Wooden Compost Bins: Buy or Build Your Own?

Some people prefer the natural look of a wooden compost bin. Although most of the commercial compost bins you see these days are plastic, you do see some wooden compost bins now that are already made.

Here are two wooden composters that I like that you can buy.

This cedar bin has two large sections so that you can keep two compost piles going at once and compost large amounts of materials. It’s a great choice if you like to compost leaves, which take up a lot of space. Cedar is very durable, and it’s also a readily available wood that is eco friendly.

This spruce composter is made from FSC certified sustainable wood. It has a really nice look, and the wood has been heat treated for extra durability. The lid is nice, and the extra large spaces between slats allow good aeration.

But what if you want to build a wooden compost bin yourself? You still have a lot of options.

I really like this booklet that has a bunch of different plans for compost bins that you can build yourself. There are a lot of ideas for different styles of bins, and the instructions are clear.

You can also find plans online to build a wooden composter yourself, if you’re the handy type.

The University of Missouri Extension has free plans for several types of compost bins, including a cedar wooden compost bin.

Any other good sources for wooden composter plans out there that I might have missed?

Why a bin might be better than a compost heap.

Should I have a compost bin or a compost heap in the backyard? This is a question that often plagues the first time composter, or even the experienced composter who is going to start a new composting season. Well, to figure this out, you really have to examine the two. First, let’s get a basic idea of each:

Compost Heap

A compost heap is just what it sounds like – a heap of compost that lies on the ground. You can turn it, aerate it, and add to it while it decomposes. The compost heap can at times be covered with a tarp in order to lock in heat and control moisture, or it can just sit there uncovered – decomposing away.

Photo found on Flickr.com courtesy of Gillian.

Compost Bin

A compost bin is just that – a bin for your compost. These bins can come in varying systems – you can make them yourself, you can buy a wooden one, a multi-bin system, a rotating composter, a tumbling composter – you name it. The point is that these bins do not rest on the ground and are still holding cells for your compost.

Photo found on Flickr.com courtesy of Randzig.

So, those discrepancies pointed out, why might a bin be better than a heap?

Well, first off…you should always check with your city to see if there is an ordinance prohibiting compost heaps. Some cities say the big nay-no to a compost heap. If your city says its okay and you have a homeowner’s association, you still may want to check with them. Let’s just say that some homeowner’s associations can be less than fond of a compost heap in the backyard.

So, taking that into account, let’s also think about other possible benefits of a compost bin – they are often closed and above ground, which means they are resistant to being torn up by rodents and animals. Organic wasted confined to one part of the lawn is one thing – but decomposing material strewn about the entire lawn is a whole other story altogether.

Compost bins are also convenient. You can carry waste to the bin, close a lid and tumble it (if it’s a tumbling composter) or spread it around (with a compost turner or a compost fork). The compost bin will also last for a long time, and can be a lot more aesthetically pleasing. In addition, compost bins can at times yield quicker compost, and if you have a smaller yard or are working with a smaller need for compost, they are absolutely perfect.

So, when you take these points into consideration, a compost bin might be a lot more practical and effective for your home than a compost heap.

Envirocycle Composter: Product Review

Photo found on Flickr.com courtesy of Madness Rivera. Pugs not intended for use in composter – just garden materials. Thank you.

There are so many outstanding benefits associated with the Envirocycle Composter. This compost bin is basically a spinning drum that rotates on a base with eight rollers. Therefore, to turn your compost, all you have to do is just spin the thing around. It stays in place, is not bulky, and is super easy to use. It also produces compost quickly – as you can have compost ready to go in four to six weeks!

Another really outstanding feature of this compost bin is how it can create compost tea with ease. Compost tea is liquid produced by compost, and it’s chock full of nutrients. Because of this, compost tea becomes a fantastic way to spice up the look and feel of everything in your lawn and garden – be it plants, flowers, or even vegetables! The base of the tumbler can collect up to 5 gallons of compost tea! If for some reason you just really aren’t interested in compost tea, don’t worry – you can plug it to where the liquid/nutrients just seep into the ground.

So the composter is great for compost to tea and spins with ease to tumble the compost around – are there any other benefits? Sure. Take the spinning, for example. Since the compost bin spins on the rollers and the bin can roll, if you want to transport the bin to another area of the lawn to use, just pop it off the rollers and roll it over there with ease! This is a function many other compost bins do not have- as if you are to need the compost, you have to shovel it into a wheelbarrow, then transport it across the lawn. By simply rolling this bin from spot to spot, you are easily eliminating about 15-20 minutes of work from your schedule – that’s more time to relax, do some additional gardening, catch the pre-game show before the Stars beat the Red Wings – you name it!

As far as dimensions go, this composter has a height of 29 3/4 inches, a length of 26 1/2 inches, and a depth of 21 inches. It holds approximately 53 gallons (7 cubic feet) of compost – that’s a lot for you to use for your lawn, garden, or both!

This composter is highly recommended for all, and will help you whip out some great compost in no time. We highly recommend it! If this was a system requiring grades, an “A” would be earned, without a doubt. To recap, here’s some of the outstanding features and benefits of this composter:

  • Produces compost in 4-6 weeks
  • Easy to transport
  • Produces up to 5 gallons of compost tea
  • Easy to use
  • Spinning composter
  • Not overly large or bulky
  • Large opening to allow for getting compost in/out with ease
  • Fits perfectly in your lawn or garden without being obstructive or intrusive

    We have also found this great product video on the web about this composter! Here you can see it firsthand!