Compost bin costing less than 6 Euros? Almost free of charge. Is it possible? Yes it is, if you do it yourself (DIY) using cheap materials!
Compost is an ideal source of nutrients for our plants and vegetables.
If you want to make your own compost, you will find a variety of compost bins on the market.
Most of them are functional and beautiful. But they cost from 60 Euros to over 100 Euros, depending on the volume and the manufacturer.
If you have free space in your garden and you are interested in the result rather than the appearance, you can make your own DIY compost bin with a capacity of about 400 liters for less than 6 Euros.
Materials you will need:
1. Fencing mesh
3.20 meters of thick pre-cut fencing mesh, 0.50 meters high. In Greece, the minimum height of fencing mesh is 1 meter. You will therefore have to cut it in half.
Costs: about 1.30 Euro.
2. Green Shade Net
3.50 meters of green shade net (35% to 60% efficiency), approximately 1.50 meters high. The shade nets come in rolls from 2 meters high and higher.
Cost: approx. 4.20 Euro.
3. Thin wire for tying
Making the frame of the compost bin
Choose a spot in the garden where you or your neighbors will not be disturbed by the existence of the compost bin.
With the fencing mesh, create a cylinder, 1 meter in diameter. The 3.20 meters of the mesh gives a circle with a diameter of 1 meter. Tie the ends of the fencing mesh with some wire.
The spot where you choose to place the DIY compost bin should have soil underneath or light vegetation. You should not place the bucket on top of concrete, as it will not allow drainage, and will not allow useful organisms to enter through the soil.
If you want, you can lightly dig the soil under the DIY compost bin. This will help it sit better and facilitate aeration and the entry of microorganisms.
Press the roller gently so that it sits firmly in the soil.
Good but slow composting
At this stage you have built the basic composting bin. If you want, you can stop here and start filling the compost bin with material.
But why shouldn’t you stop here and not continue with the next steps?
The composting bin at this stage has too much ventilation (fencing mesh and open at the top). As a result, the material to be composted cannot hold moisture, the material to be composted dries out. The end result is that composting takes 5 to 6 months to complete. I tell you this from personal experience.
How do we speed up composting
To speed up composting, we need to reduce the rate of moisture loss, while maintaining a satisfactory level of ventilation.
The method I have chosen is to wrap the bin with a material that allows for ventilation, but at the same time limits moisture loss. This is a shade net.
Grab one end of the shade net on top of the bucket with the wire. Make sure to grab it at a height that covers the entire height of the bucket and that it drags a little on the ground.
Grasp the bottom of the tip of the shade net at the bottom of the bucket with wire.
Wrap the shade net around the compost bin until it meets the original end.
Wire the end again to the top and bottom of the compost bin.
Fold the excess shade net at the top over the compost bin to make the enclosed, but ventilated, roof of the compost bin.
Each time you want to add material to the compost bin, unfold the shade net from the top, drop in the organic material, and then refold it.
The total time required for construction (assuming you cut the materials to the correct dimensions) is about 15 minutes.
I hope you found useful this way of making a simple and economical DIY compost bin with simple materials.