Shortly after starting our little vegetable garden here in Dubai, my thoughts almost immediately turned to composting. I knew the benefits of compost from my first garden, so it was a high priority task!
My advice to you is if you are even considering starting your own vegetable garden, then start composting today. Start today, even if you won’t be ready to grow your own for a few months. Compost takes time and the quicker you start, the quicker it will be ready to use in your garden.
The first thing you are going to need is a compost bin. I wasn’t happy with the over-priced purpose made compost bins available locally, so I set out to make my own. In this blog post, I am going to show you how to make a DIY compost bin.
This is a quick and easy project anyone can do! Keep reading for our step by step guide on how to make a DIY compost bin in 5 simple steps.
How to Make a DIY Compost Bin
10 mm drill bit
Large trash can with lid
We chose a 32-gallon plastic trash can with a tight fitting lid. It is lightweight and is a suitable size for either hot or cold composting. Because we live in such a dry climate, the lid is important to prevent the moisture from evaporating too quickly.
Using the drill, make holes along the sides and bottom of the trash can. Our compost bin has around 70 holes. These holes allow air to reach the contents of the compost bin, which is essential for aerobic composting. Remove and discard the plastic debris from the holes and the compost bin.
Find a suitable location for your compost bin. In our hot climate, the ideal position would be in shade for much of the day. It should also be convenient to get to, as well as have enough space around it in order to mix the contents of the compost bin.
(Optional) Place your bin on several bricks or a platform, as this allows air to circulate under the compost bin, as well as good drainage. Our bins sit on decorative gravel without any problems, but if the compost bins are directly on concrete or soil it may be a different story.
Congratulate yourself on a job well done!
Now that you have made your first DIY compost bin, get composting by adding some organic material!
Not sure what to add? Check out this article we wrote about what to compost and 10 reasons to start.
Are you going to try this? Let us know in the comments below!
This is so helpful as I was just wondering how to get started with composting. The ready bins are so expensive
They are crazy expensive! Glad to be able to help!
Do you just had the layers of green and brown on a 2:1 ratio and keep watering so it doesn’t dry out?
And do you add some type of Bokashi / compost activator?
Hi! Good questions, we’ll be writing a post all about how to compost soon. To answer your question, if you have enough waste then we add in layers. However if you are only adding some kitchen scraps every few days, then don’t worry too much about layering. It just makes turning the pile a bit more important to make sure everything is mixed up. We don’t often have to add water, maybe once every week or two depending on the contents.
Bokashi or activators can be added if you wish, but they are not necessary to make compost.
Hi Jamie, amazing blog and garden. I share the same passion and I would love for you to visit sometime.
I have a few questions if you don’t mind.
1. What’s you best advise on controlling pests?
2. What’s your best advise on keeping birds of tomatoes?
3. I did the compost bin as you described, but there is black juice coming out from the bottom; what should I do with that or about that?
4. You mentioned turning the contents of the compost bins, I should do this with a wooden stick for example as if I am mixing a pot of soup? 😃
5. In the bin and on the inside walls of the bin and inside under the lid… there are 100s of tiny white worms, is this normal?
6. Do you think I should add mulch (those brown wood cuttings) all over my soil?