New compost bins

I’ve been using wooden compost bins for a few years now and they’re starting to break down so a new system was needed if I was going to make enough compost to supply a dozen extra water-wicking boxes for next summer.

The wooden bins were made some years ago by my Significant Other. They consisted of two posts to which three palings were nailed. Four of these sections were formed into a square and the posts hammered into the ground. Each bin was just under half a cubic metre and I had three of them in a row. I’ve been thinking about a new system for some time and was still thinking when I came across a contraption in Bunnings that looked interesting.

It was billed as a ‘garden waste storage cage’ and consisted of 4 sections of zinc coated steel mesh with natty little wire corkscrews to wind onto the corners to fix it all together. Each section is 90cm x 70cm.

I’ve put two bins in place so far and have lined them with a plastic tarp to stop the compost falling through the holes. The last of the original bins is on the left:

bins1

bins2

I’ll use one bin solely for the contents of the composting toilet with worms added from the worm farm.  I’ll build it up in layers with mulched bracken or pea straw or sugar cane mulch. The worms will turn it into friable compost in no time.

The centre bin is already half-full. I built it around the old bin contents which I’d been preparing for a few weeks. It consists of alternating layers of soft green material put through the mulcher, wood ash, sieved soil, mushroom compost, partly-composted material from the compost tumbler, a mixture of aged fowl & cow manure and a sprinkling of dolomite, plus worms. I estimate that when the bin is full it will be enough compost for about 9 or 10 wicking boxes.

The result is much neater than the old bins. In addition, I think the plastic tarp will stop the material from drying out around the edges.

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2 Responses to “New compost bins”

  1. Darren (Green Change) Says:

    That looks nice and tidy. I agree with you about the moisture thing. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes compared to your old bins.

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  2. Evaluating mulches « Foodnstuff Says:

    […] increases it’s water-holding capacity. I’ve also put a layer of it on top of all three of my compost bins and now that we’re getting rain and it’s softening, the worms are coming up underneath it, […]

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