Make your own compost bin!

I have not always been a person who loves gardening at all. I mean, sure I have always enjoyed the fruit of others peoples hard work but have never really been keen to get my own hands dirty.

But since owning my own home, just over 6 years ago, I have come to love my garden, as well as working in it. Well, I wouldn’t quite say that I LOVE it, but seeing how things thrive once they are given a bit of TLC definitely makes it worthwhile.

I want to share something with you that is amazing…Making your very own Compost Bin! I started doing this at the beginning of this year and it has worked like a charm. You get all the benefits of having a compost heap but without any of the dodgy smells and you don’t have to get your hands dirty! If that’s not enough, it is super easy to set up and costs very little. Have a look at what I did…

What you will need:

1 x bucket with a secure lid (I used a black 85l container that I get from Westpak for less than R100)

1 x drill with drill bit (thought I would specify for those unhandy people)

And that’s it! My container also has wheels which makes it super easy to move.

What to do:

Drill about 10 holes in the lid of your container, turn it over and drill about 15 more into the bottom. Drill a few more into each side and….you’re done:)

  

The holes help get some of the moisture out and some good air in. This helps the process along.

Now that your compost bin is set up, its time to make some compost!

Grab some old leaves or grass cuttings to create a base. Fill it to 1/4 of the way. Then add some regular garden soil on top of that until its about half to 3/4 full. Next take your fruit or veggie scraps and add them in and voila…you have a compost bin:)

Many compost piles will take about a year to provide good compost for use.  This bin allows that process to go much faster.  You can get good compost in as little as 4-6 months.

Some tips to remember:

  1. Anytime you add contents to your compost bin, give it a good shake to aerate it and allow it to process faster and more efficiently. You can do this by simply rocking your container from side to side and then tilting it front to back (this is where the tight lid comes in).
  2. You should try to keep your compost moist so if it starts looking a bit dry, remember to add in some water too. It helps to place your compost bin in an uncovered area to allow it to be moistened by rain.
  3. The smaller the articles you add to your compost, the faster they will decompose. So try cutting peelings and trimmings into smaller pieces before adding.
  4. Adding worms to your compost also really helps the process along

What can you add?

A good rule to follow is that if it grew in the ground then you can add it. Never add any food that has had salt or butter added to it. Never add any dairy products or meats to your compost.

But there are loads of other things that you can add too, including crushed egg shells, coffee ground and filters, tea bags, paper serviettes, paper bags, cardboard egg cartons (cut them up small), wine corks, toothpicks, popcorn kernels, old oatmeal plus many more.

Give it a go and let me know how yours turns out.

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