How to Make a Compost Bin and Start Composting
How to make a Compost Bin and Start Composting your food scraps.
Before I tell you how to make a compost bin, let me tell you how it all began. While enjoying the sound of the rain that cooled down a hot summer night, we sat underneath the porch having some deeply rooted conversation until we noticed something. There were small black worms squirming around from out of nowhere. Of course, I start to freak out a bit and started to sweep them away from us with the outside broom. At first, there were only about 4 of them but that was enough for me to be concerned about. Had me thinking ” how on earth did these things get here under my screened in porch…dammit”.
As the night went on and the rain got heavier, we started to see more of them appearing and so you know me and my inquisitive mind had to do some investigations. I noticed that the little worms were not slimy and long, they were black and short with very prominent segmented skin, sort of like a worm but with dry skin. I thought they were some new age disgusting maggots so I go and get the salt..lol. (mind you, this was before I learned to overcome my fears of bugs in the garden ) When I realized that they were not phased by the salt, I took to google for a bit of research.
So what did we find out?
I found out that they are black soldier fly larvae. Hermetia illucens, better known as Black Soldier fly, that have babies that are some pretty ferocious eaters that can be used to compost household food scraps and agricultural waste products. We struck gold. Believe it or not, but those little critters changed our lives forever. Due to our discovery, we began to research a bit more and found out that just composting can help the environment in tremendous ways. No matter where you live, you too can give back to mother Earth
Now I’m going to tell you how to make a compost bin. Below I have provided the steps on how we made our own DIY Compost bin with a few simple materials. Most of the items can be purchased from your local hardware store.
35 Gallon Trash Can ( WalMart for $10 – 18 )
Hand Drill ( if you don’t have one just see if you can borrow one from your neighbor)
Bungee Cords ( Walmart, I got a set for $10 with 20 pieces different sizes)
Some thick scrap wood – Enough that you can sit the garbage bin on top of and have at least 3 inches of ground clearance.
(you can get this at home depot in the scrap wood section if you are lucky, you can even use some old bricks. Just be creative and use what you have laying around)
Drill holes into the side and lid of the garbage bin as shown in the illustration below.
Place and position the wood in the location where you will keep your compost bin
Put the bin on top of it and begin to fill it.
You are probably wondering..”ok now what do I put in it?”
You know I’ve got you on that too. There are loads of things that you can put in your compost bin so I have broken them down into categories to give you a general idea.
- Fresh Grass Clipping ( heavy abundance of this stuff during the summertime with the crazy growing grass)
- Manure ( from herbivores only )
- Vegetables and Fruit peelings
- Tea Leaves
- Young Weeds (non-perennials)
- Vegetable crop residue ( like my tomato plant in the top picture)
- Twigs and Hedge Clippings
- Coffee Grounds and the filters ( paper of course )
- Shredded Paper
- Dead leaves ( abundant in the fall) ( or ALWAYS in my back garden..lol)
- Hay and Straw
Other Items to Compost:
- Washed and crushed Egg Shells
- Hair ( human or pet hair will do, this will provide nitrogen to the compost)
- Wool, Cotton, or Dryer Sheets cut into small pieces
- Vacuum Bag Guts – be mindful in regards to what you vacuumed though, you wouldn’t want to vacuum up some borax and then dump it.
- Wood Ash
When you add to your compost bin, be sure to layer from each category. Example: Layer of brown waste, then green waste, then other items…so on and so forth.
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