Composting speeds up the decomposition of cardboard, paper, and food scraps through keeping the proper moisture and aeration levels. Though make sure to be careful and only use a small amount of cardboard and paper because they do not break down as easily. In the end, it creates a nutrient-rich soil additive that will help your plants grow. Turning your home and kitchen scraps into plant food is easy, and it helps your garden produces bigger flowers and healthier vegetables at no extra cost. Simply find materials to build a DIY compost bin — and get started!
Is Composting Hard?
It’s only as hard as you make it. You can build a compost bin with something as easy and inexpensive as mesh fencing or, make it sturdier by custom-building it out of wood. There are also a number of moderate options that fall in between.
Types of Compost Bins
The easiest option, as already mentioned, is to use mesh fencing. It only requires one piece of material that’s 10-15 feet long. Stand it up and bend it into a circle to create your one-minute, homemade compost bin. You’ll also need something to fasten the ends together with, but you probably have twine, zip ties, or something similar at home. The, just lift the contraption off the ground when it’s time to turn the pile.
A second relatively simple option is to put together a wooden pallet compost bin. Stores are often happy to hand out pallets for free, making this choice even more appealing. To start, you’ll need four pallets of the same size. Connect them at two corners using screws, then fasten a door on one side using hinges and any sort of latch. Here’s a pro tip that will save you many headaches: build this door slightly higher off the ground to make it easier to open and turn the contents.
If you’re a weekend handyman, you might choose to build a custom compost bin. There are many tutorials out there that can teach you how to build a compost bin, but one thing they may not cover is the best wood to use. Raw cedar is our choice due to its natural resistant to rotting and bugs. It won’t need sealants or treatments, just use it as is. Stay away from treated lumber, plywood, fir, hemlock, and pine. They all possess different qualities that keep them from being an ideal choice, whether it’s high copper content that can leach into a pile or that they won’t last long in a high-moisture environment.
If going the DIY route doesn’t suit you, compost bins are also available at big box hardware stores. They’re not as eco-friendly but can be a great option.
No matter what route you take, we guarantee you’re making a great choice for both your garden and the environment by starting or building a compost bin. You’re taking items that would have been taken to the landfill and giving them new life and purpose in your backyard. For advice on additional landscaping and outdoor projects, check out our articles page.