Making a Compost Barrel

Compost is used in gardening so that the soil gains nutrients. The garden will become more beautiful and plants and vegetables that are grown will be healthier. A compost barrel is advised for use to keep the compost orderly and to allow you to add and turn the compost as needed.

Making a compost barrel is an easy feat for people who enjoy do it yourself projects. Although most compost barrels are fairly inexpensive, you can save significant money by making it yourself. In addition, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself as well as have a sense of accomplishment.

Making a compost barrel will require a few basic tools and a barrel.

Any discarded barrel will work- making a compost barrel has been accomplished with old barbecue barrels, wine barrels and water softeners. Anything that is cylindrical in shape can be used, though the preparation of each may change slightly depending on the materials you use.

When making a compost barrel you will need to consider an opening so you can add compost. It is typically a hinged opening that has some type of closure so it will not open when turning. This can be a simple clasp that keeps the opening closed.

Use a hinged door that will fit over the opening. If you already have a solid barrel, you can cut out a portion of the barrel and use that as the opening by adding a hinge at the top or side, a handle for easy opening and a clasp to keep it closed when turning the compost in the barrel.

Making a compost barrel also includes mounting it to be able to rotate it. Think of the compost barrel like a spit.

You will need to attach two rods, one on either end of the barrel, that can be set on a base and rotated. This can be accomplished a number of ways.

First, you can add dowels or hardware to both ends. You can also thread a broom handle or similar dowel through the entire barrel, resting the ends on the stand.

You will need to seal each end so it can turn easily without turning the rod but not the actual barrel. An epoxy is usually sufficient to be able to adhere to the ends. If you use hardware, simply screw in the hardware so it is secure.

Next comes the base. This can be as simple as a Vee shaped stand on either end that is sturdy enough to support the compost bin. You can construct this out of wood with a few screws and some scraps of wood. The important part of making a compost barrel stand s to ensure the barrel is standing off the ground high enough to allow for proper aeration when turning.

Finally, you will need to make a crank that affixes to the ends. This can be as easy as building a makeshift wooden one or you can buy metal ones in your local hardware or home improvement store. You should affix this to one end of the barrel so you can periodically turn the compost heap.

See Also:

Compost Tumblers Simplify Compost Making
How to Compost Grass Clippings