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First Compost Bin

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Project by Pat3 posted 02-16-2014 04:27 AM 2426 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
First Compost Bin
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After moving into our house in Oregon, we needed to build a set of compost bins to deal with all the yard waste we have on the property. Plus we dump all the appropriate kitchen scraps.
I plan on building a 3 bin system, but have only found the use for one bin so far.

I used 2×4 framing and lath screening to help with air flow and to keep the critters out:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I screwed the wood siding onto the frame to make it easier to remove the panels when it comes time to shift the pile into another bin:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Here is what I was using before the bin:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I also picked up a wood chipper to help reduce all the branches and leaves; I use that as a layer in btwn the food waste layers. Since we have so many flower beds on the property, the compost will eventually provide a great source of food/mulch.



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Pat3

9 posts in 286 days

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11 comments so far

View jroot's profile

jroot

5082 posts in 2325 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 02-16-2014 01:56 PM

Very nice. That reminds me of the bins I made at my former house. I used the three bin system, adding them as I needed them. Worked like a charm. I don’t have the same space here, so have a different set up, but also use three bins.

I like the idea of the wire side, back and bottom.

Well done.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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Pat3

9 posts in 286 days

posted 02-18-2014 05:46 AM

Thanks, it is working very well so far, but I will need to screen the material before using it as mulch in the flower beds.

View jroot's profile

jroot

5082 posts in 2325 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 02-18-2014 01:37 PM

I used to use a 1/2 inch screen before the compost went into the 3rd stage. The thick stuff got put back into the 2nd stage. That way, the 3rd stage was fine and beautiful with no odour at all. Try scratching it into the top of the soil rather than just using it as mulch. Your plants will love you for it.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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Pat3

9 posts in 286 days

posted 02-19-2014 05:43 AM

Excellent advice, thanks!

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4305 posts in 1958 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-23-2014 11:53 AM

Your compost bin is lovely, nice work!

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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Pat3

9 posts in 286 days

posted 02-23-2014 04:11 PM

Thank you

View RexInMinn's profile

RexInMinn

1 post in 245 days

posted 03-28-2014 11:02 PM

Looks really good, kind of the gold standard of compost bins. I have used a tiller in the finish pile of our three-way system to break down various things. One good thing about your base is that it won’t allow roots to penetrate the way mine does, and that can be annoying. Hope you’ll keep us posted on how well your compost system works. One thing I might add is a sheet of something black over the top to help it generate heat which in turn will help promote probiotic activity, which of course is the whole point of a compost bin. Nice work!

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Pat3

9 posts in 286 days

posted 03-29-2014 12:39 AM

Thanks Rex, and appreciate the recommendation.
Funny thing was that I found several “plants” growing inside the bin. It turned out to be potatoes from our kitchen scraps. So I cut them up and planted them in the garden.

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

4 posts in 199 days
hardiness zone 3

posted 05-13-2014 07:18 PM

Your plants will thank you with abundant growth! Good job.

-- Love thy neighbor as thyself

View MarcioWilges's profile

MarcioWilges

6 posts in 31 days

posted 11-21-2014 06:48 AM

The compost bin looks like it’s working really well for you! Did you have any trouble moving it around once you’ve filled it up though? I’ve always found that swapping from one method of composting to another has made a very messy job. I’ve been thinkig of starting this up but I live in an apartment now so not really much space for getting a good system worked up for now, but in the near future after moving to our new house we will definitely give this a shot!

-- Marcio Wilges @ http://www.platinumremovals.com.au/

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Pat3

9 posts in 286 days

posted 11-22-2014 04:15 AM

Thanks, it is working well. About 5 months ago I removed the bottom board and shoveled out two wagons full of material that I used around the base of several plants in the yard. Other than that, I just keep adding food and green waste to it. I turn it over about once a month or two and it just keeps working. I was thinking about adding the second bin, but the material just keeps shrinking down. I get the bin about 3/4 filled, then it shrinks back down to about 1/2. I just picked the remaining apples from our tree several weeks ago and added about 75-100 apples that weren’t useable or had been half eaten by the birds. Then I added a layer of green material, turned it all over, added another green layer and covered it. Thinking about adding the second bin this Spring.

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