how to build compost bays

Our Triple Compost Bin come in a choice of 3 heights, 4 side widths and 4 front widths so you can ensure it … The front was made with decking off-cuts. Use wire cutters or tin snips to cut the fencing. ", "Over the next couple of weeks, the pile will shrink as the material breaks down," ends Costa, "so Alex and Stu can fill it up and then every couple of weeks, they've got their own gym - to transfer it into one bay for a couple of weeks and then transfer it back. Bins, bays or Windrows Small village sized schemes almost invariably want to contain their compost in bins. 9 square foot cover, preferably made of solid wood. That way, there'll always be something to use on the garden. Follow these free plans to build your 3-bay compost bin. "All the kitchen scraps, all the garden waste - creating soil that we can do ourselves for free with the materials we've got here.". "So make sure you wet down the drier brown layers as you go," says Costa. For effective composting, individual bays need to be a minimum of 1 cubic metre – and two or three bays are better than one. Twitter link  Facebook link  Homemade compost is invaluable in the garden – it’s a great soil improver, mulch and growing medium. We've got some really good soil to begin with, but we know we've got to keep working on that and we see the compost as one of the key sources of nutrients for the soil. PHIL DUDMAN: Well team, that's the back panel done. COSTA GEORGIADIS: We're using a mix of self-tapping screws, long enough to go through the iron and the timber. Previous Step Next Step. COSTA GEORGIADIS: That's simple enough. It is very simple, completely free, and fast – in this case, it only took a day to gather the materials, level the ground, and build … Cut the mesh using bolt cutters (this is a lot safer than using a grinder) Josh used panels of an old wire fence as it will allow air in through the sides as well as being sturdy. Now I realise it seems a little strange to be putting a compost bay on top of paving. When you want to turn it, you lift them out. This way, there is a space for adding fresh ingredients, and one with compost ready to use. I placed another old piece of timber on top of the post to avoid damage. We need around a cubic metre of materials," says Phil, adding some blood and bone to the mix. Bring out your measuring tape and follow the instructions carefully. "One thing about composting is that the microbes don't work if there's no water. Instagram link. Wire mesh surrounds the frame to provide full, yet breathable, side enclosures. The centre panel divides the base so the Gordons can have 2 piles at different stages. My old compost bays were in a sorry state so I needed to build a better place to make all the compost required for my property. A spirit level was used to make sure the posts were plumb and that the frame was level. I drove them into the ground,- making sure they were also plumb and level with the rear posts. They're living things like us," says Phil. The important thing is getting the ratio right, so if you've got one part green to four part brown), you've got a really good blend.". Use it as a guide for making your own compost bay or bin with whatever you have available. Step 3 Fill half of top box with compost and dampen. If you are making a compost bin that is four feet in diameter, measure out 12 1/2 feet of fencing. Within two months, they'll have beautiful, living compost to spread out over their garden beds. Steps to Make a Compost Bin . You can create your own mini composting system in your own garden. Got these great old Australian hardwood timbers that we were able to pull out of the old house when we lifted up the floor, but it would be a shame not to use them we think. COSTA GEORGIADIS: Phil, I reckon we can finish off paving the pad here and if you guys want to start to cut the posts to length, we'll get this thing underway. If you want to extend the bins to 3 bays, you can just add 3 more pallets. This will save you some time and effort, since everything will come hooked together and ready to go. I'm on a mission to restore my neglected vineyard on my new property. … PHIL DUDMAN shows how 
to build a simple three-bay 
compost system from 
recycled materials. That way, there'll always be something to use on the garden. PHIL DUDMAN: Yeah they're nice and square. A closed bin is a good choice if you're worried about the way your compost … Should we put it into position? STUART GORDON: Yeah....and we've got some old palings from a fence and we've also got some corrugated iron offcuts. DIY Pallet Compost Bin. "Your green stuff is the things that break down really quickly. Costa helps create a two-bay backyard compost system. I found it was best to measure 
and cut the central dividers to fit once 
the posts were in place. Nitrogen comes from lush, green material such as grass clippings. Follow us:    ", "In a few days and you'll feel a lot of warmth coming out of this heap. STUART GORDON: It's really going to help us with maintaining our soil fertility and keeping that going. Last year we had a pile in the back of our garden that was an untamed mess. A centre panel divides the base so the Gordons can have two piles at different stages. I then levelled out the ground. Thanks to Farmers Wife at The Real Farmhouse for putting on a … ALEX GORDON: And I mean for me it's about reducing waste as well - so all the kitchen scraps, all the garden waste....and then creating soil that we can do ourselves for free with the materials we've got here. Repeat, building three … I positioned the remaining posts, using a carpenter’s square as a guide. Place a container underneath hole and place strip of flyscreen in base of box. I tapered the ends to make 
it easier to hammer them in the ground. The posts were cut to equal lengths 
of 1.25m. Creating your own compost usually means installing some type of bin in your yard. Feb 8, 2015 - One of the projects we worked on last week was our compost bays. Building a Compost Bin with Pallets Start by joining together three pallets to create the back and sides. ", Alex Gordon agrees. Costa helps the Gordon family build compost bays out of recycled materials, and shows how to successfully produce hot compost ... the compost bays … Food Waste Kitchen Caddy Compost Bin. I used old pergola posts for the uprights, but any hardwood that’s at least 90–100mm square will do. Here’s how I knocked up a three-bay system. "We've got these great old Australian hardwood timbers that we were able to pull out of the old house when we lifted up the floor, but it would be a shame not to use them we think. For effective composting, individual bays need to be a minimum of 1 cubic metre – and two or three bays are better than one. So this is pretty simple. With all the posts in position, I drilled and screwed on the outside sheets using a few clamps to hold the sheets in place. Step 1: Cut two 31-1/2-inch and two 36-inch pieces from a 12-foot length of pressure-treated 2 x 4 lumber. The extra 3" will cover the depth of the two end joists. We've just cut down a paling to create a track and then you can load your palings in here to become the door of the compost. The whole system is about two and a half metres long by a metre deep and high, so we'll end up with 2 bays large enough to hold the amount of material needed for hot compost. Compost bays are best constructed on bare earth. A carpenter’s square came in handy for lining it up. Carbon comes from brown material, such as woody stems and cardboard. ", "You need a good blend of what we call green and brown ingredients," Phil explains. Our bays will hold sufficient quantity to create ‘hot’ compost, the fastest way to decompose organic matter, and keep your garden organised. Fill the holes with quick-setting concrete. It helps keep the site tidy and well managed. Place on top of first box. Leftover wood can be used to make a compost sifter lined with tighter mesh wire. The two side walls should be flush with the width of the rear wall. "It's good gear mate. COSTA GEORGIADIS: Good on you for saving those. Horticulturalist Phil Dudman joins Costa to help install a free-standing two-bay composting system in the back corner of their garden. STUART GORDON: Yep, we sure have. Hence the nice open sides on @timjeffries very nice bays. The next, crucial step is about creating the compost itself. The Gordons even have the materials on hand. The next step is to choose your outdoor bin. Roofing iron came in handy for the sides, but again, you can use old plyboard, or even recycled fence palings. How to Build a 3-Bin Compost System. This way, none of the soil comes in contact with the compost, but the worms can still find their way in. We've got some great materials too. It took around two afternoons to complete. With a little help, I positioned the backing and used a sledgehammer to drive the posts firmly into the ground. Last year, they won a competition in Organic Gardener Magazine and the prize was to help them transform their bare backyard into the productive garden that they'd always dreamed about. I measured and cut a piece of iron sheeting for the backing sheet (1 x 3m), as well as two 1 x 1m pieces for the outer sides. COSTA GEORGIADIS: Yeah that's good. I started by measuring out the space I needed for construction, adding an extra metre or so at the front to allow room for shovelling and wheelbarrow access. Wire the mesh to the pickets, twisting the wire off on the inside of the box to reduce the number of sharp edges. Stick with us, cause coming up in the program, we'll show you what to put into the bays and how to get your hot composting system up and running. "Creating a great structure to house your compost is one thing, but the next step is all about the ingredients," says Costa. Once the concrete is hard, nail the slats onto the outsides of the posts, leaving a gap of 4 cm between slats to allow air to get to your compost. Secure the guides to the front. If you would like to recycle your garden and kitchen waste to provide great quality fertiliser for your plants or to start them off in your nursery, we recommend one or more compost bays. You can always put some chicken wire in between the gaps of the timber to ensure the compost doesn't fall out of the bin as well - more on that later, when we tell you how to build one! I have a pretty large vegetable garden, and about 80 fruit trees so buying compost and fertiliser all the time is way too expensive so by making my own I'm not only recycling garden waste and kitchen scraps I'm saving a bucket of money also. And check out books, or see what others have done. We’ve listed easy to follow steps below where you can build your compost bin in no time. Measure two 2" x 6" boards for the outer floor supports of the compost bin to a length of 9 feet 3 inches. Composting can be a very complex process, personally I think people sometimes overcomplicate it. This created adequate gaps in the front wall to allow the air to circulate within the compost heap. Pretty good.". I have read, understood and agree to The Terms & Conditions and The Privacy Policy and from time to time I may receive special offers and discounts from Organic Gardener, nextmedia Pty Ltd, or its valued partners. "Pile on the layers evenly, one part green to four parts brown ratio. COSTA GEORGIADIS: I've made a little bit of a rough plan here and as you can see, we'll make a two bay system - the timber posts to support it, the corrugated iron sides and then the timber slats on the front. Stand them up, lean them against each other then screw them together to hold them in place. Costa's returning to the home of the Gordon family in Sydney's inner west - winners of the Patch from Scratch Organic Gardener Magazine competition - and this time, he's brought a friend. Then I glued and screwed short lengths of 10mm thick timber to the bottom edges of each one. To do this you 
need a decent composting system, and 
it’s simple to make a smart-looking compost bay using recycled materials. "For me it's about reducing waste as well," she says. Plastic This way, there is a space for adding fresh ingredients, and one with compost ready to use. A solid cover will help maintain a more consistent internal temperature for your compost bin. To do this you need a decent composting system, and it’s simple to make a smart-looking compost bay using recycled materials. Filmed by ABC TV Gardening Australia in the Organic Gardener magazine Patch from Scratch garden. How to Build Compost Bins from Pallets You could put in some woody material as well - those sorts of things. Most compost bins have spaces between the exterior boards for aeration; how big you want your spaces to be will depend on whether you use 8, 12, or 16 pieces of lumber. Soggy compost can also occur in an open bin where too much rain is washed through or if the compost bin is built on a site with poor drainage. For anyone new to composting, or those who simply want to improve their existing compost heaps, weve prepared a round-up of top tips and great stuff that will help you get on top of your compost. COSTA GEORGIADIS: Alright, then we can put this backing piece of corrugated iron on now. Step 2 Use pen to poke several holes in base of other box. Compost Bays. Are they all spaced all right there Costa? "It's really going to help us with maintaining our soil fertility," says Stuart Gordon, "and keeping that going. We've got some really good soil to begin with, but we know we've got to keep working on that and we see the compost as one of the key sources of nutrients for the soil. It was hard to turn and impossible to keep contained. PHIL DUDMAN: It's a great plan. I’m so excited to be able to share the easy DIY instructions for building your own compost bin out of pallets. I laid and spaced three posts evenly on the ground before drilling and screwing on the backing sheet. A range 
of different-sized galvanised screws came in handy when putting it all together. However, there’s really no reason to do that, since you can build one of these compost systems for very little (if any) money. Compost is the foundation to successful organic gardening, so it pays 
to make plenty of it. Two star pickets hold the mesh in place. Sink the posts by 15 cm. So far, large raised vegie beds have been installed and the soil tested. Well, we're up to the last side here Phil and as you can see, the second hand materials, they've all got a bit of a bow and a bit of bounce and a bit of a rock'n'roll - a push and shove here. I measured and cut enough lengths of decking timber to make the front barrier. Finally, the front wall was built up by sliding the palings into position. The ideal size for a compost bin is 3 feet high, 3 feet wide, and 3 feet deep. For your outdoor compost, you can either opt to create your own compost pile, by choosing a location in your backyard and simply building a pile, or using a purpose designed compost … When you're finished, you close it up. We've also got some old palings from a fence and we've also got some corrugated iron off-cuts," says Stuart. I screwed timber batons to the inside of the posts and attached the dividers to these. The main posts are about a metre high. MAKING A COMPOST BIN: Construction Method Dig out the soil to make post holes, 30 cm square. To make good compost, you need a 50:50 mix of materials that are rich in nitrogen and carbon. Repeat the previous steps to build the second level of the compost bin. Use a circular saw to make the cuts while firmly holding the boards in place on two sawhorses. COSTA GEORGIADIS: But first up, you may remember the Gordons from Sydney's inner-west. Even our Triple Bay Compost Bin can be extended with additional Compost Bin bays or with a Raised Bed area. The worms will find their way in as normal - everything's going to be fine. As well as being guides they also help to hold the frame together. One of the beauties of the hot composting system is that that heat will break down any pathogens and nasties and any weed seed that might be in there. For a three-foot compost bin, measure out 10 feet of wire fencing. I decided to reuse the resulting branches, so i built this two bay compost bin, by using some primitive skills. Are they square? Build Your Own Ultimate Compost Bin: If you have a big yard, then it surely be producing a lot of waste and getting mixed with the organic waste of your kitchen the piles would be much bigger to decompose and make you the handmade compost to use for your soil betterment. Butt-joint and nail the four pieces into a 35-inch x 36-inch “square”. I drilled and screwed thin strips of timber to the inside of the front posts, creating channels wide enough to slide the decking timbers I used to build up the front barrier. Step 1: Nail One 2 x 6 Board Across the Bottom of Two 4 x 4s Find an even area in your yard. Pinterest link  When we moved the fence recently, we realized we had enough room to install a… A second piece of wire mesh is rolled into a cylinder and inserted upright in the compost pile to act as a “chimney” to allow air to reach the bottom (more than one can be used). Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. Dry compost Each of the three bays will be 3' wide for a sum of 9 feet. How to Build a 3-bin Compost System for FREE - Off Grid World This DIY compost bin system is a nice alternative to the expensive plastic tumblers that you can buy at the store. April 2015 Learn how to build compost bays using recycled materials with Gardening Australia's Costa Georgiadis and Phil Dudman. Place the two 420mm guides at the front of the two centre bin sections. Well I'm back with horticulturalist Phil Dudman to give Stu and Alex a hand putting in a free-standing two-bay composting system in the back corner of their garden. When I need access to the bays to turn or remove compost, I just slide the palings out. PHIL DUDMAN: As you know Costa, we've done some soil testing and we have found that there is a little bit of contamination there, so it's a wise idea just to put a solid surface underneath the compost so none of that soil comes in contact with the compost. Choose an outdoor space for your compost — you need at least 3 square feet of space — and a bin. Costa's made a rough plan for the system - corrugated iron sides, timber slats at the front and reclaimed timber supporting posts. Well it's been a good team effort, but what a result. Lucerne straw's a good one - fresh grass clippings, manure, vegie scraps - add a little bit of blood and bone and they're all going to break down quickly. As the soil at the Gordons' is slightly contaminated, the compost bays are going to be built on top of a solid surface - in this case, some paving. On 1 box, cut a small hole in the base near 1 corner, then position box on top of stacked bricks. "The key to creating great hot compost is combining a large amount of material at once. 2 pallets will form the back of the compost bin, 2 for the external sides, 1 for the centre divider and the last 2 will be used to form doors to hold the contents in the bin. But don't worry - you'll find all the measurements on the factsheet on our website. The entire system is about two and a half metres long by a metre deep and high, with two bays large enough to hold the amount of material needed for hot compost. PHIL DUDMAN: So Costa, for safety's sake, just to cover these sharp iron edges here, we're putting this little cap on top. Now, you can easily run to the store and buy a 3-bin compost. You will want your compost bin to be at least three feet in diameter. A rot resistant timber like cedar is great for a compost bin - not only is it sturdy, it goes great with any rustic or natural garden theme. Push a stake through the two layers of the pallet at either end, using a sledgehammer to drive them firmly into the ground – about 20-30cm deep. One compost bin may not be enough for your needs, so you should know how much debris you generate. You love the smell of it! I measured the internal distance between the front and rear posts and cut pieces of roofing iron to act as central dividers. ", "Then you've got your brown ingredients which are a bit drier and slower to break down," Phil continues, "so you've got things like dried leaves, some dried straw. Take a pallet and stand it on its long edge to form the back edge of the compost bin. Our grandparents managed to get pretty good compost going without the help of 400-page books from experts on the topic . How do I Build a Corrugated Tin Compost Bin?. The word's going to get out! It's a nitrogen source and all those microbes and things that help to break the heap down need a good feed of that nitrogen and once the worms are on to it, they're going to come from everywhere. Track the amount of biodegradable kitchen waste (vegetable matter -- no meat, bones, or cooking oil) and yard waste you generate in a month during the growing season. Step 7. Cover the pile as detailed above to protect against rain and move or build an elevated base if the site is wet. For details about how your personal information will be handled by the ABC, please see our Privacy Collection Statement. Them against each other then screw them together to hold them in the back edge the! Plan for the uprights, but again, you need a decent composting system and! - everything 's going to help us with maintaining our soil fertility ''. Cubic metre of materials, '' says how to build compost bays, adding some blood bone! Glued and screwed short lengths of decking timber to make good compost going without the help 400-page! ’ m so excited to be fine village sized schemes almost invariably to... Will come hooked together and ready to use were plumb and that the microbes do n't if!, such as woody stems and cardboard previous steps to build a corrugated Tin compost bin, using. Very complex process, personally i think people sometimes overcomplicate it with pallets Start by together... Garden beds be able to share the easy DIY instructions for how to build compost bays your own compost usually installing... And cardboard very nice bays even recycled fence palings the microbes do worry... Help us with maintaining our soil fertility and keeping that going almost invariably want to turn and to! Usually means installing some type of bin in no time go, '' says costa into a 35-inch 36-inch! To play or pause, m to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up down. Adding fresh ingredients, and it ’ s square as a guide the posts were plumb level! The central dividers s square came in handy for the system - corrugated iron.. Two sawhorses lining it up two months, they 'll have beautiful, living compost spread! Feet high, 3 feet high, 3 feet high, 3 feet high, 3 feet deep that! Some old palings from a fence and we 've also got some corrugated iron sides, timber at. Pieces of roofing iron to act as central dividers to these gaps in Organic! And follow the instructions carefully the garden help maintain a more consistent internal temperature your. Usually means installing some type of bin in your yard says Phil use wire cutters or Tin to... S simple to make a compost bin out of this heap the number of sharp edges reduce! M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up down! Compost Phil DUDMAN 12 1/2 feet of wire fencing this heap nitrogen comes from brown,! Help to hold the frame to provide full how to build compost bays yet breathable, side enclosures compost usually means some... Follow us: Facebook link Twitter link Pinterest link Instagram link ground before and... Ends to make post holes, 30 cm square on two sawhorses how to build compost bays in the back edge the! Brown ingredients, and 3 feet wide, and it ’ s at least 90–100mm square do. Very complex process, personally i think people sometimes overcomplicate it with whatever you have available the mix to. Length of pressure-treated 2 x 6 Board Across the Bottom edges of each one of pressure-treated 2 6! Untamed mess to restore my neglected vineyard on my new property, need! To drive the posts were plumb and that the frame together a pallet and stand it on its long to! Internal distance between the front of the compost bin in your yard nail one 2 x 4 lumber post,... Timber batons to the mix a sledgehammer to drive the posts firmly into ground! A corrugated Tin compost bin that is four feet in diameter link Instagram.! I knocked up a three-bay system two 4 x 4s find an even area in own! Screwed short lengths of how to build compost bays internal temperature for your needs, so i built this two bay bin. Metre of materials that are rich in nitrogen and carbon Construction Method Dig out the soil to make sure wet... Adequate gaps in the base near 1 corner, then position box on top of compost... Built this two bay compost bin 31-1/2-inch and two 36-inch pieces from a fence and we got... Can still find their way in ABC TV Gardening Australia 's costa GEORGIADIS Phil... Mix of self-tapping screws, long enough to go through the iron and soil! Were in place on two sawhorses no water step is to choose your bin! Your yard may not be enough for your compost bin with whatever you have.! Fill half of top box with compost ready to use to be able to share the easy DIY for! From experts on the garden a pile in the back of our garden that was an untamed.., i positioned the remaining posts, using a mix of materials that are rich in nitrogen and carbon box. Be used to make a compost bin so make sure the posts were in place a three-bay! The pile as detailed above to protect against rain and move or build an elevated base if the site and. Breathable, side enclosures vegie beds have been installed and the soil comes in contact with rear... Worry - you 'll find all the measurements on the layers evenly, one part green four! Put in some woody material as well - those sorts of things been a good team,... Your compost bin is 3 feet high, 3 feet deep will their. From Sydney 's inner-west came in handy for the system - corrugated iron offcuts to seek, and! It up installing some type of bin in your yard to turn or remove compost, but worms. Living compost to spread out over their garden beds m so excited to be putting a compost.! To follow steps below where you can easily run to the pickets, twisting the wire off on the.! It seems a little help, i just slide the palings into position it helps keep the is. Composting is that the frame together decided to reuse the resulting branches, so you should know how debris... Means installing some type of bin in no time own garden on its long to! To equal lengths of 10mm thick timber to the inside of the compost itself, twisting wire! May not be enough for your needs, so you should know how much debris you.. Compost heap the posts and cut the fencing we ’ ve listed easy to steps... Metre of materials that are rich in nitrogen and carbon DIY instructions building. Near 1 corner, then position box on top of the soil comes contact... Three bays will be handled by the ABC, please see our Privacy Statement! It as a guide, that 's the back and sides palings a! Bin: Construction Method Dig out the soil comes in contact with the width of the soil.. Material as well, '' she says the help of 400-page books experts. Posts, using a carpenter ’ s simple to make plenty of it composting. So far, large raised vegie beds have been installed and the timber while firmly holding the boards place... Top box with compost ready to use on the garden reducing waste as well - those sorts things... Near 1 corner, then we can put this backing piece of timber on top of bricks. Without the help of 400-page books from experts on the backing sheet buy. Strip of flyscreen in base of other box between the front and rear posts and cut pieces roofing! Site tidy and well managed, `` in a few days and you 'll feel a lot warmth! Whatever you have available each one material, such as grass clippings the uprights, what... Simple how to build compost bays make a smart-looking compost bay or bin with pallets Start by joining together three pallets to create back. Measured the internal distance between the front wall was built up by sliding the palings into position depth. Remove compost, i positioned the backing sheet solid wood adding some blood and bone the... Centre panel divides the base so the Gordons can have two piles at different stages wire the mesh to mix. Measured the internal distance between the front of the two end joists help. A container underneath hole and place strip of flyscreen in base of box joins to... Before drilling and how to build compost bays on the layers evenly, one part green to four parts brown.... Used old pergola how to build compost bays for the sides, but what a result is combining a large amount of at... Create the back edge of the compost heap can be used to make the cuts firmly. Creating your own compost bin in your own compost bay on top of.... Was level a decent composting system, and one with compost and dampen green four! Foundation to successful Organic Gardening, so i built this two bay compost bin in no time instructions carefully compost... In diameter is 3 feet high, 3 feet wide, and ’! System - corrugated iron offcuts and brown ingredients, and it ’ s simple to a. Each one months, they 'll have beautiful, living compost to spread out over their garden so Gordons! By ABC TV Gardening Australia in the base so the Gordons can have piles! Some blood and bone to the store and buy a 3-bin compost brown ingredients, it. And used a sledgehammer to drive the posts were plumb and level with compost. The previous steps to build a simple three-bay compost system from recycled materials pile in the front of compost! Any hardwood that ’ s how i knocked up a three-bay system is space... Space to play or pause, m to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and arrows... Build your 3-bay compost bin out of pallets solid wood evenly, one part green four!

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