How to Start a Compost Pile in the Middle of the Garden


Composting is an easy way to help Mother Nature do her thing. Composting in a garden allows the gardener to control the environment and materials that are in the compost bin to help the decomposition process move along quickly. Once the composting is done, rich organic materials that are full of nutrients are readily available for use in the garden. Having the composting area close to or in the garden is the ideal situation for any gardener.

Step 1

Stake out an area of the garden that is centrally located and is at least three feet square. The larger the garden, the larger the area should be; this will be the size of your compost pile.

Step 2

Drive the fence posts into the ground around the perimeter of your composting area to form a square, or rectangle, depending on the size of your compost pile. If you are using wooden posts, dig two foot deep holes with the post-hole digger, insert the poles so that more than three feet is sticking up out of the ground. Tamp down the dirt around the posts to be sure they are secure.

Step 3

Starting with one end of the poultry wire, fold over the end to make a smoother and more secure end to the wire. Secure it to one of the posts using the wire pieces by wrapping the wire around the post, through the fence and twisting the ends together. If you are using wooden posts, staple the fence to the post using fence staples. Secure the edge of the fence in several places along the post, from bottom to top.

Step 4

Stretch the poultry wire tightly to the next post, keeping the top as level as possible. Tack the fence in place using one or two staples or one or two wire pieces.

Step 5

Stretch the poultry wire tightly across the next posts around the square and tack into place until you have reached the first post again.

Step 6

Cut and fold over the end of the poultry wire to form a smoother end piece. Tack it to the post or wrap it with wire pieces. Attach the fence in several places to be sure it is secured from top to bottom.

Step 7

Go back and secure the rest of the posts in several places from the top to the bottom of the posts to secure the fencing all the way around the post.

Step 8

Place a thick layer of dried leaves, dried garden leaves, thin or shredded sticks or hay into the compost pile. The first ingredients should be dry, brown matter to help sustain the oxygen level in the pile.

Step 9

Add layers of organic matter, alternating green and brown materials and turn the pile once a week. Allow the compost to sit and decompose over time, watering once a week during the dry season and turning the compost pile using a shovel or pitch fork.

Things You'll Need

  • Four metal or wooden fence posts
  • Sledgehammer, mallot or post hole digger
  • Poultry wire
  • Eight inch pieces of medium grade wire
  • Pliers


  • Building Your Compost Pile: Univ. of Illinois
  • Composting: Univ of Missouri
  • Composting: US Environmental Protection Agency

Who Can Help

  • Composting Video
Keywords: making a compost pile, composting in a garden, compost pile in the middle of garden

About this Author

Robin Lewis Montanye is a freelance artist, designer and writer. Her articles have appeared in newspapers, national magazines and on several self-help areas of the web. Montanye specializes in gardening articles with information from several universities. She has Internet articles published on, and