There are a lot of perks to having your own compost bin for your yard and garden. Making your own garden compost helps you save money on buying fertilizer every spring, your garden loves all those natural nutrients, and you reduce landfill waste by keeping your kitchen scraps and yard clippings to turn it into something more useful.
My teenage sons built our first compost bin this early spring and we love it! They had a ton of fun building this rotating compost tumbler from Instructables Living step by step compost tumbler tutorial. Their tutorial is fantastic, it includes lots of photos to help you follow along and a supply list with measurements and everything. We liked this compost bin design because it speeds up the compost process so we can use the compost in the garden quicker.
Here are some tips for building and using your own compost bin:
1. Mini Compost Bucket: We use a kitchen bucket reserved for vegetable scraps left over from cooking. We found this super cute compost mini bin on Amazon for cheap that has a vent and filter so the veggie scraps don’t smell up your house. When it reaches full. We take it out and add it to our big compost tumbler.
2. No Meat: Putting meat in compost bins can cause mold and other diseases that your plants won’t do well with. Stick to vegetables, fruits, egg shells, and yard clippings.
3. Paint The Wood: Painting the wood portion of your compost bin with exterior paint will help protect your wood so that your compost bin will last longer. You may need to repaint your wood once a spring to keep up the mainance.
4. Use a Metal Rod: When building your compost bin use a metal rod instead of pbc pipe. We originally used pbc pipe but the barrel got to heavy and warped the pipe so the barrel was sitting on the ground. So we switched it out with a metal rod from the hardware store and have not had problems since.
5. Wait 3 Weeks: Tumbler compost usually take three to four weeks after you have filled it up with your scraps to be ready for adding to your garden.
6. Chop your veggies up:
7. Buy used:
8. Add Water: If you live in a super dry area you may need to add water to your compost mixture once a week to keep the composting process progressing. Or build less holes in your tumbler design.
9. Add Worms: If you dig up worms while gardening add some to your compost they help even more break it down and adds more nutrients to it.
10. Rotate: Rotate the contents of your tumbler once or twice a week to speed up the process of compost and to evenly compost your mixture.