Best Fencing For Compost Bin?

trudymom(Texas)May 7, 2009

I want to make a compost bin out of fencing. I went to Lowe's and there were so many to choose from. What size holes in the fencing would be best? They had one that had 2"x4" holes. Would that be ok? Could sure use some hints on how to make it and attach it to the ground. Do you think a 3' tall one is tall enough? How big around?--this is just for a normal sized bin.


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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

The very best fencing to use is FREE.

Knowing what I know now, I would avoid the fence with larger openings. If I had to buy it, I would ask for '1/2in. hardware cloth' bc it can help to keep out critters and rodents. You can use any leftover piece to make a cover, if you do have a rodent problem.

But any type of fencing will work and allow for more air flow than any other type of composting setup. Air flow is critical to the composting process. Also it is simple and easy to setup and use while being very cost efficient.

Height - since everyone is different I would say to use your beltline as a measurement say 30 - 36in.

Width - height x width will determine your volume, so you be the judge there. The lower the height prob the wider you might want to make it. Use the formula 3.14 times diameter equals perimeter. So 3.14 x 4ft = 12+ft of fence.

If you have 4ft high fence and find it too high just use a pair of wire cutters to make it fit your height. Turn the cut ends down if you are worried about the sharp ends. I have mine just sitting on the ground, but if you want, you can always cut tangs to poke into the ground.

There are many way to join the wire ends together to make the circle. Use string, tape, velcro, wire ties, wire, those bread bag twist ties, or when cutting the fence leave a piece (tang) to just bend over the next piece, holding it together.

More links below on 'how to' or just do a search for wire bins -

Can You Recommend a Good Compost Bin?

composting bin, any ideas?

Search results for: wire fence bin


    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 2:46PM
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2" x 4" works OK but is a bit flimsy. It will hold just fine but it gets warpy, misshapen and wobbly. 1" x 2" galvanized is much stiffer and holds its shape much better. As you would expect, it's considerably more expensive.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 2:56PM
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Hardware cloth would be too expensive for me.

I've been using 2"x4" (3-feet high) welded wire fencing for 7-8 years now. You can make four good-sized bins from a 50-foot roll.

I started out stapling lengths of 2x2s to each and using hooks and eyes to close them. When the wood inevitably rotted away, I switched to other (read cheaper/easier methods). I settled on zip ties. cheap, strong and durable.

The spacing in the fencing is just the right size to keep the contents in (I've never had a rodent problem) and keep the cost down.

Sure, mine are a bit dinged up and bent down over the years but they're still working strong.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 3:09PM
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I use pallets. This year I'm going to get fancy and put some siding on some of the pallets and paint it camo, make it hard to spot from the street. Line the inside with cardboard when filling with fresh material.

I have my newest compost bins tucked into some trees and shrubs nearer to my actual garden. Makes a shorter trip from compost bin to garden plot. Also a shorter trip for the sources of the material.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 3:55PM
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farmersteve(N. AL Zone 7)

I use the 1/2 inch hardware cloth. At Lowe's and Home Depot you can get a 25 foot roll that's 36 inches high for $35. That's about 3 times what I spent for it 4 or 5 years ago so the cost has gone up considerably. A 25 foot roll will make two 4 foot diameter bins and will last forever. It is galvanized so it never rusts. I hold the ends together with 4 or 5 sets of 3/4 in 1/4-20 bolts, fender washers and wing nuts (all stainless steel). The size has been ideal for me.

I do agree that free is better if you can come up with decent options for free. However I have spent a little money and come up with a set of bins that I think are almost ideal.

One other thing that you should consider... Are you in east Texas or west? If you are in west (dry) Texas, you may want to consider something that will block a little air flow to the sides and top (not all but a good bit) to keep your pile from drying out too quickly.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 4:33PM
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I have seven mesh bins of hardware cloth. Chicken wire is too lightweight and has too large holes. I have come to prefer a 4 foot diameter bins; either 24" or 30" high. The mesh is 1/4", but 1/2" will work. A 13' long piece of hardware cloth was ~$15 last time I bought one.

Sometimes I have one stake for support with a bin, other times two or even none. If you want only one bin, having a piece cut at the hardware store is best. If your store does not cut materials; you need to find a better store.

One half mile from the nearest Home Depot is a older small hardware store that I patronize regularly. They sell materials by the foot, and also do many repairs. I started paying more attention to the small store AFTER the big box store opened. My blood pressure went up after the first three employees could not tell me where to find the hardware cloth. After being directed to half the isles in the store, I had to ask a manager.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 4:44PM
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2 x 4 welded wire mesh fence fabric works just fine, although I have found that the vinyl covered fabric is a bit better. There is also something called "Tot Lot" fencing which is very similar and can be available in rolls smaller than 40 feet. You need about 12 feet of fence to make a 4 foot diameter circle and 4 foot height is better than the 3 foot height simply because of the volume which does help with digestion.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 7:06AM
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Thank you all for your help and great suggestions. I learned alot from you. The compost bin is started and I eagerly await gorgeous soil tomorrow morning. ;-)

Thank you!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 9:08AM
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Hardware cloth is best. But if the County left a roll of snow fencing beside the road, this would be a good free option. Regards, Peter.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 12:44PM
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I use some leftover field fencing. It is almost 5 ft high. the openings are different sizes from top to bottom. I made a ring with a diameter of over 4 ft.

The large opening in the spacing does allow some of the grass and leaves to fall out as i shovel it in, but once in place it stays. I just rake around the outside and shovel the scraps back on top.

The good thing is that it is very heavy gauge. It is too tall to reach inside to turn.. so I grab the wire, lift a little, then move around and around lifting as I go. I could not do that with light gauge wire. Once i free the fencing I set it where I want it to be and shovel the pile back into it.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 4:34PM
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