The Magic of Composting: Cheap DIY Compost Bin

Making your own compost for the garden has multiple benefits: it enriches the soil, helps to retain moisture, suppresses plant disease and pests, and encourages the production of fungi and beneficial bacteria for your garden. Compost is decomposed organic material such as grass clippings, leaves, or kitchen waste. I top up all my raised beds twice a year with some good compost to improve the structure of my soil. In this way, I help the soil retain the correct amount of moisture, nutrients, and enough air circulation for the roots. 

Now, you might be thinking, “Sure, composting sounds fantastic, but what do I do if I don’t have a garden to leverage the compost?”  I’ll tell you, even without a garden, there’s plenty you can do. You can use your compost to nourish indoor plants or share the wealth with friends, family, or local community gardens. Imagine the joy and surprise on their faces when you show up with a gift of nutrient-rich compost.

So if you’re ready to try this at home, here is what you need:

  • Compost bin or pile
  • Green materials (kitchen scraps, grass clippings)
  • Brown materials (dry leaves, straw, paper)
  • Water
  • Aeration tool (pitchfork or compost turner)

Step-by-Step Guide to Composting

  1. Choose a Compost Bin: Select a bin that suits your space and needs. I prefer a simple DIY bin or an old water drum rather than a store-bought one.
  2. Collect Compostable Materials: Gather a mix of green (nitrogen-rich) and brown (carbon-rich) materials. Green includes kitchen scraps like fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, and grass clippings. Browns include dry leaves, straw, and paper.
  3. Layer Materials: Start with a layer of browns, then add greens, and continue layering, making sure to mix them up for aeration.
  4. Keep Moist and Aerated: Compost needs to stay moist but not soggy. Turn the pile regularly to aerate it and speed up decomposition.
  5. Wait and Watch: Depending on the conditions, compost can be ready in a few months to a year. You’ll know it’s ready when it’s dark, crumbly, and earthy-smelling.
  6. Use Your Compost: Mix the compost into your garden soil or use it as mulch to nourish your plants.

** Additional tip: I always place my compost bin on top of some rocks to raise it from the floor in order to have good drainage.

Do you see how easy it is to do? Size or location doesn’t matter when it comes to composting! I’ve personally proven this by turning a very small space in my garden into a composting hub. As you can see, the process is pretty seamless, and before I forget, the best part is that it’s odor-free!

Composting at home is an incredibly simple act, yet it yields significant benefits. It’s one of the easiest ways to reduce the amount of waste we generate daily. What’s more, every small composting effort adds up, helping to lessen our environmental impact. Make your homely corner a little greener, one compost pile at a time.

Happy growing!

DIY compost bin at home