Monday, April 5, 2010

My Compost Bin

My compost bin is approximately 3ft x 3ft x 3ft, a little on the small side. It is basically three wooden squares that stack on top of one another, which is very convenient when it is time to turn. I take the top square down and set it in front and then throw things down into it, trying to mix things that were near the outside towards the middle. Then I just keep doing one square at a time. If my pile is good and hot, or if it's made of mostly new material, it shrinks down quite a bit between turns and the top square will be mostly empty when I go to turn it again.

I started composting in early 2007 and in 2008 I added the lid you see here. It is made out of old bed slats cut to fit just over the outside of the top square, with one across the top middle to keep it from sinking down. Then I stapled chicken wire over it to keep out the raccoons. Later I discovered that this doubles nicely as a screen when the compost is finished. I turn the lid over and set it on top of my wheel barrow, then throw the compost into it. The stuff that is well-rotted falls through the chicken wire and the rest goes into the new pile.

The plastic thing you see to the side is an old shower curtain that I'm using to keep rain out this spring. Spring in Maryland is very wet.


  1. How much water does a compost pile need? Is it okay to let the rain into it the rest of the year?

  2. Yes, I leave it open the rest of the year. The standard advice is to keep it "as wet as a damp sponge." Thanks for reading!