Making Outside Compost Bins

by GettingFreedom on March 10, 2009

Last year for our outside compost we just used some fence, that we put into a circle to make a cylinder. It was about 3 feet tall about 2 feet in diameter. I worked just fine for us–but I came across a different compost system that I wanted to use this year.

We had the wood for it already so our cost was minimal. Even if would have had to go buy wood, it still comes out cheaper than buying a composter, which can be in the hundreds of dollars.

Here is what you need:

  • (3) 4×4 pieces of wood (one for each side, and then one as the topper)
  • (2) Food Safe Barrels. Most of the time, you can get these from soda supply companies, or warehouses. You want them to be dark colored though, so that they keep in heat. (we paid $15/barrel)
  • Metal piping (We already had this)
  • Hinges for your barrels (bought at Walmart for a couple dollars a piece)
  • some form of latching mechanism to keep the “door” closed on your barrels. (bought these at WalMart as well. I think they were a couple dollars as well)
  • Drill with paddle bit.

**First off, here is my disclaimer: I just told my husband what I was going for, and I supervised the process. I’m not very savvy with any form of power tool, or wood material, or it’s terminology. Please forgive me!! If you have any specific questions, I will have my husband answer them for you.**

  1. We found where we wanted the composter to be, and set the two outer posts. Make sure that when doing this that you leave enough room for the barrel to fit in between with a little room on the sides.
  2. Mark on the post where you want your barrels to be, so that you know where to drill your holes. Again, be sure that you leave ample room between the 2 barrels for them to rotate.
  3. Using a paddle bit (we used a 1 1/2 inch, but this will depend on how big your poles are) drill holes on each end of the barrel in the center, as well as on the 2 side posts.
  4. Put your pole through the hole, put on the barrel and guide through the second side post. Do this to both barrels.
  5. Put on the topper post for a finished look and to help stabilize. Voila!

Now–I need you to use your imagination a bit. We do not have our topper post on, and I snapped the picture yesterday, before DH added our second barrel. So without further ado, here is our new composter:

We still use this to help tame the kitchen scraps, and when it is full, we dump it in our new composter.

I’ve been reading as much as I can about compost the last few weeks so that I can learn everything I can about it. I would love to put as much as I can in here instead of just chucking it in the trash! Compost really helps a garden out, and why not recycle as much as you can back into your garden.

As soon as I get my mind full with composty knowledge, I will pass it all on to you.

In the meantime, if you have some knowledge that you would like to share, feel free to leave it in the comments or shoot me an email.

I must say, I’m so glad that we got this project tackled. Making our own compost and our own compost bins definitely works for me! Now, to get those tomato plants transplanted to bigger pots!

I was told once they got their second set of leaves, they needed to be re-potted. Plus, I’ve got some more seeds to start, so I need this flat.

This post is linked to Tackle It Tuesday and Works for Me Wednesday.

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