Though the weather still suggests otherwise around here, it is indeed time to get started on garden matters. We’ve got some seedlings starting inside and have direct sowed peas, beets, and kale in our raised beds. The major project for the early spring, though, was to build a new compost bin. We’ve been using a store-bought plastic bin for the past year and while it basically serves the purpose, it’s pretty flimsy, it doesn’t provide any easy way to turn the compost, and I think the thin slits in the sides don’t allow enough air to get in. Not to mention the fact that it’s not even close to big enough for all the leaves that come off the giant oak and hickory trees in the south yard.
I started off with these plans for a wooden bin from This Old House. I wanted a much bigger bin than the 2’x2’x2′ featured there, but I didn’t want to lay out the cash for all the extra cedar lumber required to expand it. As a compromise, I built the exterior frame out of cedar and then used chicken wire to complete the walls. I kept the removable panels on the front so it’ll be easier to access the compost for turning and made the front half of the lid hinged so it can just be flipped open to load the bin.
The final product is 4′ tall, 4′ deep, and 3 1/2′ wide.