Homemade Compost is the king of plant foods
Problem is, when you’re a newbie gardener, you’re not really sure about how to create a diy compost bin.
Whether you’re planting in the ground or in raised garden beds, compost is going to be your magic trick to creating a thriving garden. Even if you start with the BEST soil combination, it still needs to be fed with rich compost each season to really perform at its highest.
Keeping things simple around here is our specialty, so today I’m going to show you how we upcycled a leaking water tank into a simple compost bin.
How a compost bin works
When you’re making a compost bin, all you’re essentially doing is creating a place to store organic matter that will mix together and break down into composted material to use straight in your garden.
If you were to throw things like coffee grounds, kitchen scraps, leaves, & eggshells into a pile, it would eventually break down into rich soil, but the reason why we build things like compost bins is to speed up the process.
By adding water & turning the pile, you are going to get good composted material a lot quicker. As you start to compost things from your home & farm, you’ll not only be saving the environment, you’ll also be making free food for your plants that in turn, feeds you.
To learn more about what you can & can’t add to a compost bin, read this composting guide for beginners.
DIY Compost Bin [from a water tank]
There are lots of diy compost bin tutorials out there, but for this tutorial, we’re going to show how we turned our old, leaky water tank into an awesome compost bin! While you can snag a compost bin online, there’s nothing more satisfying than making one from something you were going to throw away.
We started by cutting slits all around it, because we wanted any rainwater or irrigation flood water to seep in and water it naturally.
Next, we cut a hole on the side to so the free-ranging chickens could hop in and peck at things, poop, and till it naturally as they scratch around. This also can be covered with a board if we need to cover it up as we turn it.
Inside, you’ll see things like goat manure, egg shells, wood chips, wood ash, grass clippings, produce scraps from the kitchen, coffee grounds, banana peels, leftover vines/veggies from the garden, leaves, etc.
You’ll see in this video that we add things to it daily, then turn it about once a week. If it needs water, we’ll water it, but for the most part, rainwater & irrigation water does it’s job. Also, the hot sun & plastic around the water tank provides a warmer environment, speeding up the composting process even further. So far, so good!
Making your own Compost Bin
This is just one example of the many items around your yard you could use to make a diy compost bin. For all the work it takes to create one, you’ll be glad you did. And your plants will thank you with gorgeous harvest each year!
What could I use for a compost bin? I live in Minnesota and I wonder if it’s warm enough for my garden here in the summer.
Here is a link from the University of Minnesota Extension: https://extension.umn.edu/vegetables/composting-home-gardens#composting-structures-882310
It talks about composting and structures specific to Minnesota.
I hope that helps.
Thanks -Bobbi (DaNelle’s Assistant)
Any tips on where/how to find a water tank for free? Also, wondering if you have issues with vermin getting in? Do you ever close the whole thing up, like say during the night?
You might try Craigslist for a tank or sometimes if you go to farm sales you can pick up one cheap.
As for closing it up, airflow when it’s warm really helps out, so usually only close it up or cover it up when it’s cold. But if you are having a problem with vermin you may want to close it up at night, but just don’t let it get to hot for the microbes.
I hope this helps!
Thank you -Bobbi (DaNelle’s Assistant)
I have 2 pygmy goats. One hops any fence I put up. I love these guys, but they do make our nice porch messy with poop etc. Any tips for keeping this guy happier and more willing to stay put?
I am sorry to say, I know from experience, there is no reasoning with a goat. If he wants to hop over that fence, well he’s gonna do it. The best thing I can tell you is to help him be good, because goats cannot do it on their own. Keep things they climb on away from the edges of the fence, and build the fence as high as feasibly possibly. If the goats can still get out, and the area is small you can put a mesh wire top over it, but again this is for very small areas. You can also electrify the fence to keep the goats in, which also helps keep predators out. Another thing I can offer is make sure your goats have enough space and plenty of shade so they don’t feel like they need to get out.
Here are a few of DaNelle’s article on goat pen building and fencing to help give you ideas:
I hope this helps and you keep your little Houdinis inside their fences! Happy Goating! Thank you -Bobbi (DaNelle’s Assistant)