Making An Outdoor Compost Bin

Posted on Jan 18 2010 - 10:37am by Mike Lieberman

I decided to make an undercover outdoor compost bin at my grandmother’s for my backyard vegetable garden in Brooklyn.

Why is it undercover? It is because my Grandmother would flip out if she knew I was composting in her backyard? Why would she flip out? I dunno. She’s 90 and does that kind of thing. We are talking about the woman who freaked out when I brought my first harvest into her house.

Making this outdoor compost bin was very similar to the aerobic compost bin in my kitchen.

This bin also had no cost in putting together as well. All of the tools and materials I already had.

    Here’s how the construction went down:

  • Drilled 1/4″ holes in the bottom of the can.
  • 1/4″ holes were then drilled vertically along the sides of the can about 2″ apart. Horizontally they were about 4″ apart.
  • Collected leaves from the backyard and filled it about half full, then pressed them down until it was about a quarter of the way full.
  • Some of the plants and soil from the containers that I broke down were put on top of the pile.
  • Topped that with some of the Jamaica Bay Sticky Icky (seaweed).
  • Put one last pile of leaves on top.
  • More holes were drilled along the sides to allow for more aeration.

This was a two-day operation. By the time the second day rolled around much of the soil was frozen and couldn’t be used. Luckily, the seaweed didn’t freeze up.

When completed, the compost was put back way in the corner of the backyard where my Grandmother doesn’t go anymore.

Unfortunately, in this weather the compost has froze up. You think it’ll last? How long until I should have some good usable compost?