Making your own compost has many benefits for you and your garden. It gives you somewhere to discard plant matter after tidying the garden; it provides you with a free source of nutrient rich compost with which to feed your plants; and it keeps garden worms and other creatures happy, all of which are vital for a healthy garden ecosystem. So, if your New Year resolution is to be greener in your garden, making your own compost using a DIY compost bin is a brilliant way to start.
A compost heap can be as simple as piling up garden matter and covering it with tarp, or it can be an expensive plastic construction bought from a garden centre. But we would argue that the best of the lot are those you can build yourself from scratch. Here’s how to build your own compost bin…
Building a Compost Bin
Tape measure or long ruler
You Will Need:
24 22mm x 100mm x 900mm planks (for the sides and back)
1 22mm x 100mm x 900mm plank (for the front)
2 22mm x 100mm x 855mm planks (for the front side-panels)
4 22mm x 47mm x 1000mm lengths of wood (for the uprights)
2 22mm x 47mm x 1000mm lengths of wood (for the battens)
10 22mm x 47mm x 800mm planks of wood (for the front panels)
Constructing The Compost Bin
- To make the side sections, place two of the uprights on the ground, 805 mm apart and parallel to each other. Lay the first side plank at the top, ensuring that it sits flush with the top of each upright and at 90 degrees.
- Fix it to the uprights using two screws per side. Then, using the side edge of one of the planks as a spacer, attach seven more side planks. Repeat for the opposite side.
- Stand the two sides parallel to each other then, starting from the top, attach eight back planks to join the two sides to form the back of your composter. (You might need to ask a pal for a helping hand for this bit to stop it going wonky)
- From the front, attach a plank across the base of the uprights at a height that matches the lowest side planks.
- Attach a batten to each of the front two uprights, then attach the two front side panels (see figure 2). This forms the slot that will hold your front panels.
- Slide the 10 panels into the slot to form the front of your composter. Having removable sliding panels on the front of your composter will make access to your heap a lot easier.
- For a finishing flourish, sand down any rough edges and treat the wood with a water-based wood preservative. Position your DIY composter in a shady part of the garden or allotment and get heaping!
Have you made your own compost bin? Will you be following our DIY composter plan? Let us know in the comments.