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Compost Bins - Make Your Own

The best compost is fast compost. In other words compost that has gone through the fast composting system and has pasteurized the weed seeds and killed many of the plant roots that might survive the long term cool composting that many use. However, any compost is good compost and making it is the work of most home gardeners.

Unfortunately not everyone is a gardener and not everyone appreciates a compost pile in the back yard. When it grows to the three or four piles that the typical fast composter likes, the problem grows. Besides, not every hardened gardener wants three or four piles in the back yard. The solution is simple, buy or make compost bins. While buying is expensive, building is as quick and simple as you wish to make it.

One system is to get a length of wire fencing about 9 or 10 feet long and 3 feet high. Two to four inch mesh is good. Simple wrap the fencing in a circle and tie the ends together. This will make a compost cage three feet in diameter and is sufficient for a pile 3 x 3 x 3 feet which is what is required for a hot compost pile. To use the cage let it rest on the ground and add green material such as garden waste and kitchen scraps along with equal parts by volume of dry material like wood shavings or leaves. When the cage is full it is time for its firs turning.

Undo the front of the cage and lift it off. Retie it and set it beside the pile. With a fork, put the pile back in the cage making sure the material on the top and sides is now at the center of the pile. This can be done every three days until the pile is composted for use, about two to three weeks.

There is a problem with this method. A new pile is started while the old one composts and another cage is needed. This of course is simply done. The other problem is that the task of untying and tying the cage and moving it around can make the hardiest fencing take a beating.

So many gardeners make their compost bins from wood, concrete blocks, old bricks, or other material. Make sure the bins are at least 3 feet on a side and 3 high. Three bins are really the minimum, one for gathering, one for turning, and one for ready compost to use. These do not have to be fancy, just neat and tidy for the garden.

Darrell Feltmate is an avid gardener who has been composting and gardening for over 25 years with gardens up to 1/2 acre and compost piles for each. His composting site may be found at Compost Central. You can be a master composter in no time at all.

Much of his compost uses wood shavings from his wood turning hobby. The site for wood turning may be found at Around the Woods.

Source: www.isnare.com