Homemade Composters

You can easily buy a composter for your yard; however, composting is easily done with a homemade composter. All you really need to compost is nitrogen (kitchen scraps), carbon (straw, hay, dried leaves), water and air. After you have these four elements, you just need a place for them to compost. Whether you choose to be as low-cost and low-maintenance as possible or whether you choose to build an attractive bin out of recycled materials, having a homemade composter is less than a day's work away.


The easiest composter is a pile or a pit. Simply pick a spot near your garden on a well-drained piece of land to pile your compost. Your pile will compost more efficiently the bigger it is. Three feet high by 3 feet wide (and any length) is the recommended size for a compost heap. Keep it covered with straw, hay or wood chips to contain the odor. Use concrete blocks to build a three-sided wall around your compost. Alternately, dig a pit in which to compost your kitchen and yard waste. Use a pitchfork to turn your compost to ensure aeration.

Wood and Wire

Recycled wood pallets, snow fencing and wire fencing are excellent materials to build composters. With wood and wire you can build a box-style bin. Hinge one side for easy access to your compost. This style can be moved from season to season to spread the benefits your composter has on the earth underneath of it. Similarly, with just fencing, build a circular composter.


With some time and effort you can build a mount with a barrel-style composter that turns. Alternately, simply drill holes in an old trash can, secure the lid, and roll your compost around your yard in this tumbling composter.

Worm Bin

Worm bin composters can be made in a plastic storage bin or built out of wood. By drilling holes in a non-translucent plastic bin, you can make a worm bin composter that fits under your kitchen sink. This is a convenient and highly efficient way to make compost. Worm bin composters can also be made in large wooden boxes. One popular worm bin composter is the bench-style of wooden composter, which is a useful addition to your patio.

Keywords: homemade composters, compost bins, composting tips, garden compost

About this Author

Em Connell McCarty has been writing for 27 years. She studied writing at the University of Iowa and at Hollins University in Virginia. She writes fiction, creative non-fiction and essays. McCarty's work has been published in Hip Mama magazine.