How to Make a Compost Bed


A compost bin is a simple project that anyone can make. You can use scrap or recycled lumber that you have lying around, or you can buy lumber. You shouldn't use treated wood to make a compost bin, however, because the chemicals used to treat the wood may not be safe. Wood pallets are another option.

Step 1

Cut the pieces into sections of the same length, probably about 3 feet if you are using scrap lumber. You can use thinner lumber, such as two-by-twos, as stakes to hold the sides in place.

Step 2

Use a sledgehammer to drive the stakes into place once you have measured their locations.

Step 3

Begin forming a box from the bottom after measuring your pieces of lumber.

Step 4

Nail them to the two-by-twos to make your box sturdier.

Step 5

Keep building up the sides until it is as high as you want it to be. You might also consider making a two-part box, or two boxes side by side. This makes it easier to turn your pile over. You can start composting in one box, then use a shovel to move it into the next box. This will allow you to start more compost in the first box. Moving your compost around helps it to break down faster by allowing for better aeration.

Step 6

Add grass clippings, leaves or weeds, which act as compost activators.

Step 7

Add some lime or calcium to keep flies and other pests away. This also helps to neutralize odors that may result from the compost. If you dump kitchen waste into your compost bin, always cover it with a mulching material like leaves, straw, young weeds, or grass.

Step 8

Once the materials have become compost, you can use it as a soil additive. The material will be rich in nutrients. The area around the compost bin usually becomes rich in nutrients as well, so you can move your compost bin and try growing plants in that area. Add the compost to the soil rather than using compost alone as a growing medium.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden pallets
  • Shovel
  • Pitchfork
  • Lumber
  • Sledgehammer
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Lime or calcium


  • Build Your Own Compost Bin
Keywords: compost bin, compost activators, wood pallets

About this Author

Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer since 2009. He has a B.S. in literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written the ebooks "Karate You Can Teach Your Kids," "Macadamia Growing Handout" and "The Raw Food Diet."