Monday, March 10, 2008

New Compost Bin

Late last summer we started composting our our garden and kitchen waste. We started with a basic 35 gallon black Rubbermade trash can. We spent about 12 dollars and in about 15 minutes we were up and running. Once we got the trashcan home, I took a drill and drilled out 100 small holes all over the can including the bottom of it for drainage.

Within a couple of months we filled the first one up. We then bought another one and started the same process all over again. Of course we filled this one up as well. After several months of research, we decided to go bigger!

We went out and bought a 55 gallon food grade barrel for $22. From the local feed and seed store. Originally I was going to build a tumbler composter out of 2x4s and a food drum. After getting the Drum home I changed my mind to use that money toward some other garden project in the next few weeks.

I used a heavier duty drill and drilled over 150 holes to provide for air circulation and drainage. The more air the compost bin gets the faster the material inside will compost. Because the drum has an air tight lid I will fill the barrel up about halfway and tip it over and roll the drum up and down the driveway several times, once a week. Once the barrel gets to heavy I will remove some of the composted materials in one barrel to cure. The other barrel will be used for new materials waiting for its turn in the tumbler.

Quick Directions for building a "rolling compost bin"

Materials Needed:
1. 55 gallon food grade barrel .
2. Drill and drill bit
3. 20% bleach water mix
4. Black spray paint for plastic. (optional)
5. Bricks to make a stand.

1. First thing you need to do is clean the barrel out. You may need a 20% bleach and water mix to clean the barrels. With my barrel it was easy. I Only needed dish soap to clean the barrel
2. Let the barrel dry out.
3. Once dried, start drilling holes. You will need to drill holes every 5 inches all the way around. At least three rows will be needed. Once finished add rainage holes into the bottom of the barrels.
4. Once completed you can paint the barrle black. By painting the barrel black this will help heat the barrel.
5. Fill the barrel with garden waste and kitchen waste.
6. Once a week tip the barrel on its side. Check and make sure the lid is on and secure.
7. Start rolling the barrel around the yard.
8. Once finished put in a sunny spot out of the way and let the composting begin!

- All I have left to do is paint the the bin. I will update this post once that has been completed.

Please post your opinion on this homemade garden project.

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