What are the best compost bins?


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I don't have a compost bin, I've always just piled up my compost in a big pile, but obviously that isn't ideal. I was wondering what people tend to use for compost bins? What are the best things, and that are preferably pretty cheap too?
 
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I simply dug a pit and turn it over. I have heard the words compost and humus used interchangeably, but I have had really good luck just picking out an area, laying a few two by fours around it and then throwing in kitchen scraps and the like. I have developed some really "enriched" soil and my garden loves it.
 
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Wow I actually have never heard of that before! I can't believe I didn't think of that, definitely sounds more appealing than just making a pile.
 
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I also throw in leaves, clippings coffee grounds, etc and just sort of turn it over by adding to the front, trenching in the middle and filling that and covering and so on. I sprinkle it with the hose from time to time and it gets full of earthworms and makes great "dirt" from the sandy soil around here. I never made the bins and I can tell you I get incredible yields from my garden. At the end of the garden season, I take all the left over plant material and recycle that in to the pit too.
 
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Growing up we only had a compost pile in the summer. We had a half acre garden. In the winter we would throw the compost materials anywhere in the garden. In the summer we got wood from our sawmill. We knew it was untreated because my dad was the one that cut the trees and sawed them up with the help of myself and siblings. We spread pick up loads around the 100 or so tomato plants we had every year. In the winter we also threw the ashes from the wood stove in the garden. Dad said it helped to break down the sawdust. We had the richest soil ever. Years later my brother bought the land behind the garden. This was about the first time that there wasn't a field of stuff growing there. We saw that all the sawdust and compost material had made our garden area almost a foot higher than the other area.
 
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Because of the high winds here (35 mph winds are called "gentle zephyrs" in Texas) we need some containment for our compost. We used five pallets (free for the taking from a local feed store) and made a
ITI shaped bin. While one is rotting, the other is getting filled. There is chicken wire stapled from the bottom to the third slat. The pallets are supported by T-bars, the only thing we had to buy for the bins. This works well for us, but we have plenty of room. Smaller ones could be made on the same plan. I do heartily suggest having at least two bins!
Compost Bins.jpg
 
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We have a compost bin that looks like this:

kompostownik%20T-410b.jpg


It doesn't look too pretty, but it's very convenient. I can't have a compost pile, because I'm a dog owner. My little Yorkie runs freely in our garden and eats everything he can find:eek:
 
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My sister has a compost bin that can be rotated. Its a round bin on a stand with a handle on the end to turn. it won't work for high volume amounts, but for someone with little space it seems ideal. It is supposed to help the compost break down faster by turning it every few days. She hasn't been great about using it regularly though so I don't know if that claim is true or not.
 
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I was wondering about the compost bins as well. As for those who do not use bins, doesn't the compost smell bad? If I remember correctly my parents did not formally compost, but just collected all the veg scraps, tea bags, and egg shells and kind of tossed them into the garden. Surely this isn't ideal?
 
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Compost piles smell bad if they are too wet. Otherwise, they don't smell at all until you start to bring out the finished compost, and then it just smells like good earth (perfume to a gardener!).
The "toss stuff in the garden" method is called sheet composting. I do that with the chicken coop cleanings on the fallow part of the garden during the winter. The grass/chicken manure mix gets turned in about a month before planting.
 
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Good point marlin: if you throw stuff in the garden (sheet composting) it is best to do this when things aren't growing (or in a corner you aren't using that year) and mix them into the garden well before planting. Especially the chicken manure with its high nitrogen content could burn plants if just thrown on them when they are growing.
 
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As I grew up, we had this compost pit in our yard which is simply made from dug soil. It's pretty useful because I can notice that the soil benefits from it, as well as the plants nearby.
 
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I'm following this thread because despite having a tightly sealed bin firmly placed on a concrete slab, I still see evidence of rodents. I have a city garden and rodents are an issue that I prefer not to nurture in my garden.
 
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I'm following this thread because despite having a tightly sealed bin firmly placed on a concrete slab, I still see evidence of rodents. I have a city garden and rodents are an issue that I prefer not to nurture in my garden.
Evidence of rodents inside the tightly sealed bin or around it?
Rodents inside can be prevented, but around it is just part of city life.

If plastic or wood is being gnawed away, then it is time to fabricate with sheet metal, chicken-wire, etc.
 
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no bin. oxygen pipes. well if you are composting more than leftover salad anyway.
 

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Rodents are not much interested in garden waste like mowings and weeds. I have a small separate black bin for food waste, black warms up nicely with any sun. Rodents can usually get through the holes in chicken wire, I stand it on a sheet of aviary wire, tougher and smaller holes.
My main heap is made from four sticks in the ground joined half way up by a wire with quartered trunks from felled conifers stacked two one way two the other , leaning against the uprights with the compost pushing them out.
 
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Rodents are not much interested in garden waste like mowings and weeds. I have a small separate black bin for food waste, black warms up nicely with any sun. Rodents can usually get through the holes in chicken wire, I stand it on a sheet of aviary wire, tougher and smaller holes.
My main heap is made from four sticks in the ground joined half way up by a wire with quartered trunks from felled conifers stacked two one way two the other , leaning against the uprights with the compost pushing them out.
Good point. I see a lot of wet skinned creatures, like worms and salamanders. I do not see ants. In the household waste bin sometimes the surface is moving with insects. Usually in the warmest months.
 
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Yes, the Slender Salamanders (Batrachoseps sp.) in my garden like my compost pile best. Many people don't think this way, but a compost pile is really a garden feature that fosters habitat, entertainment, education and beauty. Mybe someday people will put the compost pile in the center of the garden where everone can admire it... well, maybe.
 
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Yes, the Slender Salamanders (Batrachoseps sp.) in my garden like my compost pile best. Many people don't think this way, but a compost pile is really a garden feature that fosters habitat, entertainment, education and beauty. Mybe someday people will put the compost pile in the center of the garden where everone can admire it... well, maybe.
If they realized they were growing such a large living mass you may find more interest! Compost piles are their own B movie!
 
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I don't have a compost bin, I've always just piled up my compost in a big pile, but obviously that isn't ideal. I was wondering what people tend to use for compost bins? What are the best things, and that are preferably pretty cheap too?
I have used an old plastic bucket as a compost bin to try my hands on. I was a beginner then. Then I moved to use old terracotta flower pots and the best part is, I painted them and kept them in my balcony. I also have a mini garden on top of my compost system.
 

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