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Old 04-15-2010, 08:26 PM
2 x C 2 x C is offline
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Default Free Compost Bin

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First, I entertained the idea of getting a backyard tumbler type of composter but for 200 dollars?? NO WAY. So I improvised.

My compost bin was totally free!!!! I just trimmed some branches that were hanging low on our Pin Oak trees. I stacked the branches about two feet high and three feet long and made 3 sides Back, Sides, Open Front. I just take a few extra branches and lay over the top to keep it from blowing away. Heck I have leaves blowing in and getting caught in this contraption so all I have to do is rake a few in with the grass clippings for the green, brown mix.

The wifey hates it. I looks like something an ostrich would use for a nest but it was free and works!!!!
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:58 PM
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Default There are several approaches to compost.

I built mine out of scrap wood. Labour, about 30 minutes:

The tumblers ARE nice and speed up the process, but one can still use a fork a turn the pile in my kind of compost bin weekly and get the same results. The exercise is good for ya.

Make sure you don't let rain get the pile TOO sopping wet. Mine is under the eaves of my house, so it is somewhat protected. Compost needs moisture, but it also needs air. It's a fine balance. The tumblers only work if you add water periodically.

So in my opinion there is always labour involved in a compost pile, whether free-form, one like mine or the fancy plastic tumbler variety. You just have to choose which kind of labour you want to use.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by chipmunk View Post
My 1st year of composting I did it in a garbage can made out like a ghetto compostumbler. All summer I stuffed it with vegitables, in the fall I added leaves, I stuffed it right back up everytime it would settle down a bit and so the volume I put into is was around the size of two SUVs worth. The following spring I scoop it out and it had turned into only about s five gallon bucket. It really shrinks down so you dont need much space. If you are doing animal manure and want to burn out the seeds and do a thermal reaction to kill germs etc you need 3 quare feet for so. To use a 4X4 or in other words, to make the money spent worth it, you have to have a lot to put in it.
You can also improve and speed up the process using that cylindrical trash can by rolling it on the ground once or more a week to stir the compost up inside.
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:18 PM
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This post discussed manure in the compost pile & recomended seperate piles for veggies & manure.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:17 PM
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I built one out of some 2x stock and 2 ten foot 4x4 -- no need to spend money on plastic -- and it gets rain when it needs it
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:05 PM
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I just saw this thread, and I was about to start a thread on composting.

My kids have raised show cattle for several years, and I bought a horse last year. Needless to say, I have a pen full of poop.

Does anyone have a plan for building a really big composter?

I shoveled some out last year for my garden and my neighbor's, but I am going to do a complete clean out very soon. Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:50 AM
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Talking The easiest ways to compost, cheapest too.

Kev, I started with one of those recycled plastic stick the slats together and add the top composters for a hefty sum. I dumped my kitchen compost pail into it until it was full, then started again after it went down. I never turned it like a conventional compost pile because the worms were taking care of it. When I finally quit adding to it, I put some shredded paper on top and occasionally watered it during our rainless summers.
Then I took a 55 gallon steel drum and drilled holes all through it, top, bottom and sides. I dug out a bit from the first composter that was just thick with worms and added that to the first pail full of scraps. I quit adding to it last year after filling it and refilling it after the worms reduced it. Same as with the plastic one before, which broke under the weight and sun exposure. It's now about half full and looking good. That compost is going into my new raised beds I'm in the process of building.
I drilled holes in an old plastic garbage can next, filled it and then a couple of aluminum trash cans I'd been using to hold chicken feed. If you're just starting you can simply make sure the container's in good contact with the soil and that the soil's moist. The worms will then go right in through the bottom. You can also just pick up a container or two of red worms, not night crawlers, from a bait shop. Crawlers live in burrows around 18 inches deep and crawl out at night to drag detritus in for food. Red worms, aka red wigglers, aka earthworms and tiger stripes feed at the surface right under the layer of leaves, etc. And they eat a lot.
Something else you might consider is having the container rest on or over something to catch the leachate from the compost. You can dilute this with water and use it as a worm tea fertilizer or even spray it on plants as a foliar feed. Supposedly spraying worm tea on plants actually prevents and kills some fungal disorders such as black spot, rusts, and powdery mildew. You can also have a door in the base so you can rake finished compost out the bottom while still adding to the top. You might get by with just one container that way.
One thing about doing this. Make sure that the holes in the sides are at least 1/4 to 5/8 inch. I had a can get too hot and the black soldier fly pupae tried to escape only to get stuck because I had drilled the holes too small. They're important because they destroy other fly maggots, hence no fly problems.
Harvest McCampbell and some others also advocate just burying your scraps right into the soil so the worms can take care of it there. That's a little like the strip composting method but again requires no turning.
Good luck and good gardening.
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compost, compost bin, compost pile, compost tips, composting, help with composting, how to compost, lowes

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