Compost pit with your own hands: options for manufacturing and design of the structure
The better the quality of the soil, the richer the crop grown on this land will be. But it happens that the initial data is not too good, and you have to fertilize the soil. To do this, you can use various fertilizers, but it is best to make a compost pit, which will become a source of environmentally friendly material. Let’s consider how a compost pit should be made with our own hands: manufacturing options and materials suitable for this purpose.
How to make a compost pit: features of structures of this type
In order to understand how to properly make a compost pit, first of all it is necessary to understand what it is used for. Usually, a compost pit is used for the disposal of organic waste, which, as a result of the rotting process, turns into organic fertilizer. There are many design options and each owner can only choose the most suitable option for himself.
The compost heap copes well with the disposal of mown grass and fallen leaves. Under the influence of time, moisture and microorganisms, all this turns into a fertilizer that can be used for growing any type of crops both in gardens and in the garden.
It is not difficult to make a compost pile of organic fertilizers with your own hands, especially since there are many ideas for self-realization that can be used as a basis. You can make a compost pit yourself using pallets, which are usually used for transportation and storage of building materials. They can be bought at a fairly low price, or it is quite possible to simply find them on your own plot.
How to make a compost pit in the country: choosing the location
Speaking about the arrangement of the compost heap, it is impossible not to say about the importance of its correct location. First of all, the structure should be sufficiently removed from residential buildings. In addition, the place of its installation should be well blown by the wind to avoid stagnation of air and the concentration of unpleasant odors emanating from it. In addition, access to the compost must be provided so that the process of adding raw materials or removing the finished fertilizer takes place as comfortably as possible.
Useful advice! In order for the rotting process to proceed faster, it is recommended to periodically mix the layers inside the pile. Therefore, even at the stage of planning and arrangement, it is worth considering how this can be carried out.
In addition, the following criteria for choosing a site suitable for a compost pit should be taken into account:
- the selected location should be located at a sufficiently large distance from any sources of drinking water, for example, a well or borehole. The distance between these objects should be at least 25 m;
- if the plot is located not exactly, but under a slope, then you need to make a compost pit below the water level (preferably at the lowest point of the plot). This will prevent the ingress of rotting effluents and clean water;
- it is worth asking in advance about the most frequent wind direction, since the pit often becomes a source of a rather strong and unpleasant smell, and can cause discomfort to both you and your neighbors;
- it is worth taking care that there is not only a free approach to the pit, but also a sufficient amount of space to be able to bring waste or remove ready-made compost using a wheelbarrow.
Useful advice! For a compost pit, it is advisable to choose a shaded place, since the sun’s rays negatively affect the rotting process, significantly slowing down the composting process.
What can and cannot be put in a compost pit
In order for the fertilizer obtained as a result of rotting to be of high quality and bring benefit to plants, not harm, each summer resident needs to familiarize himself in advance with the list of those products that may or may not be added to the compost. So, they are great for composting:
- grass, weeds, leaves, hay, straw, etc.;
- berries, fruits and any cleaning from them (in raw form);
- waste from wood products that have not been painted;
- paper products (napkins, bags, cardboard) in crushed form;
- waste resulting from the preparation of tea, coffee or cereals;
- branches and roots of trees after crushing;
- herbivorous animal manure (two-year-old only);
- wood ash.
Important! The percentage of peelings from products such as potatoes and tomatoes in the compost should not exceed 15-20%.
It is strictly forbidden to add to the compost heap:
- any plants that have been affected by pests;
- plants that have been exposed to diseases such as powdery mildew, late blight, etc.;
- pet excrement, as they may be infected with helminth eggs;
- bones and leftovers from meat products. They will provoke the appearance of an extremely unpleasant smell, and will also become food for rats;
- inorganic waste – plastic, rubber, synthetic fabrics and metal;
- plants that have been treated with herbicides;
- the remains of cabbage, the rotting of which provokes an extremely strong and unpleasant smell.
As for composting weeds, experts recommend putting them in a separate pile, which is covered with a film on top. So, the risk that the plants will take root again is excluded and you can count on their death with one hundred percent probability.
If you add weeds to the general pile, then you often have to face the fact that perennial plants take root, especially if the humidity is high enough as a result of regular watering or rains.
Important! To speed up the process of rotting waste, it is recommended to pre-grind them. This is especially true of elements such as branches, roots and paper products.
Features of care of a compost heap: recommendations of specialists
Having figured out what can be put in the compost pit and what cannot, it remains only to familiarize yourself with the rules of waste care in order to ensure that they rot as efficiently as possible. Moreover, the duration of the period during which compost will be formed directly depends on the correctness of the care provided:
- humidity is the most important indicator that affects the rotting of waste and the formation of compost. In order to maintain the desired level, it is recommended to periodically water the pile from a watering can. At the same time, it is important that in the end it turns out wet, but not wet, because the abundance of water will negatively affect the viability and activity of bacteria;
- once a month, you need to thoroughly stir the pile, thus providing oxygen access. This allows the waste not so much to rot as to burn out. At the same time, if there is no way to completely dig everything up, you can use a pitchfork and pierce the pile in as many places as possible;
- to speed up the process of maturation of compost, the addition of nitrogen is required, which is contained in large quantities in the green parts of plants, as well as in manure.
The formation of high-quality compost usually takes 1-1.5 years. During this time, almost any waste and residues will fully decompose. You can find out about the readiness of the compost visually and by smell. The finished mixture is a crumbly mass of brown color and has the smell of forest earth.
Compost pit: what is it and what is it for
The question of using compost is one of the most popular. After all, not every summer resident knows how and why to use the resulting mixture, and how great its benefits are. In fact, it is possible to fertilize the soil with compost for almost any plants. Cucumbers, peppers, zucchini and pumpkin react best to such top dressing. The result can be seen already in the next harvest season – the fruits grow large, have a bright and rich color, taste and aroma are well expressed.
But there are also plants for which compost is not so useful. For example, root crops, tomatoes, melons and watermelons should not be fertilized abundantly in this way, since this leads to the fact that the yield decreases, and the amount of green mass, on the contrary, increases.
Strawberries react well to compost, especially if they are previously cut off “at the root” and overlaid with a semi-decomposed composition. Then all this needs to be watered, and it remains only to wait for new fresh foliage, as well as a plentiful harvest next season.
Compost pit with your own hands: manufacturing options and design requirements
In order to properly build a compost pit, it is necessary to understand how a compost heap should be arranged. There are many options for making with your own hands, but first of all you should pay attention to the fact that it should consist of three parts. At the same time, it is necessary to install 8 support columns, each of which is necessarily treated with a protective agent.
Useful advice! Engine oil, fuel oil or even tar can be used as a protective compound for the columns.
A fence can be used as a fence on one side, and boards are better suited for the rest. Partitions are constructed from them, in which holes for ventilation are necessarily left. This contributes to the rotting process. It is also mandatory to install a door that allows access to the compost.
The device of a compost pit in the country with your own hands involves ensuring the proper level of ventilation and at the same time protecting the contents from precipitation. So that the compost heap has not turned into a swamp, during precipitation it needs to be covered with a special lid of a suitable size. And if the weather conditions are not too severe, then it is quite acceptable to use plastic wrap for this purpose.
Another option is to use construction pallets that are pre–disassembled. Using a circular machine, the boards can be divided into separate elements, and then assemble a suitable structure from them. At the same time, it is better to mount the boards vertically. The front board can be fixed with an adhesive compound. To give such a structure stability, it is necessary to use the building level and trim the lower slats.
It is also important that the height of the walls of a homemade composter is such that it is convenient for a person of any height to add, stir and extract compost.
Interesting! You can pay attention to the designs of compost pits made using Finnish technology. In this case, some design features are of interest, for example, when you extract humus from one compartment, it is automatically filled with raw materials from the neighboring one.
Compost pit with your own hands: manufacturing options, photo examples
The type of compost pit is determined based on several factors. One of them is the installation method. Consider all the existing options:
- the allocation of a certain place for the organization of a compost pit. At the same time, a pit is initially prepared, which is very similar to a well, but at the same time has a smaller depth. The walls of the pit are additionally reinforced to prevent soil shedding and sheathed with an indentation of 20-25 cm from the bottom. This distance is necessary in order to provide the microorganism with free access to waste;
- another option is to install a special container on the garden plot designed for collecting waste and processing it into compost. This method allows you to get the finished product at any time. This design is based on a pit with a formwork, as well as a special box made of boards. When implementing this option, it is extremely important to pay due attention to the organization of ventilation;
- a compost heap with your own hands is the easiest way to solve the problem. To do this, it is enough to make a substrate consisting of sand, gravel and dry grass. Waste is simply stacked on top, which will eventually begin to burn themselves.
Step-by-step production of warm beds with your own hands in spring: popular technologies
Detailed technology of construction of structures: preparation of the soil, manufacture of the frame, its installation and filling.
You can make a compost box with your own hands using many different technologies and instructions. The proposed designs may differ in the materials required for work, size, properties and ease of operation.
Useful advice! Regardless of the type of structure chosen, before laying the raw materials inside the structure, it is necessary to thoroughly loosen the bottom and install the ventilation holes.
Compost box with your own hands: manufacturing options and instructions
Before making a compost pit with your own hands, it is advisable to consider as many options and designs as possible that can be used for this purpose. We will analyze in detail the instructions for making the most popular boxes made of various materials.
Garden compost box: features of installation and operation
A garden composter may well be presented in the form of a large box divided into several sections. Usually two or three compartments are made, but experts strongly recommend stopping at the option with three sections, since each of them has its own purpose: the first serves for laying waste, the second is intended for maturing waste, and the third stores ready-made compost.
Depending on the individual wishes of the owner, the composter can be stationary or mobile (move on wheels). At the same time, the recommended height of the box should not exceed 1 meter, and the size of each section should be about 1-1.5 meters.
Important! All wooden elements must be treated with a special protective compound designed to provide the material with reliable protection from harmful insects, as well as the effects of moisture.
To make a compost box with your own hands, you need to follow the following procedure:
Drainage must be laid at the bottom of such a box, which may consist, for example, of dry tree branches. Immediately after that, you can proceed directly to laying waste inside the structure.
How to make a compost pit in the country using wooden boards
A compost pit is an excellent solution, if necessary, not to spoil the appearance of the site with the appearance of a pile of waste. The formation of fertilizer in such a structure takes much longer, and in order for the process to take place as correctly and efficiently as possible, it is important to take care in advance of the correct arrangement and ensuring access to the right amount of oxygen.
The order of work:
The bottom of the compost pit is filled with a ten-centimeter layer of tree bark, twigs and straw. Such a mixture will take on the role of drainage, which will allow you to remove excess moisture and additionally ventilate the raw materials.
Initially, only one of the compartments should be filled with waste. Then, when one is half full, the compost should be transferred to the second compartment. This procedure will allow you to enrich it with oxygen as much as possible.
Important! The bottom and sides of the composter do not need to be covered with anything so that earthworms, which take an active part in the waste processing process, can freely get inside.
How to make a compost box from slate
Slate is a durable material that is excellent for creating a structure designed for collecting and processing organic waste into compost. The procedure for creating a suitable design consists of several stages:
- choosing a suitable location and taking measurements in order to determine the appropriate size of the pit;
- according to the marks, a not too large recess is dug, in the corners of which supports are installed, as which boards or metal pipes can be used;
- slate sheets are installed around the perimeter of the pit;
- using the same sheets, the resulting container is divided into several parts (two or three).
The use of such a structure is carried out according to all the same recommendations that are given for compost pits made of wood.
How to make a compost pit of concrete in the country
If you give a little more time and attention to the process of arranging a compost pit, then as a result it can serve for several decades without problems. To do this, it is enough to concret it. This can be done as follows:
- you need to dig a hole about 80 cm deep, 2 m wide and 3 m long;
- make a formwork inside the pit;
- then you need to prepare a solution consisting of sand, gravel and cement. To do this, pour 5 liters of water into the bucket and add 5 kg of sand and cement to it so that the ratio of dry components is 3:1;
- the resulting solution is poured into the formwork;
- using wooden boards and a chain-link net (a metal frame is also suitable), a lid is constructed for the pit.
It is very important that in the case of using boards for mounting the lid, the distance between the elements remains necessary for normal ventilation.
Compost pit according to Finnish technology: secrets of construction installation
The main requirement for structures made using Finnish technology is compliance with certain dimensions. The height and width of the box must be the same and be 1 m. This is extremely important, because in a smaller box, the raw materials will simply dry out, turning not into compost, but into dust. Large sizes are unacceptable for another reason – in this case there is a risk of combustion of the contents from too high a temperature.
For the manufacture of such a structure, it is best to use wood. Slate in this case is not a very suitable option, since structures made of it are characterized by a longer period of decomposition of waste. Again, a cheap and at the same time quite convenient option is a Finnish compost pit made of pallets.
Compost pit assembly algorithm based on Finnish technology:
Interesting! In one box, the size of which is 1 × 1 m, you can prepare an amount of compost sufficient to fertilize a plot of land of 5-7 acres.
Compost pit-bio toilet: what is that?
Another special type of compost pit is a bio–toilet, which is able to turn human waste products into compost. It is a structure consisting of two containers, the volume of each of which is 80 liters.
The use of this type of toilet is as follows: after visiting the toilet, you need to turn a special handle that is responsible for feeding a portion of a special mixture consisting of peat and sawdust. Thanks to this mechanism, the mixture is distributed evenly and fills up the waste trapped inside.
It is quite possible to use such a composter-toilet for the disposal of not too much food waste, simply throwing it inside and falling asleep with a dry mixture. When the first container is completely filled, it must be pushed aside and replaced with a second one, which can be used according to the same scheme. At this time, the first container will contain a compost mixture, completely ready for use.
Important! The compost obtained in such a composter will turn out to be very concentrated. This must be taken into account, and before you put it into the ground, you need to dilute the mixture with soil, sand or peat.
Criteria for choosing a ready-made composter for the cottage
At the same time, an increasing number of owners of suburban plots tend to move away from the use of homemade structures, giving preference to purchased models. Let’s consider what advantages and disadvantages ready-made designs have, and what parameters you need to pay special attention to before making a purchase.
In most cases, preference is given to simple and convenient composters that are easy to assemble and operate independently. But since the number of offers on the modern market is extremely large, it can be really difficult to decide on the most suitable option on your own. As a guideline, experts recommend using certain criteria, since models can be:
- collapsible or solid;
- with temperature sensor;
- with a special device that allows you to loosen the contents;
- with a mesh instead of a bottom, which provides protection from rodents;
- various shapes and sizes.
Composters also differ in the material that was used for manufacturing. So, plastic is the most popular today, because it has a low weight, which allows you to move it around the site without problems, and its service life is extremely long. If the design is planned as stationary, then you can consider the option of purchasing a metal composter. Wooden models can also be found on sale, but they are not too common due to their short service life and exposure to external factors.
How to choose and buy a compost pit: an overview of the most popular brands and models
As examples, we can consider several composters that are most popular and have received a lot of positive feedback from users.
L&T Globe Composter: features and characteristics
This model is highly appreciated by permanent residents of country houses, since it can be used throughout the year, and not every product can boast of it. The development of L&T Globe was carried out by Finnish specialists who took into account the harsh weather conditions of the local climate. This allows the composter to function without problems even in the harshest winters.
Another advantage of this model is the absence of small and heavy parts, so it is quite easy to operate the device. The working volume of the tank is 310 liters, and durable polyethylene was used as a material for manufacturing. In order for the system to function in the cold season, a 15-millimeter layer of thermal insulation was provided, which allows you to maintain an optimal temperature inside.
Due to the small height of this composter, a person of absolutely any height can fill and empty it. Moreover, for even more comfort, a removable upper part is provided in the design.
Thus, all these design features make it possible to create the most favorable environment for efficient composting of waste. The microclimate, which is maintained inside the container, promotes the growth and development of microorganisms capable of recycling waste. The developers did not forget about the ventilation system, which is presented in the form of drainage holes in the bottom of the composter.
Important! The ventilation system of this model can be used in two modes: summer/winter. It is important to switch in a timely manner using a specially designed shutter.
Bulbeo composter: features and benefits
This model is a development of Italian specialists, which exists in the domestic markets in two versions, differing in size (700 and 900 liters). Initially, this model was intended exclusively for processing plant waste, but, as practice shows, it copes well with composting other organic waste.
This composter belongs to collapsible models and consists of separate parts that are elementary assembled and disassembled again if necessary. This allows you to move the container from one place to another and even transport it. Moreover, when disassembled, this design takes up very little space and will easily fit in the trunk of an ordinary passenger car.
Among the main advantages of this choice are:
- the ability to get free access to the structure from six sides;
- it is convenient to take out the finished compost thanks to the hinged doors;
- this model looks quite aesthetically pleasing on the site, since it resembles a blooming bud in shape;
- the discreet dark green color allows you to organically fit the design into any landscape design.
As a material for this model, durable plastic is used, which provides reliable protection of the contents from wind and strong temperature changes. According to the developers, the rounded shape of the walls contributes to the maturation of compost.
Of course, there are also ventilation openings that provide access to the necessary amount of oxygen. Anyone can easily assemble this model, because it does not require any tools or additional fasteners. The finished structure weighs only 19 kg, and its height is 885 mm.
Means for compost pits: features and advantages of use
Having figured out how to make a compost pile, many expect that soon they will be able to use the nutrient fertilizer made in it. But the reality is that the natural maturation of compost can last up to 2 years. Of course, you can just be patient and wait. But you can go the other way by buying a special tool that promotes the maturation of compost and accelerates this process.
Interesting! The issue of using excipients is especially relevant for those regions of the country where the warm period is short. If the warm weather lasts only 2-3 months, then the maturation period of the compost has to be reduced artificially.
So, there are several drugs that are well suited for this purpose and are recommended not only by specialists, but also by real users. They all have different names, but, in general, the principle of their operation is the same. As an example, consider the Tamir tool.
Tamir is an extremely complex drug, which includes a whole complex of microorganisms that in the natural environment are responsible for ensuring the decomposition of organic garbage and waste. Due to the high concentration of these bacteria, the composting process occurs many times faster, and after 2-3 weeks full maturation occurs.
It is worth noting that the compost obtained in this way is not completely decomposed waste and differs somewhat from the usual consistency. But its final decomposition will occur directly in the ground, which will bring even greater benefits to plants.
Important! It is believed that compost obtained as a result of exposure to auxiliary drugs, as a fertilizer, is many times more useful than the one that was obtained naturally. Therefore, answering the common question whether it is possible to use means for compost pits, the answer is unequivocal – not only possible, but even necessary.
All means of this type are used according to the following technology:
- if the pile has not yet been formed, then the drug is added on top of each new layer, after which all this is watered with water;
- in a ready-made pile, you need to make a full-height recess, into which the drug and water are added.
Other ways to accelerate the maturation of the compost heap
In addition to complex preparations, other ways can be used to stimulate the processing of organic waste and the maturation of compost in the pit. Let’s look at each of them in more detail:
- the use of rotted manure, which is quite capable of replacing biochemical preparations intended for composting. At the same time, it is forbidden to use fresh manure, since it can become a source of not only helminth eggs, but also weed seeds, pathogens, etc.;
- a solution made from ordinary yeast. To prepare it, you will need 1 liter of water and about 1 tablespoon of dry yeast. 200 grams of sugar (1 cup) is added to this. Such a solution is poured into the recesses made in the compost heap;
- herbal infusion. To improve the effect, it is mixed with chicken droppings or slurry in a ratio of 5:2. It is important to know that the amount of nitrogen contained in fresh bird droppings is much greater than in manure, which means that the ratio should be different.
Useful advice! In order for bird droppings to fall naturally into the compost heap, you can install a feeder over it. This will greatly facilitate and speed up the process.
Methods of accelerating maturation also include artificial moistening of raw materials, its stirring and other measures designed to create the most comfortable microclimate for composting.
How to make a compost pit in the country with your own hands
Whatever design is chosen for composting, it is unlikely that its appearance will eventually turn out to be quite attractive. Most likely, no one will want to look at the compost pit, so it will be useful to think about how you can use the original design to improve its appearance.
The problem of masking a compost pit is especially relevant for small plots, since almost the entire territory is in plain sight. Although it happens that even for spacious plots, the owners use different design strategies to give the compost pit a more attractive appearance. So, in order to hide such an object, you can use:
- camouflage with plants and hedges;
- artificial means of decoration and stationary fences.
Works related to the manufacture of artificial fences are necessarily carried out in an open area located at some distance from the location of the compost pit. This is necessary in order to work more conveniently and to be able to move freely without being subjected to discomfort from the smell exuded by the pile.
The main requirement for such a fence is that it should hide the entire site from the eyes of guests and owners. That is, the compost heap should be completely hidden behind it, and the appearance of the fence should be as attractive as possible and in harmony with the environment.
Hedges have been created for this purpose for much longer and to some extent more difficult. But they look much more natural and elegant. The main thing is to pay attention to the choice of a suitable plant, so that in the end the fence is not too bulky and lush, and does not break the overall structure of the site.
Useful advice! You can use light translucent screens covered with vines as a fence. They perfectly cope with the task, and at the same time do not take up much space, so they are quite suitable for both large and small plots.
The best ideas for decorating a silo pit
As a disguise of the place where the compost heap is located, other elements can also be used, for example, special screens or screens. Bamboo fences have proven themselves well. Plants also look good if you carefully plant them in a row.
At the same time, it is strictly forbidden to equip a compost pit directly under fruit trees, as this can lead to their death. You need to maintain some distance between the compost and the plants.
The following design methods are most popular:
- fruit trees and berry bushes planted in a row;
- potted gardens placed on several levels to hide the entire structure;
- installation of an object of small architecture: a gazebo or a fenced barbecue (of course, in this case it is worth taking care that the unpleasant smell of rotting waste does not interfere);
- flower beds with tall plants;
- support wall.
Separately, it is worth noting the masking of compost heaps in the event that a plastic container was used for them. In this case, it is not necessary to completely mask it. You can use it as a decoration of the site, painting it in a bright color and planting beautiful flowers around. You can draw any drawing on such a container, thus giving it originality.
The easiest way to work with small compost pits, which can be hidden with an abundance of flowers or even shrubs. By the way, the compost yard is a great place for experiments related to the cultivation of new varieties of annual plants.
You can clearly see how composters for cottages are made and decorated with your own hands by looking at training lessons and detailed instructions. It is enough just to decide which design is best suited in a particular case, as well as to take into account your own individual requirements and wishes. And otherwise, there will be no problems, since there are as many options for compost pits with your own hands as there are ready-made models.