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should a compost bin have a bottom

by Earnestine Klein Published 1 year ago Updated 7 months ago

Not having a solid base also means that moisture can drain freely from the pile. If excess moisture can't drain, a compost pile can become waterlogged, which kills beneficial organisms and bacteria and creates a foul odor. A solid bottom on a compost bin makes it somewhat easier to remove finished compost.

Full Answer

Do compost containers need a base?

Containers without bases give entry to microorganisms and creepy crawlies from the ground below. They also allow excess water to drain into the soil. Some gardeners line the bottom of an open bin with chicken wire to keep rodents out. If your compost bin has a solid bottom, you can make small drainage holes in the base.

Should I add water to my compost bin?

Most compost bins have an open bottom, allowing liquid and rainwater to flow out naturally. But if your container doesn’t have any perforations in the bottom, you’ll need to add some, or you could end up with a slimy mess inside your bin. And it’ll probably stink, too, because the excess water forces out the air and creates anaerobic decomposition.

Does a compost bin have to have a solid bottom?

A solid bottom on a compost bin makes it somewhat easier to remove finished compost. But you can also scoop finished compost out of a pile sitting directly on soil — it just might require back-bending or kneeling. Manufactured compost bins and tumblers include a solid bottom that usually has drainage holes.

Do compost bins need drainage holes?

And an open compost bin can be quickly soaked by heavy rainfall. For these reasons, a compost bin needs drainage holes in the base. Most compost bins have an open bottom, allowing liquid and rainwater to flow out naturally.


What do I put at the bottom of my compost bin?

Almost everyone advises putting down a layer of coarse material — corn cobs and husks, sticks, thick fibrous stalks from vegetables or tall flowers. This layer improves aeration at the bottom of the compost pile.

Does a compost bin need to sit on the ground?

Myth 1: Compost bins must sit on soil Worms will successfully make their way into a compost bin sitting on a hard surface. A thick layer of cardboard or newspaper at the base of the bin will help to attract them.

Can I just put compost on top of soil?

You can sprinkle compost on top or mix it into your flower and vegetable beds, gently rake compost into tree beds, blend it with potting soil to revitalize indoor plants, or spread it on top of the soil on your lawn as a soil amendment.

What are 3 things you shouldn't compost?

What NOT to CompostMeat and Fish Scraps.Dairy, Fats, and Oils.Plants or Wood Treated with Pesticides or Preservatives.Black Walnut Tree Debris.Diseased or Insect-Infested Plants.Weeds that Have Gone to Seed.Charcoal Ash.Dog or Cat Waste.

Is it better to compost in a bin or on the ground?

A compost bin can speed up the process of decomposition. If proper conditions required for the process persist, you'll have access to untarnished fertilizers that you can use at home or sell. These compost bins have the advantage of making it hard for the rats to get to your compost.

Does a compost bin need to be in the sun?

You can put your compost pile in the sun or in the shade, but putting it in the sun will hasten the composting process. Sun helps increase the temperature, so the bacteria and fungi work faster. This also means that your pile will dry out faster, especially in warm southern climates.

How do you make a compost bin in the ground?

Construction:Drill about 20-30 holes, at least 1/4-inch, in the bottom of the can.Drill 20-40 more holes in the sides of the can, but only in the lower third. ... In a well-drained spot, dig a hole about 15 inches deep (about half as deep as your container)Set the can into the hole. ... Your new digester is ready to use!More items...

Can you compost in a hole?

Dig and drop composting couldn't be simpler: Dig a hole, approximately 10 to 12 inches deep and as wide as you want or need it to be. Drop food scraps or other organic matter into the hole. Replace the soil, and you're done.

How long does it take for compost to finish?

The longer you keep adding, the longer it will take to get finished compost. If you don't turn your compost, expect it to finish in about 6 months or so depending on conditions. You might expect a full year.

What makes the best bottom?

The ground makes the best bottom you could find.

Is a lid good for compost?

Nix the bottom, but a lid is a good idea. It keeps the rain out, which can really saturate you compost and cause some nutrients to leech into the ground.

Can you use a barrel to turn compost?

I use a barrel with no bottom and no top and a bunch of holes drilled in it. That way, when it's time to turn the compost, I can just flip it over. I don't lose much to spilling, and I get good rotation without buying an expensive store-bought roller bin.

Can mice get into compost?

No bottom. Mice do get into my compost, but it's a wire bin, so they could get in through the sides, even if I did have a bottom on it.

Can worms come up on compost?

I prefer a bottomless bin for compost. Worms and other beneficial creatures can come up and munch away on your comopost adding beneficial bacteria.

Why does it take so long to get compost out of the compost bin?

It’ll take a whole lot longer to get from a heap of food scraps and garden debris to the final product without a lid on your compost bin simply because you won’t be able to effectively manage the moisture level of your materials. The hydration of your compost will be left up to the whims of Mother Nature and will depend on how rainy or sunny the weather is each day.

Why do you need to put compost in a container?

That’s because a covered container tends to hold more heat, and heat encourages the microbes that decompose your compost materials to work more quickly. Making your compost in a bin that has a cover can save you weeks or months, so your compost will be ready to fortify the plants in your garden more quickly, and you’ll get to see the rewards of your work that much faster.

What happens when the temperature of compost is too high?

Case in point: When the temperature gets too high, the fluctuation can result in the beneficial microbes that decompose your compost materials dying off. Another way temperature comes into play when you’re making compost is when it comes to reducing pathogens.

Why is my compost so dry?

Your compost ingredients will still undergo the process of decay (eventually), but when things are too wet, excess water is slower to drain out of the bin, and oxygen has trouble circulating to help dry things off. When your ingredients are too dry, the microbes that do the work of decomposing your compost ingredients will slow down to a creep. The easiest way to adjust the hydration level in your compost is to prop up the lid when the materials get too wet so the sunshine can dry things out.

How to adjust hydration level in compost?

The easiest way to adjust the hydration level in your compost is to prop up the lid when the materials get too wet so the sunshine can dry things out. If you don’t have a lid, every time it rains, your compost ingredients will get soaked, and you’ll face the challenge of drying your compost out over and over again.

What animals can you put in a compost bin?

A securely fitting lid is your first line of defense against rats, mice, opossums, raccoons, and all the various pest animals that would love to get into your compost bin for a smorgasbord. When the lid is closed and the compost bin is properly managed, all those food scraps inside shouldn’t even be on the local wildlife’s radar.

Why do you close the lid on compost?

When you have the ability to close the lid over your compost, you’re creating a mini-ecosystem that has some protection from the elements and will have a more stable climate as a result. According to Cornell Cooperative Extension, “temperature is a key parameter determining the success of composting operations.”

What do I Put at the Bottom of My Compost Bin?

This is because when you put the compost bin on the ground, decomposition organisms such as bacteria, fungi, earthworms, and millipedes can move from the soil into the compost bin, and this helps speed up the composting process.

Why is the bottom of a composter important?

The bottom helps conserve heat, which is required for the breakdown of composting materials. The bottom also helps prevent rodents and insects from messing up with your compost. Additionally, it helps retain moisture, which is required by the decomposing microorganisms to carry out their microbial activities.

How Does A Compost Bin Work?

A compost bin works by creating the ideal environment for decomposition. Organic waste materials slowly turn to compost if they include a balance of green and brown materials, water, and oxygen. Compost bins are designed to provide these conditions while containing everything in a clean and compact design.

How Do You Start A Compost Bin?

An insider tip is to start your compost bin by putting down a layer of branches, sticks, and corn cobs a few inches high. This nifty trick keeps air flowing below the composting matter.


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