Wine Barrel Compost Station

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Project by winecountrywhimsy posted 04-20-2009 12:11 PM 26103 views 3 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have seen several compost barrels made from plastic and metal drums or barrels. With the access I have to wine barrels, I thought why not try to make a compost wine barrel. I then settled on three barrels so that I can have enough capacity for our garden and to handle all our yard waste.

I cut the tops of the barrels off below the top hoop. I use a reciprocating saw, but you could also use a circular saw with the blade tilted to match the angle of the barrel. I used latches to attach the top back to the barrel. I enlarged the bung hole of the wine barrel to 1 1/2 in. and cut a second hold on the other side to match. I a 1/2 in. hole on the side of the barrel near the bottom and inserted a PVC valve. This allows the barrel to be drained of the “compost tea” as it builds up. This goes on your plants for a great fertilizer.

I dug holes and set fence posts in concrete. I made them tall enough so that I can get my wheel barrow under them when they are tipped and pull the compost right into the wheel barrow. I used 1 1/2 in. metal electrical conduit as the main support, running it through the holes of the barrels. I attached the conduit to the top of the fence posts with brackets. The hard part was lifting the three barrels up onto the fence post supports. That takes some friends/neighbors for help.

So, you fill it up with grass, leaves, kitchen waste, etc. Add a little water, a little fertilizer, etc. Latch the top on and spin it to mix it up. I turn them about once a week to keep them well mixed up. Add water once in a while when it looks dry. Keep the lid off for a while if it looks too wet. Usually by the time the third barrel is full, the first is ready to empty. It makes great compost for the garden.

-- Todd & Jan @ winecountrywhimsy - Sonoma County, CA

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34 posts in 3253 days
hardiness zone 9

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compost compost barrel wine barrel

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15 comments so far

View dini's profile


1591 posts in 3596 days
hardiness zone 5

posted 04-20-2009 12:48 PM

Nice system you set up there.

-- the day you quit learning is the day you quit living.

View GrandmaT's profile


5389 posts in 3757 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 04-20-2009 01:50 PM

Fantastic repurposing!!!! Love it!!!

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View jroot's profile


5121 posts in 3510 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-20-2009 04:19 PM

Super idea. Well thought out.

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

View MsDebbieP's profile


14694 posts in 3880 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-20-2009 06:04 PM

this is brilliant—and looks like art in the yard rather than a compost bin.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Chris's profile


46 posts in 3251 days

posted 04-21-2009 03:11 AM

Smart idea! Wondering if we could do this with plastic barrels hubby gets from work…..

View Eklectic's profile


1824 posts in 3680 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-21-2009 05:51 AM

I agree with all that was said! WOW!

-- Eklectic, Follow my Bliss, South East Ontario 5a

View Bon's profile


7374 posts in 3660 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-21-2009 08:06 AM

Really great setup.As Jroot says well thought out.

-- Bon,Hastings, 5a....Always room for one more

View rosewood513's profile


420 posts in 3230 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 04-25-2009 11:01 AM

Ingenious. Now one can cook while the other can be used and there is one between. Love it!!!

-- If you always do what you always did, then you will always get what you always got!...Lanoka Harbor, NJ 6b

View mario1360's profile


921 posts in 3295 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 06-18-2009 03:34 PM

wow too cool…..i wanted to buy one of those barrells at the flea market a while back but they asked $90 for it… much do you pay for them?????

-- south shore montreal, zone 5a, whish it was 9

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

1690 posts in 3651 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 06-20-2009 06:47 AM

Pretty freakin’ snazzy… Is there anything you DON’T do with wine barrels? ;’)

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

View XploreOrganics's profile


1393 posts in 3758 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-21-2009 06:35 PM


-- Xploreorganics, 5b Canada, LFD 06-20

View Jessie's profile


24 posts in 3180 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 06-29-2009 07:23 PM

Such a creative and functional idea. Kudos to you.

View justjoel's profile


1063 posts in 3260 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 08-24-2011 01:41 AM

Just plain fantastic – simple as that.

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

View Harold and Pam's profile

Harold and Pam

255 posts in 2954 days
hardiness zone 10b

posted 08-24-2011 04:22 PM

I thought the story may have gone ”... da wife and I sat down the other night and have a few glasses of wine…

-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl

View winecountrywhimsy's profile


34 posts in 3253 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 08-25-2011 02:02 PM

I used to be able to get the barrels for free, but now there is a higher demand and the cost is generally $25+. I doubt this would work for a plastic barrel, the sides of the barrel would be too flimsy to support the barrel when it is full. One thing I have learned is that when the barrels are empty you must fill them with water or else they wood shrinks and the barrels will fall apart.

-- Todd & Jan @ winecountrywhimsy - Sonoma County, CA

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