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How to Start a Compost Bin

| 2/19/2014 11:13:00 AM

What if you could green up your lawn, create gorgeous healthy plants and never have to buy commercial fertilizers again? Composting provides all of these with the added benefit of helping the earth by cutting down the amount you contribute to landfills.

How to Start a Compost Bin

1. To begin you will need some sort of bin to house your composting materials in. This can be any type of container that will provide proper drainage at the bottom. Make sure to choose a container that is at least 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide. Most home improvement and hardware stores offer bins specifically for home composting. An alternative is to build your own compost bin out of wood and a few sheets of chicken wire. You can also create a lid made out of the same materials, which would allow rainwater to get in while also keeping any animals from getting into the bin.

Homemade Compost Bin
For a simple garden project, make your own compost bin at home with wood and chicken wire.
Photo courtesy AllAboutYou

2. Next, you will need to fill the bin halfway with a mixture of dirt and leaves. This is preferably done in the fall or early spring when there is a lot of yard debris to work with. Add water to give the compost moisture and to start the composting process.

3. Now comes the more interesting part. Think of your compost bin as a pot and the inside as a sort of stew. You can add just about any type of organic material to it: fruits, vegetables, plant waste, etc. Once you start noticing the things you can compost from your meals rather than throw away they will begin to add up quick. The egg shells from breakfast, banana peel from lunch, etc.

4. Water your compost bin and turn the soil regularly. Before long you will notice your compost heap start to dwindle in size and provide nutrients to any plants nearby. Be sure not to include anything that may have harmful ingredients, as those will be passed on to the plants as well

Mini Compost Bins

Several retailers offer mini composting bins that are great for your kitchen. They allow you to fill them with the scraps you have throughout the week rather than running them out to the larger compost bin outside constantly. These are nice as some of them have a carbon filter inside to keep them from having an odor while in your kitchen. I find it works well to have three bins under my kitchen sink: one for trash, one for recycling and one for composting. If you haven't composted before you will immediately be surprised at how little goes into the trash when so many things can either be composted or recycled.

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