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How to Make an Inexpensive Organic Compost Bin Out of Chicken Wire


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Making your own compost is so easy, and it allows you to recycle scraps, but compost bins can be pricey for the job they do. There’s an easy alternative if you want it to be more about the material going into it rather than the fancy bin.

Here’s what you need to build a good compost pile.

1. Choose a well-drained area in a shady spot. Make sure it’s within view, so you don’t forget about it.

2. Use chicken wire that is 2-3 feet in height and cut a 6 foot piece off of the roll. 

3. Secure ends of the chicken wire with zip ties to make a cylinder.

4. Make sure the chicken wire cylinder is securely in the ground before adding materials for compost.

5. Add brown materials. For the bottom layer, add 6 inches of “brown” organic matter to the bottom of the bin. “Brown” matter can include: hay, straw, old leaves, sawdust, etc.

6. Add green material. Add a 2-3 inch layer of “green” organic matter. “Green” matter can include: grass clippings, manure, cooking scraps, etc.

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6, watering each layer as you go until you reach the top. Keep in mind, a small pile won’t heat up well, but a large pile may be hard to manage.

8. After 2 days, mix the layers thoroughly together.

9. Cover the top with a tarp to keep away the rain and preserve moisture. If the pile gets too soggy or too dry, it won’t heat up properly to decompose in a timely manner.

What are items that you can add to your compost bin? What you compost is entirely up to you, just keep in mind to keep it organic if you plan on doing so.

Here are some suggestions on what to add:

  • leaves
  • straw
  • pine needles
  • old vegetables, flowers, or trimmings from trees and shrubs
  • sawdust
  • wood chips
  • coffee grounds
  • shredded black and white newspaper
  • egg shells
  • banana peels

Don’t add:

  • kitchen scraps that contain meats, oils, fish, dairy products, and bones
  • weeds that have gone to seed
  • diseased or infected vegetables or plants

 


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