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Post  scmelik on 5/30/2011, 1:00 pm

i really need to build a compost bin, right now I just have my compost pile laying in the open and I feel like its all getting washed and blown away. I need some demensions for a good compost bin. I would like to build it out of cedar just because it will look better and last longer than if i build it out of pine. I have a $50 gift card to lowes I just need to know how much lumber to buy.
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Post  quiltbea on 5/30/2011, 1:22 pm

I just wanted you to know that even without a bin, that pile will make itself into compost.

I started a compost pile last fall with some plastic fencing around it and held in place with some thin bamboo poles. Just on the ground. I tossed kitchen waste and grasses and the plants and vines from my garden into that pile and topped it with shovels of fall leaves until winter arrived. It wasn't very good I admit, but I didn't have time to make one at the time. Left it there all winter without any care at all and no other additons, not even water. but we did have snow all winter.

Surprise, surprise....When I was forking the pile into my new-to-me big green cranking composter this week I found that at the bottom of that ignored pile, it was almost compost. I was amazed. Like the compost in the barrel I couldn't turn, Mother Nature did her thing without my help.
I forked it into the cranker anyway so I could get a headstart on filling up my green monster and start turning it into the lovely stuff. I think the micro thingies will help to turn the whole shebang into compost quicker with cranking it daily.

I'm living proof that your bin doesn't have to be fancy and certainly doesn't need a bottom. Bare ground works just fine. Forking it now and then and adding water occasionally should work just fine.
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Post  scmelik on 5/30/2011, 1:26 pm

oh I know I definitely don't need one but right now it the pile looks bad in my backyard so I wanna clean it up a bit and with the winds we get in South Dakota I am loosing some of my ingredients, not many but some. I don't think my neighbors enjoy looking at a big pile of garbage.
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Post  Goosegirl on 5/30/2011, 1:53 pm

@scmelik wrote:oh I know I definitely don't need one but right now it the pile looks bad in my backyard so I wanna clean it up a bit and with the winds we get in South Dakota I am loosing some of my ingredients, not many but some. I don't think my neighbors enjoy looking at a big pile of garbage.

I know the feeling! I have 'tidied up' my compost area out of respect for my neighbors, but I really need to set up my official compost bins. Are you in the Wind Advisory/High Wind area for today as well? I got 3 hours of gardening done this morning, but when I went out just now it isNeed to Build a bin 3868! I hope my new transplants keep a good grip!
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Post  scmelik on 5/30/2011, 2:11 pm

@Goosegirl wrote:
@scmelik wrote:oh I know I definitely don't need one but right now it the pile looks bad in my backyard so I wanna clean it up a bit and with the winds we get in South Dakota I am loosing some of my ingredients, not many but some. I don't think my neighbors enjoy looking at a big pile of garbage.

I know the feeling! I have 'tidied up' my compost area out of respect for my neighbors, but I really need to set up my official compost bins. Are you in the Wind Advisory/High Wind area for today as well? I got 3 hours of gardening done this morning, but when I went out just now it isNeed to Build a bin 3868! I hope my new transplants keep a good grip!

i don't know if we are in a high wind warning but its windy as HE** and really screwing up my fishing.
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Post  Old Hippie on 5/30/2011, 2:51 pm

You can always just use pallets and cover them with lattice. It works quite well and is wayyy cheaper. I used some clear stain on the lattice to make it match the doors of the garden shed. Then on the one end by the street between the fence and the shed, I plant sunflowers. They make a lovely screen. On the other two sides I plant various kinds of climbing or vining plants. sometimes sweetpeas, sometimes climbing nasturtiums. I have been meaning to try hops one of these years too.

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Post  camprn on 5/30/2011, 2:56 pm

@Old Hippie wrote:You can always just use pallets and cover them with lattice. It works quite well and is wayyy cheaper. I used some clear stain on the lattice to make it match the doors of the garden shed. Then on the one end by the street between the fence and the shed, I plant sunflowers. They make a lovely screen. On the other two sides I plant various kinds of climbing or vining plants. sometimes sweetpeas, sometimes climbing nasturtiums. I have been meaning to try hops one of these years too.

Gwynn
+1 Another thing to consider is that the wood that will contain the compost is going to be in contact with moisture and microbes and will rot a bit faster. Pallets are cheap and because there are spaces between the boards this will allow some airflow to the pile, which is good. Just a suggestion. Good luck with your pile container. Very Happy
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Post  Old Hippie on 5/30/2011, 2:59 pm

containing your piles can be a difficult thing. Laughing

Gwynn


Last edited by Old Hippie on 5/30/2011, 2:59 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : missing words)
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Post  scmelik on 5/30/2011, 3:00 pm

my initial plan was to use pallets but I have done nothing but strike out trying to find pallets. It seems every place that gets them has to send them back to where they came from or pay for them.
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Post  busygirl on 5/30/2011, 3:07 pm

I use chicken wire cages (whatever length of chicken wire you want made into a circle and reinforced with chain link fencing supports). That way when I want to seriously turn my pile, I just pull the cage off the pile completely, reset it to one side, then shovel everything back into the cage. If I can't pull the cage off, I undo the edges and peel it away, reform it into a circle to one side, and shovel everything back into the cage.

My cage is about 4 ft diameter and 3 feet high. The chain link fence supports are 41 cents each regular price at the big box (Lowe's, Home Depot, etc). I originally bought a few inexpensive (less than $2 each) step-in electric fence posts to support the cage, but have found that I really don't need them.
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Post  Goosegirl on 5/30/2011, 3:43 pm

I have the green plastic chicken 'wire' and matching green posts, I just have to get off my rear and put them up!
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Post  busygirl on 5/30/2011, 3:52 pm

@quiltbea wrote:I just wanted you to know that even without a bin, that pile will make itself into compost.

I started a compost pile last fall with some plastic fencing around it and held in place with some thin bamboo poles. Just on the ground. I tossed kitchen waste and grasses and the plants and vines from my garden into that pile and topped it with shovels of fall leaves until winter arrived. It wasn't very good I admit, but I didn't have time to make one at the time. Left it there all winter without any care at all and no other additons, not even water. but we did have snow all winter.

Surprise, surprise....When I was forking the pile into my new-to-me big green cranking composter this week I found that at the bottom of that ignored pile, it was almost compost. I was amazed. Like the compost in the barrel I couldn't turn, Mother Nature did her thing without my help.
I forked it into the cranker anyway so I could get a headstart on filling up my green monster and start turning it into the lovely stuff. I think the micro thingies will help to turn the whole shebang into compost quicker with cranking it daily.

I'm living proof that your bin doesn't have to be fancy and certainly doesn't need a bottom. Bare ground works just fine. Forking it now and then and adding water occasionally should work just fine.

Please let us know how your new barrel works. I have one on my wish list as well, thinking to hold the majority of compost in my chicken wire cages and "finishing" smaller batches as I need them in the crank barrel.
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Post  camprn on 5/30/2011, 3:54 pm

Like Busygirl said another alternative is doing the round wire cage thing, It works pretty darn good and when/if you want to turn the pile, just undo the wire closure and unwrap the pile and move the hoop over and refill. There is one on the left.
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Post  Old Hippie on 5/30/2011, 4:04 pm

And if you want to screen it from the neighbours, again lattice works pretty well. Just pound in a couple of posts and attach the lattice and you have not only something that blocks the view but is a great vertical growing spot as well.

Gwynn
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Post  sherryeo on 5/30/2011, 4:13 pm

Need to Build a bin 88662 Wow, camprn, color me green with serious compost envy! What a great supply of homemade compost you have there! I think I'm going to build one of those wire cages to put my fall leaves in every year until I'm ready to add them to compost. They can get a head start on composting. How tall is your wire cage?
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Post  camprn on 5/30/2011, 4:36 pm

I use them to hold the autumn leaves as well. I pick up most of the leaves with the lawn mower so they get chopped up and accelerate the composting cycle. The cage is 4' tall and 3' diameter.
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Post  scmelik on 5/30/2011, 7:23 pm

thanks for all the replies I appreciate it. As of right now pallets are not an option as I can't seem to come up with anything. I don't have a fence so there is nothing to block it from the neighbors view so I don't think I really want to go the chicken wire route. If anyone has built one and is willing to share the schematics or at least the demensions i would appreciate it.
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Post  GreenBlueberry on 5/30/2011, 7:54 pm

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Post  scmelik on 5/30/2011, 8:09 pm

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Post  Furbalsmom on 5/30/2011, 9:27 pm

scmelik, our Master Gardener suggested minimum deminsions 3 ft X 3 ft, and you usually don't want it over 4 ft X 4 ft if you are looking for hot compost.
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Post  scmelik on 5/30/2011, 9:40 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:scmelik, our Master Gardener suggested minimum deminsions 3 ft X 3 ft, and you usually don't want it over 4 ft X 4 ft if you are looking for hot compost.

i was kind of finding that same information different places online. I am not so sure i want to do anything now, I went out to the pile tonight to add my kitchen scraps and I always uncover it a bit to put my scraps in just to keep the pests down and it was steaming hot. Not sure I wanna mess with it at this point.
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Post  camprn on 5/30/2011, 9:43 pm

@scmelik wrote:I went out to the pile tonight to add my kitchen scraps and I always uncover it a bit to put my scraps in just to keep the pests down and it was steaming hot. Not sure I wanna mess with it at this point.
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Post  scmelik on 5/30/2011, 9:45 pm

@camprn wrote:
@scmelik wrote:I went out to the pile tonight to add my kitchen scraps and I always uncover it a bit to put my scraps in just to keep the pests down and it was steaming hot. Not sure I wanna mess with it at this point.
Need to Build a bin 485967

that was my thought too. For the longest time I couldn't get any heat build up whats so ever and then I had my lightbulb the other day and since adding all that grass it has heated up to the point where I could probably cook hotdogs over it if I wanted too haha.
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Post  cachecrashers4 on 5/31/2011, 8:03 pm

BBQ at scmelik's!!!! Need to Build a bin 53366
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Post  scmelik on 5/31/2011, 8:07 pm

@cachecrashers4 wrote:BBQ at scmelik's!!!! Need to Build a bin 53366


come on over, I'll fire up the smoker and make some real food, forget them hot dogs!!!!
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