A number of things are needed for building a compost pile including a bin, a source of water, “green” materials and “brown” materials. This week we will cover bins.
Our goal is to have a bin that will hold at least a 3 foot x 3 foot x 3 foot high mound of material. Anything less than this and the process will be slow and will not produce sufficient heat to kill insect and disease pests. For home gardeners, a 5 x 5 x 5 bin would be about the largest that can be easily handled. Though there are a number of compost bins that can be purchased, gardeners can build their own. A simple bin can be made from discarded pallets or a ring of woven wire. Plans are available for a variety of bins at https://extension2.missouri.edu/g6957 . You may want to consider having a 3 bin system which consists of a holding bin to hold materials until enough materials have been collected to compost, a composting bin for a actual compost process and a third bin to hold the finished compost. For a video on choosing a bin, see https://bit.ly/2AwhCPy. (Ward Upham)