How to Use Tubs to Make Compost


Composting is a method of using organic material recycled from the kitchen and trash to provide nutrients to the garden. Materials are broken down by composters, small microorganisms and bugs which feed on the material. Composting is possible in large tubs, where composting materials are placed for decomposition. The composting tub requires proper placement, aeration, layering maintenance and pest avoidance for a good compost.

Step 1

Find a location for your compost tub that is away from piles of wood, out of direct sunlight, and gets a good amount of cool air throughout the day. Your area requires at least 1 cubic yard of space and should not exceed 5 feet by 5 feet in area, according to Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.

Step 2

Drill several holes into the bottom and side of your composting tub to aid in air circulation throughout the pile. This cuts down on smell and aids in decomposition.

Step 3

Place a layer of wood on the bottom of your tub to start your composting layers. The University of Illinois Extension suggests starting with an organic layer, so add vegetables and other kitchen waste that is a few inches thick on top of the wood.

Step 4

Add a layer of fertilizer on top of the first layer of compost, such as animal manure or 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 commercial fertilizer, one cup per 25 square feet. Add fertilizer as a thin layer, 1 to 2 inches in depth.

Step 5

Add a layer of top soil that is 1 or 2 inches thick on top of the fertilizer. Continue layering in this manner to make your compost. The compost will begin to heat up as the pile settles, says the University of Illinois Extension.

Step 6

Turn the pile using a shovel or pitch fork four to six weeks after the pile begins to heat up. The pile will be ready to use three to four months after it is started.

Things You'll Need

  • 31-gallon plastic tub
  • Drill
  • Shovel or pitch fork
  • Wood
  • Compost


  • University of Illinois Extension: Building Your Compost Pile
  • Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania: Composting a Beginner's Guide
  • Composting 101: A Composting Guide for the Home Gardener
Keywords: tub composting, home composting, DIY composting

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.