A composting operation can be as simple as a pile of leaves, weeds, and kitchen scraps. Mother Nature does it all the time. Go to any forest or field and you'll see she gets the job done without any structures. But people are different. We like to conserve space, keep things in their place; and we usually want to build a container or enclosure for our compost materials, which speeds up the operation by creating bulk, which then allows the pile to heat up and decompose faster.
What can we buy or build? There are many compost containers on the market mostly made from plastic. All work well, are attractive, and reasonably priced. There are composters that tumble or turn, speeding up the process, but they cost more and worst of all—you still have to turn them. It's fun at first but it gets old very fast.
We need a structure that will hold a pile of material in either a round or square shape. Wire fencing works well for round and even square structures if you use four fence posts. Make wire cylinders at least 3 to 4 feet in diameter. The exact length of fencing you'll need isn't critical. Instead I am just going to tell everyone to buy 10 or 15 feet of fencing. Buy a 10- or 15-foot piece, and make a cylinder by attaching the ends together by bending the cut wire pieces.
Building Boxes and Structures
So, if you want a 3-foot diameter composter, buy 10 feet of If you don t have a compost pile fencing. If you want a 4-foot diameter, buy 1 5 feet of fencing and yet, make one. Its essential to the have enough for a door. And, if you don't like round composters, Square Foot Gardening method. buy four 6-foot long steel fence posts, drive them in each corner of your composter location, bend the wire around those, and you'll have a square composter, much more suited to SFG. (Locate ingredients and fill as explained in Chapter 5.) When full or ready to turn, just lift up the wire cylinder, place it next to the pile, and use a garden fork to fill the cylinder in its new location—you've just turned the pile!
Another idea is to have an enclosure that's easier to get into to mix and water or even turn. Make an entrance opening with or without a gate. Start by driving two steel fence posts in the ground at your selected location; make them about 3 or 4 feet apart. Then attach your wire fencing to these posts. Two options are available for you— with and without a gate. If you want a gate it will cost you an extra 3 or 4 feet of fencing. No big deal, and it will look nicer and be neater when the enclosure starts filling up. You still tie or wire the fencing to both fence posts; one becomes the hinge, the other the door latch.
Make the latch S-hook from wire, or you can buy this type of hook at the store. You can have one compost bin or two together or even three depending on how large your operation is.
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