The great thing about composting is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money. You can create great rich, dark crumbly compost on a shoestring. All you really need is a place to put your heap.
You can make super compost in an open pile, or use a bin to keep things tidier. There are lots of composting bins on the market. I have two kinds, a plastic bin, and a bin I made out of chicken wire.
It’s a Smith and Hawken Biostack. It’s rodent resistant and its stacking design makes it easy to turn my pile. Because it’s made of black plastic, it’s supposed to keep the heat in so your stuff composts faster. It’s a bit pricy, but I got a huge discount through my county’s waste department. If it wasn’t for the discount, I’m not sure I would have been tempted. Check with your county waste department to see if they offer any specials, you never know…
My other bin is homemade. For this kind of bin, you need some poultry netting (I got mine at Home Depot. It comes in a 3 ft x 10 ft roll.) and plastic tie wraps (The instructions call for wire, but plastic tie wraps are so much easier to use, and you don’t need tin snips.) This is what it looks like so you know what to ask for at your hardware store or home center:
Here are some great instructions from the University of Kentucky, Cooperative Extension. It’s easy to make, cheap and totally does the job of keeping your compost heap tidy. If you don’t feel like building your own, you can always buy a simple wire bin online.
I’ve also heard of people making compost bins from old wooden pallets. I always see wooden pallets outside by the dumpsters behind stores. I haven’t tried it, but Instructables.com has some great instructions.
My grandfather was a resourceful kind of guy. He came of age during the Great Depression and was never one to waste anything. He had a simple open pile compost heap. His took a little longer to turn waste into compost, but if you have patience, it works just as well.
So, get out there and build up that compost heap. You and your garden will be glad you did.
How do you compost? Do tell!