Any experienced gardener knows the value of adding compost to the their soil to improve it. What is compost though? In the simplest terms compost is decaying organic matter, it's the process by which new ground is made. We can speed this process up by creating a garden compost bin and keeping the compost at the proper moisture level. It should be about the moisture of a damp sponge, not dripping wet and definitely not bone dry. Sometimes a garden compost bin can get the compost to heat up which means it is really working, but don't worry if this doesn't happen, it will just take a little longer to get your finished compost.
- A simple pile of vegetable matter at the edge of the garden can be a garden compost bin but not the easiest to control. If you have a tractor with loader this might be the nicest option though as turning the pile would be very easy.
- Round up some old pallets and make a three sided bin with a removable front on it. If you can get enough old pallets you can put three or four bins next to one another. This works nicely when turning the compost which helps aerate it. When the first bin is full, shovel it to the next bin and begin filling up the first bin with fresh material again. Repeat the process as many times as you have bins. The material in the final bin should be nice compost. Another nice aspect of this is that the new material is not mixed into the compost allowing it to finish.
- Get some old woven wire fence and posts and make a bin out of it. Just pile the vegetable matter up inside the fence and watch it rot. This option isn't very easy to aerate by turning, but given enough time this will also produce lots of valuable compost.
- Another idea for a garden compost bin is to get some old barrels drill LOTS of half inch holes all over the barrel. Fill the barrel about half full of vegetable matter. Periodically put the barrel on it's side and roll it around to aerate and mix the contents. Make sure the contents stay moist. Make sure to wash the barrel before using, depending on what it previously contained you may not want to use it.
- There are many commercial garden compost bins available, many of which look surprising a lot like a barrel.