DIY Worm Compost Bin
Approximately 25-30% of the rubbish we produce is organic, that is to say food scraps, fruit and vegetables, cut plants, leaves, mowing lawns, weeds, chips etcetera. All this wastes can be separated form the rest of our garbage and used to make compost. Compost is the end product of the process of biological transformation of organic substances that creates a totally natural humus-like fertilizer, to be used in our garden. The transformation process occurs in a very simple way but it cannot occur if you do not have a compost bin.
The compost bin is the container in which to introduce organic waste to produce compost. It can be placed in a shady spot of your garden directly on the ground. Its use is very simple and does not create any trouble (bad smells, flies, etc..). The maturation of compost takes place in a period ranging between 3 and 12 months depending on how you are going to use it.
On the web there are dozens of downloadable guides or available but many of them require the use of complicated bio-filters or other similar items. On the contrary, you can built your compost bin following these tips. It is cheap and easy to do. Moreover, given the small size, it is perfect for every balcony, terrace and garden.
First of all, you need to find a bin of the size of a laundry basket. It is important that it has a cover or a lid so that once closed it is perfectly sealed. Choose the right size also considering your family's consumptions. Then, you need expanded clay balls, a fine-knit plastic net, a mosquito net (in fabric, not aluminium!), some wire, a saucer, plastic clothes pegs and a drill.
Make some holes on the bin (not on the lid) following a regular pattern to allow a good ventilation.
Cover the inner surface of the bin first with the mosquito net and then with the fine-knit plastic net. Use the wire to fix them.
Now, it is time to prepare the base: place a disc of mosquito net at the bottom of the bin, cover it with the clay balls and place another disc of plastic net about 4 inches above. Once again, use the wire to fix the net. Create a soft 3 inch bed of peat and finally put some warms on the top (you can buy them in a fishing shop) and the work is done!
Now, put the bin on the saucer but be sure that there is some space between the two (you can use the clothes peg to raise the bin and to create a gap) the two under the compost, however, placing himself between the saucer and the bin extension (that's what you needed the clips plastic!), so that the leachate can flow easily to the saucer that you must clean from time to time.
Before you start to use your compost bin, there are three basic but important rules that you must never forget:
- put your compost in an area protected from the hot sun or freezing because earthworms are very delicate and can not bear sudden temperature changes.
- do not throw anything that was seasoned or that is greasy, do not throw anything of animal origin, not even the biscuits for your pets.
- always alternate 1 layer of organic rests with 1 layer of dry (leaves or newspapers), 1 layer of vegetables , 1 layer of dry, and at the end I recommend that you always put a thin layer of peat which will be useful to prevent the formation of bad odours and flies!