Learn How to Use a Compost Bin For Best Results

If you want to produce the best compost, you just need to follow a few tips, and your garden will thank you. Just a few minutes with the right information will save you from putting the wrong things in the compost bin.

We had a Compost Bin out behind the garage for a couple of years before I ever tried it. I am sure the previous owners were scared they’d mess up because it was never even used.

Even though it’s possible to compost just using a pile, it’s messy, looks terrible, and will attract animals looking for food scraps.

Constructing A Compost Bin

Our compost bin is plastic and kind of looks like an upside-down garbage can, but you can construct your own compost bin with a few stakes and chicken wire. I would suggest you make it about 3 feet square for the best air circulation. That seems to be just the right size for everything to work right.

compost bin plans

What To Put In Your Compost Bin?

What’s the best or most balanced mixture for your compost bin for getting the best results in the shortest time frame?

Green Yard And Kitchen Waste

The green waste is usually high in nitrogen. It’s the green waste that activates the heat process in your compost. Some heat-generating yard waste is better at heating, like fresh young weeds that haven’t gone to seed yet. Be sure you keep those grass trimmings, as they work well, too. We also use our kitchen waste, fruit, vegetable, and coffee grounds. We don’t drink much tea, but you can use the tea leaves as well, even the bag.

Brown Usable Waste

The brown waste is usually high in carbon. Brown waste includes leaves that fall in autumn, all those dead flowers, plants, and weeds. You can also use those cardboard tubes from Christmas wrapping paper, foil wrap, etc. If you use straw to cover flower beds or strawberries, you can recycle that through your compost bin when you’re done with it.

What Other Things Can Go In The Compost Bin?

We have grocery bags that are made from recycled cloth, but every once in a while, we will shop somewhere they give us paper bags; if they don’t have a lot of color or ink, we put them straight in the compost bin, well I rip them up to make the pieces break down faster. We also use our eggshells in the compost bin, but I also use them to keep slugs out of my garden. Don’t forget the paper towels you use; they can go in as well.

Your compost bin works best when it has a good flow of air and will NOT stink as some compost bins do. Those without a good air supply take more bacteria when the airflow is not enough.

Each time you turn your compost pile, it will get a new supply of air and will loosen the compost for better air circulation.

We keep our compost bin slightly damp but not too wet. It’s kind of like a sponge you just squeezed the water from. It’s just damp.

Our compost bin has a lid on it that helps to keep a lot of the moisture from the green waste from evaporating, so we don’t need to use water much at all, but we keep a close watch on it in the hot, dry weather.

We started our composting without adding any extra soil to help jump-start the process, but I have heard that it’s beneficial at the start, so feel free to add some top soil between the layers of compost. A small amount of garden soil between each layer will introduce the bacteria needed to start the compost cycle. The soil that was still attached to the plants we pulled and added to the compost bin was enough for us to have great results.

I was so impressed with the first compost we created. It was just like the soil you buy at the nursery, but it was created right in our own compost Bin.