Having your own compost bin in your garden means that there is always a ready supply of nutrient rich compost for your plants and flowers, and also it helps you to do your bit for the environment. With an estimated 40% of household waste being eligible for the compost bin, you can cut down on the amount you contribute to the landfill sites considerably by using a compost bin instead. (Image source: secret world of a housewife blog

How to make your own compost bin

Many people use ready-made compost bins which can be bought from garden centres, but making your own is a straightforward process that doesn’t take much time. In actual fact, you don’t need a bin at all. A heap of compost which is covered with cardboard or a plastic sheet will do the job, but it isn’t particularly neat or easy to manage. If you do decide to make your own, we suggest using pallets. You will need four of them, some garden wire and six stakes to secure the pallets and keep them upright.


First, clear the area you want to put your bin and level the ground. Make sure it is in a sunny or part-shaded position, and that its easily accessible. Stand a pallet on its long edge at the back of the area, and hammer in a stake at either end, in between the pallets layers. Place two pallets at right angles to the back pallet and secure them to the ground with stakes, as before. Use garden wire to fasten the three pallets together. The final pallet will close the square, but don’t fasten it to the ground, as this will be your compost bin’s door. Use garden wire to secure it to the two side pallets. Fill the sides of the pallets with cardboard and straw for insulation. In order to keep your compost warm, and to speed up the composting process, lay a piece of carpet on the top.

What you can use to make compost

Anything that is biodegradable can be used to make compost, but there are some dos and don’ts to help make sure you get good quality compost for your garden. Do not ever add meat, fish or cooked food, as these will attract vermin. For obvious reasons, you should also not add dog or cat faeces or disposable nappies.


To get the best results, you need to make compost which has an even balance of green and brown ingredients. ‘Greens’ rot quickly, and include nettles, grass cuttings, raw vegetable peelings, tea bags, tea leaves, coffee grounds and animal (cow, horse) manure and poultry manure. ‘Browns’ are slower to rot, but carbon rich and will add texture and consistency to your manure. Cardboard, waste paper, bracken and sawdust are all examples of brown ingredients.(Image source: National Geographic)

Add any of these green and brown items to your compost bin, trying to keep an even balance between the two types, and over time a nice dark brown material that smells of earth will develop. Having a nice compost like this will help to make your plants and crops thrive, and will give you the added satisfaction of having recycled your kitchen and garden waste into something practical and useful.