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Soil and Composting: Homemade Compost Bins

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Forum: Soil and CompostingReplies: 18, Views: 142
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SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 28, 2011
4:34 AM

Post #8525682

Greetings, all:

First time posting in the composting forum, I think.

I am currently using an old plastic garbage can for a compost bin. It is a BEAR to turn that pile! I have to literally pour the entire thing out, mix it up, and shovel it all back in (which kills my back).

I'm thinking of constructing the wood and chicken wire compost bin (for which I need construction plans). However, I've seen those compost bins that are on stands that you turn - the bin is actually up in the air and you just 'flip' it around (which sounds like fun for the kids). I had someone offer to make one for me...for 300 dollars.

My question to you all is - do any of you have construction plans for me to create a standing-up compost bin? I haven't turned my current pile in several weeks because of my back; I fear that most of the pile is anaerobic at this point.

thanks in advance.
PuddlePirate
North Ridgeville, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2011
2:36 PM

Post #8526747

Welcome! It's nice to have you here.

What constraints are you working with? How big is the spot you've chosen to use for composting? How much compost do you need to make? What raw materials will you probably compost most often? Do you have any physical or health limitations that affect your ability to lift/flip/rotate heavy stuff?
GardenSox
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 28, 2011
3:50 PM

Post #8526872

$300 bucks sounds like way too much money to spend on a composter. For that kind of money I'd rather just buy already made compost and just let my own yard waste decompose at its own rate.
PuddlePirate
North Ridgeville, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2011
4:38 PM

Post #8526982

If ya wanna go the über cheap route, just bury what you've got & it'll compost in place. :)
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 28, 2011
5:38 PM

Post #8527131

puddle pirate:

I have a bad back. not supposed to bend or lift too much.

I have an 11-foot stretch of fence I've claimed for composting. mostly dead grass, kitchen scraps, and some green materials.
PuddlePirate
North Ridgeville, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2011
8:07 PM

Post #8527511

Well, the rotating bins can be a real &!%#$ to rotate when they get heavy, and they don't often turn out as much compost as advertised. Something like this might be easier to use: http://www.hgtv.com/landscaping/assembling-a-compost-bin/index.html
PuddlePirate
North Ridgeville, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2011
8:09 PM

Post #8527517

This is what I use for my hot pile: http://brainshavings.com/gardening/2010/05/time-to-get-back-in-the-saddle.htm
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 29, 2011
5:33 AM

Post #8527919

[quote="PuddlePirate"]Well, the rotating bins can be a real &!%#$ to rotate when they get heavy, and they don't often turn out as much compost as advertised. Something like this might be easier to use: http://www.hgtv.com/landscaping/assembling-a-compost-bin/index.html[/quote]

Thanks for that link, PP, but the article doesn't say what brand bin it is for me to research.
ZZsBabiez
Lodi, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 29, 2011
1:45 PM

Post #8528714

PuddlePirate, I have 4 of those!! They went on clearance at Lowe's for $20. each! I scooped them up so fast and felt like I had stolen something!

Now that I'm in a smaller yard, and can't use them all.. I am using the frames for raised beds! Here is a picture before I filled them up..

edited to add... I highly recommend the BioStacks for composting... holds more than you think!! Not back breaking to move, even when it's full.

This message was edited Apr 29, 2011 12:46 PM

Thumbnail by ZZsBabiez
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PuddlePirate
North Ridgeville, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 29, 2011
2:28 PM

Post #8528790

Oops! Those are Compost Corral Corners: http://www.composters.com/compost-bins/compost-corral-corners_97_1.php
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 29, 2011
3:39 PM

Post #8528951

Wow! $175? bit outside my budget right now. but am bookmarking the site.

thanks again.

SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 29, 2011
6:54 PM

Post #8529320

hey, i found some darling plans at this website:

http://www.rona.ca/project/~building-compost-box-25099_downloadable-plans_renovation

and here:

http://www3.uwm.edu/Dept/shwec/publications/cabinet/html/compost/Bin%20Plans.htm - check out their 'barrel' composter.


just found these - thought I'd give back since you all have helped me out so much.

will post under new thread titled 'free plans resources'



dawn.
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 29, 2011
7:20 PM

Post #8529387

I'm reading through these plans, and they're all calling for pressure-treated lumber. I'd think that you'd want natural pieces. Wouldn't the chemicals from the pressure treated wood leach through and go into the compost?

PuddlePirate
North Ridgeville, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 29, 2011
9:38 PM

Post #8529525

You could substitute cedar for pressure-treated.
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

April 30, 2011
2:48 PM

Post #8530715

another way to go..instead of buying stuff for a compost set up..is just make a pile..
and if you have back problems..have a neighbourhood kid help u turn it 2 times a week..???
i guess depends on how big compost u want to make..and how much garden space u can devote to
the compost pile..
i make a huge compost every yr..
theres always some use for it somewhere..
:)
good luck to you...
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

May 1, 2011
6:50 AM

Post #8531877


I thought of just a pile, but hubby's put the nix on that. Also - uncertain about actual codes, but I think code enforcement in area wouldn't ticket me for compost bin, but if it were in the open, they may.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

May 6, 2011
4:38 PM

Post #8544471

Some are concerned about older pressure treated wood and arsenic. I think new PT wood is copper? or something less scary.
But I used reclaimed PT wood becaue it had been on a deck for 20 years, and the amount of actual food I'm taking in from my garden is so small.
mjaorhyn
Saint Paul, MN
(Zone 4a)

May 10, 2011
12:42 PM

Post #8552586

As for turning the pile, I have used a spiral bulb planter and a cordless drill. It brings the bottom to the top nicely.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

May 11, 2011
1:40 PM

Post #8555192

When my back doesn't want to bend and lift, I will drag a big pick through the pile. That pulls it apart and spreads it, then I can rake it back into shape, turning it somewhat in-side-out.

And if I don;t wnat to pull the pick head through the pile, I can drop the spike into it, and rock the handle back and forth, stirring and tumbling it around with leverage.

Low impact.

But then, my pile is very small.

Corey

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