Building a compost station at your home is a great way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil. My family has been composting for a few years now using a rolling bin and decided to take our composting one step further at our new home. Our rolling bin worked great with the two chambers, but it seemed to fill up really quickly. We planned to build two additional chambers in our ground using plastic bins. Compost material is fantastic for garden beds and is a great way to add nutrients back into your soil. It also reduces the amount of waste that will go into a landfill.
Building Your Own Compost Station
- Spade shovel
- 55-gallon black bin (we used two)
- Cordless Drill
- Thick drill bit (1/2″ or similar size)
- Worms (optional)
- 2×10 pressure treated wood (4)
- Deck screws (we used what we had in our garage – you want them to be weather resistant)
Step 1 | Build the Compost Station Frame
With our compost station, we built a frame with 2×10 boards. Level the ground as best you can where the station will go. Use decking screws to screw together all for sides of the frame. We did not do any fancy angle cuts, we just butted one end up to the end of another board and screwed it in.
This worked out better than expected because we chose the one spot in our yard that was filled with roots. We struggled to dig a deep enough hold for each bins, so the additional 10 inches above ground was helpful.
Step 2 | Drill Holes in the Bin
Find your fattest drill head and drill holes on all four sides of your bin. The holes you are creating will allow worms to move in and out of the bin to speed up the composting process. Avoid creating holes too high on the bin base, you want all of the holes to be covered in dirt. If there are exposed holes, it can slow down the composted process, allow odors to escape, and attract pests.
Step 3 | Dig Holes for the Bins
Using your spade shovel to dig a hole for each bin. You will want the top of the bins to be at the height of the frame or just below.fill in dirt and around the bins so that the holes are covered.
Step 4 | Add Compost & Worms
In the first tub, add some soil and compost material. Add a bag of worms to begin the composting process. These will be your workers at the compost station. They will eat the food and turn it into compostable material faster than natural decomposition.
You are ready to compost! The first bin will be used for new compostable material and the second bin is for compostable material that continues to decompose and can be used in the garden. Be sure to keep the lids on the bins to prevent pests and trap heat. You will want to periodically stir the compost to help the materials break down. We have kept our rolling bin as a third chamber to decompose materials. This gives us lots of space to add our kitchen and yard scraps.
I would also recommend getting a compost bin for under your sink to capture the kitchen scraps. Check out this helpful resource that is all about what you can add to your composting bin. Happy composting!
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