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Compost Bin Help


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davidk
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:20 pm    Post subject: Compost Bin Help Reply with quote

As I am new to gardening I will need to install a compost bin. I have an old wheelie bin and was thinking of making one out of it.
Should I drill plenty of holes in the side and top?
Should the bottom be open to the soil or not?
I will be cutting a small hatch at the bottom to remove the compost when it is ready.
Any info would be great.

Dave
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about this one im going to have a go later.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i-Qe75-DDQ
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davidk
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if the tumbler type is better than the stand alone one.
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energise
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bottom should definitely be open to the soil cause it let's organisms in at the compost. It wouldn't do any harm to drill a few holes but don't go overboard with them or the compost will dry out. Tumbler bins are probably quite although I've never used one. I've seen then them on sale in woodies but they were a bit small for my needs. There's a website called originalorganics.co.uk that sells different types of bins
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tippben
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A wheelie bin will definitely work. Cut the bottom off, so it can sit on the soil, or you'll just end up with a bin full of gungy mess. Composting is an aerobic process, which is usually achieved by emptying out and turning the heap a couple of times.

I have two bins. I use the compost from one over the winter, then leave the other to rot properly, while filling the empty one. It usually takes a summer to fill it. Aside from kitchen/garden green waste, I also add small amounts of wood ashes, newspaper, tissues, leaves, grass clippings and urine, which is high in nitrogen and "activates" the heap. If there're lawn clippings, I throw sheets of newspaper on the grass before cutting, to achieve a good mix of carbon to nitrogen. By this process, my new heap sits on the remnants of the old one, and gets inoculated by the necessary microlife automatically.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you can afford it, a purpose built compost bin would be easier to manage; it'll have an access hatch at the bottom, and is not as narrow - so the compost will retain heat longer.
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davidk
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ta to all. Think I might buy one off the local council. They have them for €35 and that includes a collection bin for the kitchen waste.
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davidk
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I called in to the Council office and they had none in stock, so I went and made one from a wheelie bin. Will post pictures later.
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davidk
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is it


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davidk
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another


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davidk
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another


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davidk
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another


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davidk
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another


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JohnI
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's yet another type of compost bin that I have used several versions of over the years . . . .

The finished product:

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/55545955/Nellie%20Compost%20Bins.jpg [/img]

... hmmm, for some reason the image won't post inline, so look to bottom for attachment . . . .

To make a pair of these bins, you’ll need a roll of galvanized wire mesh (1” x 1” square mesh) that is 1 metre wide and 5 metres long. Mine cost me €18 at the local DIY.

The tools you will need are a pair of diagonal wire cutters, a 3-5 metre tape measure, a hammer (an ordinary carpenter’s hammer will do, but if you have a small short handled sledgehammer such as masons use, it is better), and a scrap of 2” x 4” lumber a couple of feet long.

Open up the roll by unfastening the thin iron wire that is twined around the loose end of the roll and into the body of the roll that holds the loose end fast. Save this wire, you’ll use a part of it later. Then unroll the roll. As the wire will have taken a set from having been rolled up in a small diameter, you will need to “spring” the length of the mesh so that it lies flatter. This is done by gently bending the sheet of wire in the opposite direction with your hands a couple of feet apart. As it is galvanized soft iron, it will be easy to bend in this way. You don’t need to go to the effort to make it perfectly flat, as you will be re-forming it into a pair of 27” cylinders.

The end edge of the wire roll will usually be pretty bent and crumpled. Take a pair of diagonal wire cutters and cut off 2-3” inches at the end, cutting the strands that run the length of the roll flush with one of the vertical strands. This will give you a clean edge with no stubs of wire sticking out. Now measure out a 94” length from your clean end, and cut it off, again cutting the long strands flush with a vertical strand.

Now you need to bend the ends to set them up for making the join. If you hold your right hand palm up in front of you, and your left hand palm down, then curl the fingers of each hand so that they hook each under the other, that is the join you will be making with the wire. So, using the scrap of 2x4 as a straightedge, bend the end 4” strip of mesh over the long edge of the 2x4 until you have a 90° bend, using one of the vertical strands of wire as your centre. Then bend it tighter until it forms (roughly) a 30° inside angle. Then follow the same procedure at the other end of your cut length. IMPORTANT NOTE: You MUST bend this opposite end toward the opposite face of the wire mesh, so that the two 30° Vees that you have made will hook into each other like your fingers.

Now you are ready to form your cylinder. This is easier with two people, but one can manage it. Allow your length of mesh to spring back into a loose cylinder, and help it along by “springing” it further until the two 30° end Vees are adjacent and parallel to each other. Now comes the fun part: you need to work the two together so that they hook into each other to their full depth. You will find that the little nubs of the lengthwise wires you trimmed hang up on the mesh and that when you try to seat one end and then the other, the end opposite the one you are working one will try to spring loose. Persevere. When everything is right, the two will pop together nice and evenly.

Once you have the Vees seated into each other, bend and hammer them until they are a flat band, using the 2x4 as an anvil. The way I do it is with the cylinder standing upright, I hold my 2x4 on the outside of the join, and hammer on the wire at its bending point from the inside. Is is best to work a little at a time from end to end rather than trying to get one small section entirely flat to begin with.

Finally, I cut a half dozen pieces of the thin tie wire (that you put aside at the beginning) to a length of 5” and use them just like kitchen twist-ties on the two open edges of my joint as positive reinforcements.

You can see the finished joint in the photo – it is the obviously lighter colored strip on each of the two cylinders.

Once all that is done, I do a little more “springing” and bending of each cylinder to make them close to perfectly round.

All of this may sound horribly complicated, but to make the two bins in the photo took me about two hours from start to finish. The end product is roughly 27” in diameter and 40” tall, which by pure coincidence creates an interior volume of almost exactly ½ cubic yard, which is handy when you are estimating how much compost you are making vs. how much you may need.

To use them, just find a convenient flat piece of ground and set them upright. I put in about a foot of fresh lawn/shrub/leaf clippings as a starter, which also stabilizes the base. You do not need to peg them down into the dirt, and as a matter of fact should not. For a very simple reason, that being that when I wish to “turn and churn” my working compost, I simply tip the cylinder over to its side, shake it until it is empty, set it back upright again, and refill it with the remixed compost.

Regards,

John



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robineire
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:49 pm    Post subject: compost bins Reply with quote

I built a sort of compost compound here consists of two, three sided boxes about 6ft long by three ft high by about 5 ft deep, started off with three logs and put fence posts in the four corners then added planks to get the height.
Will just turn the mix of green/ kitchen waste in amongst chipped cuttings and hopefully when it starts to warm up in there I will see some composting happening, I certainly have enough material to compost.
Also made one square wire box made of plastic coated trellis wire about four ft square that I fill with leaves out of the drains round about the place.
Some of the mud and weed I took out of my pond, seaweed and pot ash from my log fire has also been added to the bins.
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