Team member Maureen enlisted help to make composters from discarded wood

"We moved into our house three years ago and, like Kerry, found abandoned composters at the back of the plot where first of all we plonked our own composters. As we cleared the garden the composters were filled to the brim and a mountain of green waste in bulk bags meant many trips to the local household waste recycling site to empty them.

Eventually a plan emerged, first in my head and then in reality! We had plenty of timber cut-offs and the like (some kept for our new wood-burning stove) ideal for making compost bins.

0.6m wide x 1.0m deep and about 1.0m high, they are sited on soil, have solid sides, hinged lids and slide-in fronts so that the finished product can be removed and used. We tipped existing compost into one to allow it to continue to mature and started the other one from scratch.

I’m not really particular about layering the ingredients but just keep an eye on any ‘bulk’ green stuff that may be added, like grass mowings or lots of soft annual growth from the flower/shrub beds and give it a bit of a stir when I add things – poking things down the sides, mixing it up on top. The finished product is good but needs a bit of sorting to remove any larger bits and bobs which haven’t finished decomposing, these are added to the other bin. At the moment we are adding the compost to bits of the garden where our heavy clay soil needs improving."

Home-made bins are a great alternative to bought compost bins and adding the finished product to improve soil structure is such a good idea too. Keeping an eye on the mix is important whatever your bins look like. Happy composting Maureen, Annie.


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