landscape plants. Everything else you need to create this mixture is already in your house—you just need to perfect the ratio of browns and greens. Dry, brown leaves and fibrous plant parts—"brown" materials—provide carbon. Fresh, green plant materials and some animal manures—"green" materials—provide nitrogen. We recommend starting with a 3-to-1 ratio of brown to green materials. To speed up the composting process, which can take a few months, chop or shred raw ingredients into smaller sizes and aerate regularly.
Your compost pile, like your plants, need the right amount of air and water for the best results. Add water as needed to keep the pile moist (like a wrung-out, damp sponge) but not swampy. Too much water can drown the important microbes and cause odors. If the pile is too wet, mix in dry brown materials to absorb the excess moisture. Turn the pile regularly—every few days or weekly—to supply oxygen to the microbes that do the work of decomposition. Take a break during cold weather when it's too chilly for compost to heat up.