Sunday, December 6, 2009

compost bin ideas

I already purchased the Earthmaker Aerobic Composter since my city was offering a very good rebate on composters, and this one does not require turning. The description claims it is "the world's first continuous-cycle compost bin". The design allows compost to mix as the material falls to the bottom of the bin. I will need to pull out a panel once a month to allow the material to fall. I think this looks like a good design and may even require less water since there is less surface area to let water evaporate from. I will find out!

Even though this unit is really big and claims to compost faster than traditional methods, I feel I might need to set up another compost area to handle creating all the compost I will need to add plenty of organic matter to the soil. An easy method would be to create a compost pile over a spot I plan to plant another season. My difficulty with that idea is that water would evaporate too quickly in my hot, dry climate. I would prefer a method that is easier to cover in wet or really hot weather, and has less surface area for evaporation. The organization afforded by a compost container will help keep my yard looking presentable.

Here are some ideas for compost bins I am considering that others have made:

This bin, found at cogdogblog's photostream on, is titled "Another Zero Dollar Project" because the author created it from materials already available. This actually does look pretty neat. I like the dark posts and the rocks in front. The author dug the posts into the ground. That works, but I would like something I can move around to place on future growing sites. / CC BY 2.0

This bin, from chromalux's photostream on, is my favorite. It looks like the wood in the front can be pulled out from the top, which would make it easier to get the fresh compost out. I might make one like this, without the wood in front to make it easier to turn. The back and sides appear to be chicken wire. That would allow plenty of air penetration. This one might actually be too big for my backyard needs!

Here is a basic compost pile. I like this a lot better than I thought I would. It can be located in the shade to prevent too much water evaporation. I think this would be my best bet for now. I might do something else after a few seasons, but this is affordable and effective! This photo is part of uberculture's photostream at The author is thinking about giving up on it! I hope that doesn't happen. This is a nice compost pile that will return vital nutrients to the soil.

Thanks to those who provided pictures on flickr for the public's use.

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