My DIY Compost Bin

We are planning on having a small organic vegetable garden next summer so I knew I would be needing good compost.  After looking at the prices of most store-bought compost bins I realized I would be much better off constructing my own.

We made this little compost bin and having been using it for the last 3 months and it is working wonderfully. 

 It's been so much fun watching our vegetable scraps turn into dark rich soil right in front of our eyes!

Everything I read said your compost needs to allow oxygen to flow through, moisture with adequate drainage, a lid to keep critters out and retain nutrients, and a way to turn or mix the compost periodically.

To accomplish this we bought a large trash can with a lid at the Dollar Store and drilled holes all over it - the top, the bottom and the sides.  

The holes do 3 things....
1) Allow the compost to breathe (I gather this is super important)
2) Since the compost needs moisture the holes allow some water to come in through the top when it rains
3) The holes on the bottom of the bin allow excess moisture to drain out the bottom.  (We also raised the bin off the ground by putting it on a couple scrap 2x4 boards so it could easily drain and breathe out the bottom) 

I have been keeping a mix of about 2 parts green waste to 1 part brown waste and it has been working wonderfully.  
Click Here for a great chart of what is considering brown or green.

Below is a pic below of how it currently looks inside. 

 I put in half an old watermelon (diced up) and half an old cabbage in at once at the beginning (with dead grass and leaves) and the watermelon and cabbage are already completely gone and turned to black soil!

The main thing that has surprised me about my bin is that it DOES NOT STINK!  If you are keeping your ratios correct with browns and greens, with the right amount of moisture and oxygen you will not have an odor, even though it's loaded with decaying food.  

For more information on composting you can google home composting and find lots of great online resources.

Are you home composting?  I would love to know how it's working for you and any advice you have!

Oh, and there are now kitties at our house!
One will stay and one is going to Felicity's grandparent's house when they get bigger.  She is in love with them and pretends they are her babies.  

Due to request from our wonderful customers we are offering the 25% OFF sale again!


  1. I bought a composter years ago and must admit I haven't really been good about using it. Every once on a while I will put something in it, but my issue is that it is not close to the house so it is not too convenient. I think it is wonderful that you have taken this on with gusto and that you have a veggie garden. That's definitely on my bucket list.

    Your daughter is beautiful and how sweet that she has her own babies now :).

  2. Fantastic that you're composting! I've had a compost pile for years, and it really is the best when you have homemade compost for your garden, so well done! I keep a plastic bin with a lid inside and into it goes all the veggi scraps, and then I take it out to the pile when the bin's full. (I'm a Master Gardener, and our flower and veggi garden is fairly extensive in our urban lot!) I actually have a pile outdoors, so one key is to dig a hole into the pile, put your new scraps in there, and then cover the scraps back up with some old compost and soil. It keeps vermin away and helps it to break down faster. But I like your idea of using a lidded garbage can as a compost bin--that would work well, too. Good luck with this project--it looks like you're doing great!

  3. I keep a compost pile near my garden. I put grass clippings,leaves,veggie and fruit scraps,as well as coffee grinds and tea bags. Some times I put junk mail and used paper towels. It works wonderfully. You're a smart gal for composting!

  4. I've aways wondered about doing something like this. Thanks so much for the 411 and for linking it up to BeColorful this week.

  5. This is something I've been wanting to do forever! My yard NEEDS this good stuff. :) I would love to have you stop by ‘Or so she says…’ today and share some of your great ideas with my readers! The ‘Your Great Idea’ link party runs every Sat through Tuesday. Hope to see you there! http://www.oneshetwoshe.com

    * Also, we’ve got a great giveaway going on with over $500 in prizes!

  6. Having a compost bin really help our earth. Compost reduces food waste which is an important environmental concern. Hoping that all people would know the advantages of using it.

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