Right now, more than ever, we must do our bit for the environment. Every action we take has an impact on the earth. So, it is essential that we make a few eco-friendly changes to our daily lives, in order to protect our planet’s future.
What better way to start than composting? All the food waste that you organize and dispose of, can be converted into a compost which has multiple advantages. The best part about composting is that you can build it up from scratch with very little help.
We are here to provide you all the extra information you might need before starting your own compost project. In this article we will tell you how to make a DIY compost bin in case you don’t have sufficient space to dig a hole. DIY compost bins are easy to make, and even easier to manage. These can be a second addition to having something like countertop compost bins and compost tumblers.
Composting requires very little skill; all you have to do is collect all your biodegradable plant waste, from vegetable peels and fruit cores to all the dead leaves and twigs from your garden. Then add a little water to the mix and, after a certain period of time, you will have your very own nutrient rich compost. This also works as a great fertilizer for your garden.
However, like everything else, composting comes with a set of dos and don’ts. So, here are few things you should keep in mind before you start making your own compost.
A Few Suggestions To Keep In Mind Before Composting
1. Choosing The Correct Materials For Your Compost
The secret behind a really healthy and nutritious compost is the materials you put into it. All the organic components are broken down to make a beneficial compost, which is great for gardening. Some of the organic materials that you must include are coffee grounds, tea bags, vegetable and fruit scraps, paper, grass clippings, wood chips, leaves, etc.
You must avoid putting in materials like dairy products, pet wastes and feces, diseased plant parts, and any form of fat. Some of these might attract insects and pests to the compost or even release harmful chemicals. Thus, it’s best to consult a gardener or the internet before deciding what to put in your compost.
2. Different Ways Of Composting
There are different ways of achieving a healthy compost. One option is hot composting, which involves a faster decomposition of the organic materials with the help of water, carbon dioxide or nitrogen. Your compost will be ready within just a few months.
On the other hand, cold composting is the standard way of composting. It requires you to simply gather all your organic materials, put them in your compost bin and let them take their own time decomposing. This process usually takes a year. Choose whichever process you are most comfortable with, as the quality of compost produced is the same.
3. Proper Layering And Mixing
Ensure that all your material has been broken down into smaller pieces, as this will help with the decomposition. Keep adding all your materials in layers. Try and keep wood chips or plant parts in one layer, and vegetable or fruit scraps in another layer.
Spray your materials lightly with some water, and optionally cover it for a while. This will aid in breaking down the materials. Be sure to give your compost a good mix occasionally as it will make the composting more uniform.
4. Monitoring Your Compost
During composting, a few bacteria and fungi are bound to bloom in your compost mixture, which are important for the entire process. This contributes to a richer compost. However, some fungi can make your compost poisonous.
Keep an eye out for any fungal growth, and try to identify whether it is good for your compost. Regular monitoring will help you track your compost development better.
Now that you have a few tricks in your bag to tackle compost making, let us talk about making a DIY compost bin. This is extremely simple and allows you to set up your compost at your convenience. With a few simple steps you can get your own compost bin without any unnecessary expenditure.
Steps To Make A Diy Compost Bin
1. First Step
The first step is to pick out a large sized bin or trash can, and wash it. Plastic or metal trash cans are good choices for a compost bin. Your trash can must also have a tight fitting lid.
Clean your trash can thoroughly and dry it. Make sure to remove any plastic stickers or labels (non-biodegradable materials), as they will hamper the development of the compost.
2. Second Step
Next we make holes on the body of the bin. Attach a spade bit to your drill, and drill some holes on all four sides of the trash can. Make sure that the holes are equally spaced over the bin, allowing for a steady airflow into your compost.
3. Third Step
The last step is to scrub down the trash can meticulously, once more. This will wash away all the plastic shavings that were created while drilling holes into the bin.
Place your compost bin on top of two or four large bricks, this will allow the excess moisture to drain away and enable proper airflow at the bottom. Select a dry and cool spot to place your compost bin, and you are good to go. Finally, check the bin one last time, and start layering your materials in it.
This is the most basic DIY compost bin you can create with any old trash can lying around. In case you don’t have a large, spare dustbin in your home, here are a few household items that can be used to make an effective DIY compost bin.
Simple DIY Compost Bin Ideas
1. DIY Milk Crate Compost Bin
This is one of the simplest readymade compost bins at your disposal. Clean the crates well and put a moist cloth like tarp to cover the bottom, as this will prevent your compost from falling out. Milk crates come with their own air holes so there is no need for drilling them, and they can be moved quite easily, too.
2. DIY Bucket Compost Bin
Grab a large empty bucket lying around in your storeroom and get started. Wash it carefully, make holes into it using your favorite drill, and you are all set.
3. DIY Cardboard Box Compost Bin
This is another item that is widely available. If you don’t have one you can simply ask your greengrocer for a spare one lying around. Make a few uniformly spaced holes into it, and you are ready to start composting.
Composting is a useful and sustainable process, which is highly beneficial for your garden as well as for our planet. We hope our article encourages you to build a DIY compost bin and put all your scraps to good use, because as you read, composting requires very little effort.
You don’t need any special materials either- just use whatever is available on hand. Use your homemade compost for a week, and notice how it improves the health of your carefully maintained garden, by leaps and bounds. Whatever kind of compost bin you choose to make, it will yield enriching and organic manure, which will work wonders for your flower and vegetable garden.