How to build a summer compost bin

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How to Build a Summer Compost Bin

A compost bin is an essential part of any great gardening project

If you have a small yard, I am sure you build up some green waste over the summer months.

Rather than having your gardener dispose of this wonderful compost, why not build a simple compost bin so that you have a wonderful soil amendment for your garden come next spring?

Want to get in real good with that gardener and perhaps get a discount on your lawn mowing and yard maintanence charges???

Ask him to bring his gardening trims over to your compost bin until it is full??? Get great compost for free!

Want a larger bin? You can have him leave his green waste for a couple of months and probally save even more!

Things You’ll Need:

  • 3 wooden pallets
  • 4 metal corner braces
  • wood screws
  • cordless screwdriver

Check around with your local garden centers, construction companies and other businesses to see if any have used pallets that you can get for free or a reduced rate and save even more!

Add more bins to your set up as each additional bin only uses 2 more pallets. That’s right, just line them up side by side and attach each to the other to for an E shape and you now have 2 compost bins.

Continue adding more to make an HHHH as you go along and soon you can be selling finished compost to your neighbors! As long as you have the room that is.

Figure out where you wish to put your first compost bin.

Lay all 3 pallets on the ground where you intend on placing your bin.

Assemble all items you need to build your bin and grab an assistant or two, to help you.

Lay your first pallet on it’s face with the side with the most boards on the bottom.

Using your cordless drill/screwdriver you can attach a Corner brace to the top and bottom of the right and left sides of the pallet.

Now you can stand this pallet up on one end leaving your corner braces on each side. Have an assistant hold this pallet up.

Take the second pallet and line it up against the side of your first one. Be sure that the corners are flush with one another to make a nice L shape. You may need a second assistant to hold up this second pallet or the first assistant could possibly hold both at the corner.

Now using your cordless drill/screwdriver you will attach the 2 pallets together at the corner braces.

Do the same for the other side and your first compost bin is complete.

If you wish to add a second one to the first you can do it at this time to form the letter E or H depending on the configuration you wish to use. You can continue to add as many bins as you wish using this method.

You are now ready to begin adding green waste to your compost bin. Remember to turn your pile every couple of weeks and water it down well to keep the internal temperature up high enough for your compost to “cook”. This will kill weed seeds and keep the beneficial microbes happy to properly process your green waste into useable finished compost your garden will love!

Tips & Warnings

  • You can add garden or composting worms if you like but this is not necessary. Even if you have “dead dirt” instead of soil the worms will find their way to your compost bins.
  • Shred all your junk mail and newspapers and add them to your pile
  • You can lay down sheets of cardboard at the bottom of your pile to aid in inviting the beneficial microbes to your bin that you will need. Nothing attracts worms and beneficial microbes like cardboard does!
  • Do not add grease or meat to your bin, it only attracts ants and other insects that you do not want to colonize your bins.
  • Use a good garden fork or shovel and turn your pile to mix things up a bit at least once a month
  • Bins steam during warmer weather if you keep them wet enough, if not they smoke…Smoke is NOT a good thing, Steam is
  • Make sure to soak down the bins from time to time. Composting material can get VERY HOT which can start a fire if you do not keep the bins wet enough! I had this happen one year so I know this is true and not an urban legend
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