DIY Diva: Composting Bins for Under $20
Heyo- the DIY Diva here with part two of my “grossest project yet” post about building composting bins.
So, faithful readers, I took a bit of crap last week from commenters who objected to my post about the process of researching how to build a composting bin to prepare mulch for the spring planting in my new urban farm-garden thingie. I was called a failure twice by two different people.
Join our weekly newsletter so we can send you awesome freebies, weird events, incredible articles, and gold doubloons (note: one of these is not true).
I’d like to think that I provided some valuable information about FREE farming/gardening resources in Oakland, finding FREE lumber on Craigslist and where you can borrow a plethora really expensive tools for super cheap in that post… But, I guess I was not spot on with what I thought was a good, funny, informative post.
The other main bitch about the post was that I spent too much $$ on my “broke ass” DIY compost bin.
So, taking this into mind, instead of posting the schematics for the bin I built in my backyard on Sunday, I thought that I would devote this column to providing instructions on how to build composting bins that range from FREE to under $20 in cost. (Perhaps this will appease my vocal critics.)
#1 FREE Composting Bin for your Balcony
What you need:
-One gallon milk jug
-One plastic bag (like those you’d get at the grocery store)
-One large rubber band or 12″ piece of string
-Puncture the jug about two inches from the top with the scissors.
-Cut the top off, leaving the handle on so that it creates a spout.
-Fill with compostable materials.
-Cover the large opening with the plastic bag, leaving the spout open.
-Tie the string or place the rubber band around the top so that the bag is secure and somewhat airtight.
-Set it out on your balcony in the sun.
-Stir every week with a stick or trowel to ariete the compost.
*Your compost will be ready in one to two months. Make sure to add dry compostable materials into your mix when you put it into the jug so that it doesn’t get too slimy. This is perfect for those of you who have a little balcony herb box or planter. You can even make two or three of these and have them in various stages of decomposition, they don’t take up very much room at all.
#2 $5.99 Paint Bucket Composting Bin
What you need:
-One very clean five gallon paint bucket with a lid
-A heavy rock or brick
-Use the drill to make ten holes in the lid of the bucket.
-Fill with compostable materials (including dry leaves, grass or dryer lint).
-Cover with lid and place the stone or rock on top to keep critters out.
*The compost in this will be ready in about two to three months.
#3 $20 Kiddie Pool Composting Bin
What you need:
–Jungle Babies Snapset Wading Pool ($11.99)
–5X7 foot blue tarp ($2.13)
–Tent stakes via Amazon.com ($3.19)
-Four or five additional bricks or heavy rocks
-Assemble the kiddie pool following the instructions.
-Fill the pool with composting materials.
-Cut four or five 2X2 inch flaps in the tarp so your compost mix can ariete properly.
-Use the tent stakes to secure the tarp over the pool.
-Use the bricks/heavy rocks to further secure the tarp to keep critters out.
*The compost in this bin will take two to three months and will be enough to fertilize a decent sized backyard garden.
NOTE: Make sure to stir your compost on a weekly basis, this will ensure that the nutrients mix throughly with your dry stuffs. Like Charlotte recommended in the comment section of my last article, making sure you have a decent mix of “green” to “brown” materials will ensure you don’t have a gross and slimy compost when you’re done.
If you would like the schematics for the 8X8 wooden composting bin with the hinged side and top that I built for myself, please feel free to shoot me an email at katek[at]brokeassstuart[dot]com — I’m happy to share!
PS: To answer my critic, Meg, I am indeed taking a knitting class. My “Shit Why Can’t I Knit?” post wasn’t supposed to be instructional beyond where you can take some good knitting classes in the Bay Area. I will post a “how-to” on knitting when I successfully complete the scarf I’ve set out to make in my class. 🙂 Thanks for reading!