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What we need in a Cheap Compost Bin Maker

Updated on August 14, 2011

Start Composting

I just recently started with my first compost bin. It is much easier than I thought however it does take some thought. I wanted to use stuff I had around the house instead of buying a tumbler or other type of spendy bin. So I used some wire fence material (similar to chicken wire but sturdier) I had left over from a small dog run I had made, cheap too, I think it was less than $40 for a big roll; it would be cheaper for sure for a small roll! I now have a functioning aerated Organic Compost Maker for cheap!

I will have an awesome garden with Peas and Blueberries and Tomatoes etc. this summer to accompany my BBQ! As well as fresh jalapeno's, cilantro for my Tacos!! It will be cheaper, fresher and tastier because I can grow more efficiently using my own compost system.

Compost Pics

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My Simple, Cheap, Compost Bin.
My Simple, Cheap, Compost Bin.
My Simple, Cheap, Compost Bin.

How to make compost...

Learning how to make compost material involves a relatively simple recipe of Browns (dead dry stuff-Carbon) and Greens (fresh live stuff-Nitrogen). Adding too much brown material will result in a compost pile that takes a long time to break down. Adding too much green material will result in a compost pile that is slimy and smelly that doesn't break down well. In order for your compost pile to break down quickly and efficiently you should feed it just the right balance of brown and green materials.

The microorganisms in our compost bins need both carbon and nitrogen to thrive; carbon for energy and nitrogen for protein synthesis. For every one unit of Green stuff used by the bacteria they also consume about 3 units of Brown stuff. So in order to keep the bacteria working efficiently we need to supply them with a mixture that is about 3 parts Brown to 1 part Green. It's really not that complicated...

Basically I look at it like this, if you have too much green stuff on hand then make a little spread out pile and let some dry out, then mix it with one part of fresh "green" trimmings or food stuff to a larger amount of your saved up brown stuff. Easy? Right!

Then make sure you turn your compost pile, compost bin, or whatever you have made for the composting task. The bacteria that break down your compost need air to thrive in this environment and after a week or two after the bacteria will start to die off as they start to use up the available air in the pile. When this happens it's time to turn the pile to get more air into it. I read lots of different thoughts on this and will say I turn mine a few times a month. No biggie, I have time.

Try to move the drier material from the outer edges of the pile into the center. Moisten any of the materials as you go if they seem dry since composting will take much to long if it is constantly dry.

Using your Compost material

It will take anywhere from 14 days to a year to finish a compost pile. In general compost is ready when it is dark and crumbly and mostly broken down with a pleasant, earthy, soil-like smell to it.

Then once you have started to harvest the Organic Super fertilizer you made, you can use it in a multitude of ways. You can use it for indoor plants by dressing the top of the post with Compost. Use it as a fertilizer for lawns or around trees. Or you can use it to start new plants. One of my favorites is making Compost tea.

Make Compost Tea by mixing the Compost with water and letting it soak. Strain the mixture and use like a fertilizer when watering. Here is a link for doing so.

Topsoil, Money in the bank!

When that first batch of finished compost is ready to spread, congratulate yourself for your efforts because you are ecological minded, and know that organic materials should be recycled into the soil instead of being put in a garbage can. By recycling the organic materials, valuable nutrients and organic matter are recycled. You have helped alleviate the solid waste problem!You now have the best topsoil money can buy and the fruits vegetables and flowers to show for it. So, that's money in the bank and not spent at the Grocery!!

Composter Update

Update: June 22, 2010

I have been going strong with my Compost pile and have a very rich black soil developing. I was able to find some red wigglers, worms, from a vermiculture bin my friend has, and that has really sped up the decomposing process. I have massive worms now! I empty my counter top compost pail about once a week and the pile has not developed any smell and is very productive.

As always, thanks for reading! Your comments are welcome.

Do Compost

Plant cuttings
Hay & Straw
Paper & Cardboard
Woody Prunings
Young Hedge Trimmings
Coffee Grounds
Tea Bags
Fresh Manure
Corn Cobs
Vegetables & Fruit
Grass Clippings
This is not a complete list and I have seen conflicting information.

Do Not Compost

Do not compost:
Also No:
Meat & Bones
Inorganic garbage
Poultry & Fish
Fatty Food Waste
Whole Eggs
Dairy Products
Human & Pet Feces
Pernicious Weeds
Pressure Treated Wood
Most of these are for pest issues but some are for you health so just don't do it.

How to make Compost Video

More How To


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