Download article as a pdf.

Habitat 7 - Building a compost heap

Building a compost bin

Building a compost bin

› Download article as a pdf   › Return to Habitat 7

Habitat 7 - Building a compost heap

You'll need:
Timber for corner posts (we used 100mm x 100mm) and framing (we used 100mm x 50mm), half rounds for removable fronts (we used 140mm x 50mm), trellis beading, galvanised steel mesh, nails, staples, string line, tape measure, spirit level, square edge, hammer, saw, spade, wire cutters.

Step 1
Decide on the type of composting system that will best meet your needs. In this large garden, we opted for a triple-stage bin. It can take three to four months for composting to take place. In that time, the heat at the centre of the pile will approach 60?C, and everything in the bin needs to go through that cooking process to kill any weeds and avoid putrefaction. One bin will be filled with clippings, which will be turned regularly for even aeration and heat distribution. Over the composting period, the other bins will be progressively filled and turned, so there is always a good rotation of material in and out of the system.

Then, using a string line and pegs, map out the dimensions of your composting system. Dig holes for the support posts and bed them in. It helps if the corner posts are the same height as the steel mesh you plan to use.

Step 2
Measure out the framing, cut to length and nail onto the vertical supports top and bottom for stability. We also used a length of half-round on the outside edges of the framing for looks, and half-way down the exterior edges for added strength, once the mesh had been added.

Step 3
Secure the leading edge of the wire mesh to one of the front outside supports. Encase each bin in mesh on the sides and back, stapling the wire to the corner posts and framing as you go. The wire will let air into the bins, while still keeping the compost contained.

Step 4
Measure and cut half rounds. You'll need one length for each vertical face of the bin fronts, and enough to close in the fronts of the bins horizontally from ground level to the top. These will easily lift out to allow for the turning and removal of compost.

Step 5
Nail one length of half round to each front vertical side of the bins, with a few centimetres overhang on the inside edge. Cut a length of trellis beading to the same height. Measure back from the half round to slightly more than the cross section width of a piece of half round and nail the beading to the vertical support.

Step 6
Drop each of the half rounds into the slots between the facing half rounds and the beading. This closes the front of the bins.


Search Habitat Magazine Stories

Want to get your own free copy of future issues of Habitat?

If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit Habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

› Return to Habitat 7

View Videos

Resene Paints Ltd

Choose your Resene paint colours

Our vision is to be respected as an ethical and sustainable company and acknowledged as the leading provider of innovative paint and colour technology. View Resene’s profile and Environmental Policy.

Any personal data, such as name, address, phone, email details, supplied to Resene for the purposes of receiving newsletters, orders etc will be retained by Resene Paints Ltd and used only by Resene Paints Ltd and its trusted agencies for the purposes of communication/promotion/providing service to you. We do not sell, trade or otherwise transfer your personal data to outside third parties. If you wish to opt out of communication from Resene please complete our contact us form. View our full Privacy Policy.

We would love to hear from you if you wish to use Resene’s images, information and ideas for social medial, blogs, newsletters and other media use. Please email and let us know what you need, what it is for and how Resene will be acknowledged as the source of the content. We are happy to assist with most requests.

Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

PO Box 924, Beenleigh, Queensland 4207
P: 1800 738 383. F: 1800 064 960

New Zealand:
PO Box 38242, Wellington Mail Centre, Lower Hutt 5045
P: +64 (4) 577 0500, 0800 RESENE (737 363). F: (04) 577 0600