Return to the Soil Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
compost bin finally done

Posted by njitgrad 6A/6B New Jersey (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 23:26

For those of you that have been following my threads on building my first compost bin system, the wait is finally over. I just finished it this past weekend and started composting.

The photos below were taken before three days earlier before I re-mulched the surrounding area and nicely re-positioned the round walking path pavers, but at least you get an idea of what the bin system looks like and how I finally made a level base for it. I know it looks like overkill, but hey if I'm going to do it, I may as well do it right (well sort of...its not perfectly level but unless you look very closely, only I know that).

Yesterday I eventually ended up moving my firewood rack (which is to the left of the bin in the photos with all the lawn bags on it) out onto my lawn where I was originally considering placing the compost bin system.

So far all I have in my bin composting are my spent tomato plants, eggplant plants, and pepper plants, all chopped up pretty small, no stems larger than 1/4". All I need is some leaves to start falling and I'll be set with browns and just in time I might add.

More pics to follow in a few days.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: compost bin finally done

Very nicely done!


 o
RE: compost bin finally done

It's beautiful! I hate to see you dirty it up.


 o
RE: compost bin finally done

Wow, our living room furniture isn't as nice as that! Great job!


 o
RE: compost bin finally done

Wow, our living room furniture isn't as nice as that! Great job!


 o
RE: compost bin finally done

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 29, 13 at 13:46

When the truly finished compost falls through the bottom netting, you will have to pick up gravel. I think you should put down some plastic sheet.


 o
RE: compost bin finally done

A couple of questions:

How much did this compost furniture cost?

What is the concrete block at the bottom of the front boards all about?

A couple of comments:

It looks nice and it will probably work. My only concern is the gravel inside the bins. This will get picked up as you turn the bins and remove the finished product. I would cover the gravel with more concrete blocks.

The outside walls of the outside bins have no lateral support when the bin is full. A block on the lid frame should solve this problem.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lid blocks


 o
RE: compost bin finally done

To answer some questions....

Q: How much did this compost furniture cost?
A: More than I'd like to admit (mostly due to the product I used to stain it with). Though I'd hardly consider it furniture just because I stained it.

Q: What is the concrete block at the bottom of the front boards all about?
A: That was still a feature I was working on when I ran out of those blocks (they are regular brick-size cinder blocks). Its to keep mice and other critters out because of the gap between the front boards and the concrete block base. I ended up finishing that feature over the weekend by lining the bricks across the bottom eliminating all gaps in the process.

Q: My only concern is the gravel inside the bins. This will get picked up as you turn the bins and remove the finished product.
A: The gravel is underneath the mesh. It will not get picked up through the 1/4 inch holes in the mesh.

Q: The outside walls of the outside bins have no lateral support when the bin is full. A block on the lid frame should solve this problem.
A: Not sure this is going to be a problem because the frame is very heavy. I will address this if and when it becomes a problem but thanks for the heads up.

Q: When the truly finished compost falls through the bottom netting, you will have to pick up gravel. I think you should put down some plastic sheet.
A: Forgot to mention a few minor details before posting. In each of the three bins I added a few inches of healthy soil from my raised vegetable beds (some worms came along for the ride). I added just enough to cover the mesh screen and compacted it down very well so that when I eventually have to turn my pile and I get down to the very bottom, I'll just use a small plastic shovel (i.e. a child's snow shovel) to scoop up the remaining compost from the bottom of the bin (gently scraping it off the mesh) .

Q: It's beautiful! I hate to see you dirty it up.
A: Agree, but I'd rather it look more like a compost bin than a piece of furniture.
I will post newer pics today or tomorrow to show the final finished bin system.


 o
RE: compost bin finally done

  • Posted by TXEB 9a (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 30, 13 at 10:53

Technically, you didn't stain it, you varnished it. After pine sap, the original varnishes were nothing more than vegetable oils, that when they oxidized produced a "hard" protective film. Tung oil is one of the older ones that was used in Asia. Reportedly it was a favorite of Chinese shipbuilders dating back about 1,000 years.

You do know that rodents can climb quite well, don't you? Mice need only a crack 1/4" wide to gain entry. Don't sweat it, just keep the food stuff covered. If they become a problem, which is unlikely, some well placed rodenticide baits back behind the shed should control them.

When it comes to composting, dirty is good. Get that thing filled (and dirty)!


 o
RE: compost bin finally done

Well my goal was to at least make it challenging for the rodents.

What do you mean by keeping the food stuff covered?


 o
RE: compost bin finally done

  • Posted by TXEB 9a (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 30, 13 at 11:15

When you add kitchen trim or garden waste that would be attractive food for rodents, put it in towards the middle of pile, then cover it with brown material (bury it), It makes it less attractive as rodent bait. For the most part if you avoid animal products, fats and oils, you probably won't have a problem unless you have rather fresh foodstuff on the top or on the edges. After it decomposes a bit, they aren't so likely to be attracted to it. Maybe this will help ...

Here is a link that might be useful: Preventing Animal Nuisances in Small Scale Composting


 o
RE: compost bin finally done

Well, I've got plenty of greens in it now. What can I do for browns while I wait for the leaves to fall? Shredded newspaper?


 o
RE: compost bin finally done

  • Posted by TXEB 9a (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 30, 13 at 11:40

If your green stuff is mostly garden plant debris without the fruit, I wouldn't worry or bother. In my experience rodents aren't much attracted to fruits and veggies. If they were your garden would be ravaged. They seem to prefer animal products, including dairy, then nuts, seeds and grains.

For browns, there are many choices - straw, wood chips (mulch), shredded newspaper (personally my least favorite), shredded cardboard (brown corrugated stuff - better than newspaper but harder to shred). I use lots of wood chips because I get them free from out little city, and we don't have those wonderful autumn leaves. Figure out what you can get locally, for free, and use that.


 o
RE: compost bin finally done

Here are today's pics. The empty bins only have a small amount of topsoil in them and nothing else. The leftmost bin is the one that I started composting in.


 o
RE: compost bin finally done

It's beautiful -- a work of art!


 o
RE: compost bin finally done

  • Posted by socalgal USDA z10 Sunset z24, (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 30, 13 at 21:32

The only thing that could make that bin system prettier would be a filling of rich, dark brown compost!


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Soil Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here