Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Simple and Easy Compost Bin

The quest for green living continues at Casa de la Conway.  This week we conquered the compost bin!  I don't know why I'm so excited about it.  It's quite gross really.  I mean we're talking dirt, decomp biodegradeable food and worms.  Yuckiness to the n-th degree... but in the end a happy garden!  Still I'm all smiles about it!   The whole process was super easy too!  I took some pointers from the crazy awesome couple over at YHL
Let's get started shall we? 

Plastic Bin (w/lid)
Dry leaves or Newspaper
Compost items: {Check out this list}
Worms {Optional}

1) Get a plastic bin at your local store.  We actually had an extra one wandering around in the basement from the wedding planning days. {sigh... good times...}  Make sure the lid fits securely on the bin. 

2) Drill 8-10 holes in the lid and bottom of the bin for aeration.

3) Fill the bottom of the bin 1/8 - 1/4 full with dry leaves or shredded newspapers.  We didn't have any dry leaves, but a surplus of newspapers!  {Please Note: No coupons were injured during the shredding process}

4) Next, fill the bin 1/2 full with dirt.  Living in the great land of clay we didn't have any dirt laying around...so we used the purchased garden soil we had in the garage... yeah, we're high class like that lol.

5) Start adding the compost items!  We started collecting dryer lint about a couple months before so that was fun to throw in...and weird to think that we had that much lint.  Next, we added the fruit peels, corn cobs and rinds from the week before.  
{This is when I wish I had a scratch and sniff feature.}

6) Lightly spray with some water, but be careful not to drench.  You just want the soil moist.  If you get your compost too wet it'll start to smell.  We skipped this step because the bagged soil was very moist already.  {Note: This is probably the only time we'll be putting spoiled food in here...if the future we will be discarding much earlier and hence no smelly compost!}

7) Mix the compost with a shovel.  Add more dirt if necessary. 

8) If you can find some...add a few worms.   This is when I called Matt in to help.  He found some in seconds... boys.

9) Place the bin somewhere where it won't get direct sun {and dry out}, but also away from your house in case it decides to stink up a little.   We put ours behind our shed near our veggie garden.   

So there you have it!  I simple compost bin for very little money!!  We ended up not spending anything for ours since we had everything on hand.  To upkeep we keep a small bucket under the sink in the house where we put our daily scraps.  Each night we dump the contents in the bin and add a little water if needed.  Once the soil is good and rich...we'll use it in the gardens to enrich the soil.  Read this awesome article on when you know your compost is ready to use. 

Anyone else using a compost bin?  Would love to hear your feedback!


  1. goodness you are incredible!!

  2. Ooooh, this is something that I've been wanting to do for so long. We just don't have the space to do it here in the city. My close friend made one that she's been using for quite some time and she just loves it! I'm a sucker for those cute little wormies too :)


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