Compost Bin

The main component in this compost bin isn’t the timber or the nails; it’s the sheer intellectual effort involved!

Working with recycled timber means that you’re improvising all the time, planning which piece to use where. The only materials we bought at the local builders’ yard were two packets of galvanised nails and one sheet of outdoor plywood for the lids and one of the ‘doors’.

So is  it really worth all this effort for a compost bin?! Of course! The compost bin is at the heart of the garden, turning plant waste into valuable humus (another bonus is that at last we’ve whittled down the stack of timber that I salvaged ‘because it would be useful’ but which has been leaning against the shed for several years!)

This double bin holds 2.5 cubic yards of compost (almost 2 cubic metres) which would weigh about 1 ton (or somewhere in the region of 1000 kilograms) depending on how wet or dry it was. Imagine bringing that lot home from the garden centre! And, for that matter, think of the cost of transport if we sent our garden waste away with the local authority collection. We told them we didn’t require a bin when the scheme started but we did take them up on an offer for a recycled plastic compost bin which sits in another corner of the garden, by the shed.

I had to manhandle my mum’s compost wheelie bin down her driveway this morning so I’m well aware how heavy bulky organic matter can be.

What I don’t like about this design of compost bin:

  • it’s so large now that it shades one end of the greenhouse
  • with the lid on, the birds can’t get at it – although I’m sure the Toads will find their way to it

Covering the compost and insulating it from the weather helps speed up the composting process. This bin is double-walled with cardboard cartons acting as insulation in the cavity. When the cardboard starts to rot down, that can go into the compost too (if I can find a way of lifting it out of the narrow cavity, that is).

produceIt’s unfortunate that the compost will be out of bounds to birds in future but at least the Robin got a chance to hop around the disturbed ground as we worked today, almost under our feet.

We’re going to have some amazing crops of vegetables from the compost this bin will produce!