Building a Composter in Your Garden

You can build a simple easy-to-build compost yourself. Read on to learn everything there is to know about aeration, material, and cover.

If you believe in different market offers, you do not need to spend a lot of money to have a good composter. Composting can be done in a unique way if you put in some time and effort to design it yourself. Using up scraps not only gives you a sense of accomplishment, but it’s also good for the environment.

This article will teach you about different composter models, where to put them, and what makes a good one. Once you’ve built a rotting box, you’ll find step-by-step directions for making another one, a fast composter, and a worm bin. It’s a personal choice, of course. You can also check out our article on composting methods.

In this post you can learn about

Which composter is the best

Composters come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit a variety of applications. You can assemble it to your exact specs if you have access to a cordless screwdriver and saw. A city flat without a garden or a huge balcony can recycle the trash in a space-saving manner by using a worm bin or two bokashi buckets.

The Bokashi bucket, on the other hand, does not compost at all. For further information, check the relevant section below. A fast or heat composter is ideal for a small garden because it saves both space and time. Larger gardens are more likely to have space for a compost bin, whether it’s a walled one or a plain one. Extra-large gardens may also benefit from one or more rolling composters.

It’s also important to consider how much garbage you produce: if it’s only kitchen scraps, you won’t have enough to maintain a compost pile. The Bokashi, worm bins, compact rapid or thermal composters, or a single rolling composter are all good options for modest quantities. Composters and enclosed compost heaps, sometimes known as rotting boxes, work well for medium-sized amounts of waste.

Only the use of many rotting boxes or a basic, long windrow is still practical for recycling a large amount of material. Detailed descriptions of the various options are provided in the section below. This unique article goes into greater detail about suitable composting techniques.

Garden Composters

Composters in the garden come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

  • Composting begins with a pile, which is often referred to as a compost heap. There are no restrictions on how many layers you may build with it; the sky is the limit. But in a decaying box, the space is more condensed.
  • Compost can be collected, layered, and moved with the help of many boxes. Compost piles don’t need to be turned if coarse and fine materials are alternately layered.
  • The small size and creation of composting-friendly conditions of fast and thermal composters characterize them. Windrows cannot provide sufficient thermal insulation with smaller amounts of compost, but they compost well in larger volumes. Thermal composters are more energy-efficient and can compost for longer periods of time. There can be no turning when using a fast or heat composter. Careful layering and the usage of structural material are essential.
  • Comparatively, because they are continually in motion, rolling composters don’t need to be layered or turned. Instead, the compost is constantly mixed and aerated. The loudness has been kept to a minimum to prevent you from becoming fatigued. When using a rolling composter, you can only take one type of compost at a time; however, some composters let you take several degrees of decay.

Composters for Apartments & Balcony

You don’t need a composter if you don’t have a garden. There are other options. The choices for a balcony and an apartment can be found here.

  • Composting is a worm bin is accomplished with the help of compost worms. Worm compost is created, and it’s loaded with nutrients. Composting reduces the volume of trash by up to 90%, so even a four-person home may use a big and well-run-in worm bin. Because a worm bin is such a small and sensitive ecology, you should pay more attention to it than you would a backyard composter while caring for it.
  • Composting occurs in the Bokashi bucket, but fermentation occurs instead. Lactic acid bacteria do this by fermenting simple sugars to make lactic acid, which provides the body with energy. Only anaerobic conditions – i.e. without oxygen – allow for fermentation to take place. Bokashi tea, a product of fermentation that can be utilized as liquid fertilizer, is also created. To make finished bokashi, you must ferment a bucket of organic waste for two to three weeks at a time. A composter or raised bed can then be used to store the material after it is worked flat. Two to three buckets in rotation are adequate for a family of four.

Use high-quality organic fertilizers with a long-term effect if you don’t have the space to generate enough compost for your plants. These are great since they give your plants all the essential nutrients they need without you having to spend time and effort preparing them first.

Ideal Location for Building a Composter

However, the location of the compost might be a source of conflict with the neighbor or rapidly enter the legs if it is positioned a long distance away from the house and garden.

Composter and your Property line

As it turns out, there’s good news for composters – they aren’t considered structural facilities. So you can put them anywhere along your property boundary. Composting facilities do not need a permit as long as their daily throughput does not exceed 10 tonnes of compost material.

However, we strongly advise you to talk to your neighbors about this. Poor composting can lead to unpleasant odors or even rats finding the compost, so your well-being is mostly dependent on your good intentions. Another option is to sue for damages caused by foul odors or vermin infestations.

Perfect Location for Composting

Composting should be done in a shaded area away from direct sunshine, cold winds, and heavy frost. It’s, therefore, best to choose a spot that’s protected from the wind by hedges or buildings, like a park. This method is most likely to keep the compost at a steady temperature and moisture level. It’s important that the soil beneath the compost is as open, busy, and loose as possible.

Composting microorganisms travel into the compost from the soil and remain thereafter they have completed their work. Last but not least, the amount of room you have to work with is critical: When moving your compost, will you have enough space? Do you have enough space to properly sort the organic waste? Do you intend to put up a compost shredder alongside it?

Of fact, the ideal location for a compost pile does not exist. If the conditions aren’t right, you have options like planting a wind-blocking hedge or a shady little tree or putting up with a longer composting time. To sum it up, your route to the compost can be critical. Short routes are typically preferred by most people.

If the soil under your composter is really barren and infertile, you may want to consider inoculating the compost with microorganisms. Compost from another pile or commercial “compost starters” can be used as a starting point. If you’re going to buy something, be sure it contains microorganisms and not just fertilizer and lime. If they are unable to migrate naturally, using compost worms may be an option.

Build Composter Yourself Using Wood, Metal, or Pallets

Any kind of material will do for a compost bin, but if you wish to follow ecological principles, leftovers or recycling are good choices. Wood is the simplest material to work with, and even a rotting wooden box can last for a long time if it is correctly designed. It’s even possible to build something out of nothing but pallets. Wood also has the advantage of being the most affordable option.

Extremely long-lasting building material is metal, such as reclaimed fence posts, metal expansion joints, or even galvanized sheet metal. If you have the resources and equipment, you’ll have a great time doing it both now and in the future. Compost fences made of brick are another option, although they are more expensive. As a result of the need to drill holes in the brickwork at regular intervals to ensure ventilation, this task takes some expertise.

Of course, combining several materials can be beneficial in some situations as well. However, do not attempt to seal your compost with paving stones or poured concrete. It’s a common misconception that composting curtains can be slowed down by using peasant feces as a filler.

Manure heaps on animal farms should not be composted, just stored on sealed surfaces. Because manure is such a rich source of nutrients, the subsoil must be guarded against the excessive nitrogen concentrations that can result from its use. After that, manure that has been saved should be put to good use by fertilizing the soil. Composting for an extended period of time reduces the fertilizing effects on plants, hence it is avoided here.

Properties of a Good Composter Setup

A composter should  –

  • be accessible from the bottom, yet keep moles out by providing a barrier.
  • be surrounded by well-permeable components on at least three sides.
  • On the fourth side, make it simple to remove and transfer compost.
  • if it’s not mobile, it should be anchored to the ground with something strong and long-lasting.
  • be insulated.
  • provide some sort of cover for protection.

Instructions on How to Build Your Composter

The following supplies are required to construct a basic decomposing box made of wood and wire fencing.

  • Tape measure or folding rule
  • Wooden or plastic hammer (large) for driving wooden stakes (or a pile driver)
  • 4 sharpened wooden stakes, diameter at least 10 cm, 150 cm high
  • spirit level
  • Wire mesh fence, grid size about 2.5 cm, 1 m x 4.5 m in size
  • Hand stapler or battery stapler and wire staples (or metal staples)
  • Wooden boards, about 10 cm x 2 cm, about 150 cm long
  • side cutter
  • 4 wooden strips, about 3 cm x 3 cm, about 100 cm long
  • nails, about 3.1 mm x 70 mm
  • Sturdy plastic tarpaulin, which must be UV-resistant fora long time, 1 m x 4.5 m in size
  • Chick wire, 180 cm x 180 cm
  • Wood saw
  • Hammer

Below we have summarized all the steps for you:

  1. Set aside a 150 cm x 150 cm area for the project.
  2. Every 50 cm, drive a wooden post vertically into the ground and use a spirit level to make sure it is plumb.
  3. Two boards are nailed together just above the ground from the exterior to two posts, one on each side. Keep the door to the front unlocked.
  4. Chicken wire should be cut to fit the posts’ outside diameter and stapled to the chicken wire’s backside on all three sides. To fix a problem with stapling, try nailing it.
  5. Cut the four post-height wooden strips to length and attach them to the two front posts, forming a vertical rail on the left and right sides into which you may insert the boards you’re working with. In order to conveniently push the battens, the spacing between them should be somewhat greater than the thickness of the board. For 2 cm thick boards, the distance is around 2.4 centimeters).
  6. Nail plastic wrap to the interior of the posts and use it to line the three-wire walls.
  7. Put chicken wire down on the bottom and bend it up the sides before stapling it to the board’s back on both the left and right sides towards the bottom (step 3).
  8. Cut the wood to the appropriate lengths, then slide the boards in between the battens on the outside to close the front.
  9. Make holes in the foil through the wire mesh from the outside, which will create several air passages for ventilation.
  10. If you have a large enough piece of foil leftover, you can use it to cover your compost later on.

It’s time to fill your decaying box with rotting food. Always cover the compost with something shady.

You may make this composting structure last longer by digging holes, filling them halfway with gravel, and hammering the poles into place. After that, you’ll want to backfill the gap and really push it. In this manner, water will be able to drain more effectively and the post will last longer.

Additionally, you can use post shoes into which the posts can be screwed. The concrete or hammered-in post shoe keeps the post out of the muddy ground. In addition to the type of wood used, the construction’s durability depends on whether or not it is impregnated, glazed, or made of larch or oak.

How to Build a Quick Composter Yourself

The following materials are required to quickly construct a composter out of a plastic or metal barrel.

  • A large, clean plastic or metal barrel with a lid, at least 75 liters.
  • Wire mesh
  • Jigsaw with plastic/metal blade
  • Hinges
  • Latch
  • Threaded screws and nuts, suitable for the wall thickness of the barrel you are using.
    Cordless screwdriver and drill bits for the barrel material.

These are the necessary steps:

  1. The base of the barrel should also be extensively perforated or jigsaw slits should be sawed in it. Two air holes should be provided in the lid.
  2. Barrel walls must be at least 20 centimeters vertically lined with chicken wire, which should be bent around the bottom and sides. Make a slit in the wire mesh where the subsequent removal flap will be.
  3. Make a big flap near the bottom of the pile to facilitate the removal of the finished compost. In addition, note where all of the fasteners are located. Remove the flap with care using a saw.
  4. Reduce the danger of harm by deburring the flap and opening edges.
  5. To attach the hinges and lock, drill holes where they’ve been marked. Threaded bolts and nuts are used to fasten the two together.
  6. In case a lid stop is required, use two wooden latches screwed into the opening.
  7. Put the lid on the barrel and secure it.

It’s now time to put your quick composter to good use. It is loaded from the top and the compost material at the bottom can be removed once the composting process has been completed.

Since the composter is exposed to sunlight, paint it black to maximize the amount of heat and insulation. Use insulating material, fine wire fencing, and garden fleece to cover the barrel’s exterior walls from the outside in. There must be a lot of holes in the insulating material and fleece. In this way, a consistent temperature will be maintained throughout the composter thanks to the insulation.

How to Build a Worm-box at Home

It’s essential to get the appropriate dimensions when building a worm bin. Your worm bin requires 1000 cm2 of floor area for every 500 g of weekly compost. This footprint can, of course, be divided up among a number of stacked containers. More than 1000 cm2 will be covered by three boxes, each 17 cm × 20 cm in size.

To build a worm bin for indoor use you will need:

  1. Stacked crates that are made of wood, metal, or plastic. They should be free of debris and not translucent.
  2. Driven by a cordless screwdriver equipped with a drill bit suitable for the substance (7 mm).
  3. A draining tap with a seal for the worm tea.
  4. A hand drill or a drill designed for use with a tap.
  5. Box lid for the upper section.
  6. Two thick plastic flower pots will be used as spacers in the future.

These are the steps in the process:

  1. Connect the drain valve to the crate as low as possible, so that it sits at the bottom of the pile. To achieve this, make a hole in the side of the container using a drill or mill and screw in the tap and seal. This box, also functions as a collection box for the worm tea, will eventually fill up with it.
  2. Each box below it should have a hole drilled 8 cm apart in the bottom. Later on, moisture and worms will be able to pass through these holes.
  3. Make sure the two spacers are inverted in the bottom crate before adding them. In this method, the crates above won’t slide all the way into the bottom one, allowing more worm tea to collect before draining it.
    Close the top crate’s lid and stack the remaining crates within.

It’s time to put your worm bin to work. Working upwards from the bottom, shifting floors as you go when you’re filling: To begin, add compost and compost worms to the bottom of the box. The box on top should be filled to a third fullness before you add more.

Continue filling the boxes in this manner until they are all full. Worm compost in the lowest bin will be ready when the top bin is full if your worm bin is the appropriate size for your needs. You can now remove the bottom box, clean it, and reassemble it atop the other one.

If the compost in the bottom box has not yet matured, you should consider adding another floor because your worm box is clearly inadequate for the volume of trash you generate. So when worms have exited the chamber and there are no longer any visible structures from the prior garbage, the compost is ready.

How to Build Bokashi Composter at Home

To properly handle the organic waste generated by a four-person household, you’ll need two bokashi buckets.

To build a Bokashi bucket you will need:

  • 2 x 20-liter buckets that fit exactly inside each other.
  • Airtight lid for the bucket
  • Cutter knife or hand cutter
  • A tap with a seal for draining the bokashi tea
  • Sealing tape
  • Cordless screwdriver with a drill

These are the steps you will need to take:

  1. Make a lot of holes in one of the containers. Later, the bokashi tea will be poured into the lower bucket through the holes in these screens.
  2. Determine the tap’s location by placing the perforated bucket in the collection bucket. Put a spacer on the bottom of the lower bucket if the higher one slips in too far.
  3. Remove the collection bucket’s higher bucket and place the tap in the collection bucket’s lower bucket. To begin, drill a small hole and then use a cutting knife to carve off a circle large enough to accommodate the tap. Alternatively, you might use a hand cutter that’s made for the job.
  4. Put the tap and seal in the bucket from the bottom up.
  5. Place the top bucket in the collection bucket and measure the distance between the bucket walls to calculate the height at which the seal should be applied. The depth to which the buckets may be pushed into one another will be a determining factor.
  6. Using multiple thicknesses of sealing tape, close the space between the buckets until they are snugly and airtightly fitted together.

It’s now time to put your Bokashi container to good use. This page on the Bokashi bucket includes instructions on how to use it.