The Ultimate Compost Bin

How to make and use your own ultra-efficient composting system.

By Beth Huxta

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How to build the ultimate composting systemSuccessful organic gardeners rely on compost to improve soil’s fertility and moisture management, nourish helpful soil microbes, and inoculate against destructive ones. This three-bin system is a compost factory that efficiently pumps out heaps of finished black gold in just weeks, rather than the months you wait for the hands-off approach to work. Made from rot-resistant cedar, our ultimate compost bin features removable front planks, and a clean look that allows for good air movement. You can build it in just a few hours.

What you need:

  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • 2 boxes of wood screws (2" and 2 1/2")
  • Mallet or sledgehammer
  • 4' x 4' metal fence posts with screw holes
  • Staple gun and staples
  • 36' x 3' wire netting (chicken wire or a stronger material with similar-size openings)

 

Wood:

  • Dimensions                   Quantity
  • 1" x 6" x 12'                         7
  • 1" x 6" x 10'                         9           
  • 1" x 2" x 10'                         2
  • 2" x 6" x 10'                         2           
  • 2" x 6" x 12'                         2           
  • 2" x 4" x 12'                         2

 

Cut list for wood:

  • Removable planks: Cut 4 of the 1 x 6 x 12s into 12 pieces, 3'7 1/2" each
  • Uprights (for end and middle panels): Cut the 2 x 4 x 12s into 8 pieces, 2'10 1/2" each
  • Side slats: Cut the 1 x 6 x 10s into 18 pieces, 4'6" each
  • Front and back supports: Cut the 2 x 6 x 12s into 8 pieces, 2'10 1⁄2" each
  • Bottom pieces: Cut the 2 x 6 x 10s into 4 pieces, 4'9" each
  • Plank supports: Cut the 1 x 2 x 10s into 6 pieces, 2'10 1/2" each
  • Back slats: Use the 3 remaining uncut 1 x 6 x 12s
     
 
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