This easy to make bin will have you composting in no time!
One of the best things you can do for your garden is to add compost and improve the soil. We all know this. We even have the raw materials to make it happen, right in our kitchen. More often than not, those scraps probably go into the garbage instead of the compost pile, where they can do us some good.
We know it’s good for the environment and our garden. It’s just that there are so many excuses… it’s raining out there… I can’t get to it easily… I don’t have a way to save scraps in my kitchen – you get the idea.
If you live in a city like Portland Oregon, you might be able to put your scraps into the recycling bins and they take them away for you. But really, why should you give them the black gold you can create from your garbage?
I watched a video on YouTube the other day and now I finally have no reason for making excuses. This mini compost bin is easy and cheap to make and use. It can be placed right outside your kitchen door or in your garage. Now you can make small batches of compost for your garden or herb pots with very little effort.
Make your own Mini Compost Bin
You will need:
- // One 18 gallon tote with a snug lid
- // A second lid to put under your tote (catches the drip)
- // Hand drill
- // Drill bit
- // Stir stick or garden fork
- // Raw materials – kitchen scraps, leaves, old potting soil, grass clippings, etc.
1. Drill holes in the sides and top of your 18 gallon tote. They should be about 3-4 inches apart. This helps with air movement and will allow for insects to get in and do their work.
2. Drill 6 holes in the bottom of your 18 gallon tote. You want water to be able to escape and use this for compost tea at a future date.
3. It’s that easy! Collect your raw materials and build your mini compost bin. You might want to read up about carbon to nitrogen ratios and refresh yourself about what you should and should not put in your bin, but really, as long as you have a good mix of brown and green to begin with, you should be fine. This is a small bin. Here’s what went into mine:
- // Leaves from the yard (brown)
- // Some old potting soil from my Microgreens and from planters on my deck (brown)
- // Kitchen scraps from my counter top collector I’ve been saving for a few days (green)
- // Some stale bread ends (green)
4. Water it, lightly. The materials you’ve chosen need to be damp, but not wringing wet. If you used leaves that just got soaked by a good rain, you shouldn’t need add any additional water. Otherwise give it a sprinkling.
5. Set it outside where it is easily accessible. That might be in the garage or by the kitchen door. It should be out of the rain. Your goal is to have it be so easy you will have no excuse not to add your kitchen scraps to it.
Maintain Your Mini Compost Bin
Teach your family what to do with the kitchen scraps and add them to the bin daily (or make a collection tub in your kitchen). Give it a stir once a week. Check the dampness level and add water as necessary. Once every two weeks, or sooner if you have added a lot of green material, add some more brown material – a sprinkle of leaves or soil to keep the balance in check.
Harvest any drippings from the bottom lid you set up. You can use it as fertilizer on your herbs, flowers, or vegetables. I have a baster set aside for this purpose.
Once the bin is full, stir it well every week and let it “cook” for about a month. Start again and happy composting!
What about you? Have you been successful with your composting endeavors? Share your composting ideas below.