How to make a compost bin

Last weekend, our family enjoyed catching the first fish of the season.  It was the perfect activity for one of the first summer-like days in the Northwest!

Hoping to have more successful outings, I realized it’s time to put together our annual worm compost bin. This keeps an ample supply of worms on hand for fishing, and some compost for my gardening.  This year, my son Luke helped, and even wrote these instructions to share:

HOW TO MAKE A COMPOST BIN

This is easy to do, but you'll probably need a grown-up to help. You'll also need two plastic bins with lids, some newspaper (or shredded paper or cardboard), kitchen scraps, some worms, and water.

  1. Put about 20 holes in the bottom of the bins. Put air holes every couple of inches along the sides of the bins, near the top. Put about 30 holes in the top of one of the bin lids. Then put one bin inside the other. (We used a drill with a 1/4" bit to make our holes in the bottom of the bins, and a 1/16" bit for the ventilation holes.)
  2. Tear up newspaper into strips about 1" long (you can also use shredded paper, cardboard, or old leaves).
  3. Put some of the newspaper in the bin, and pour water on top to get it moist.
  4. Put coffee grounds, egg shells, and fruit and vegetable scraps on top. (You can also add grass clippings, tea leaves, pasta, bread, and other grains.) 
  5. Put in the worms.
  6. Put newspaper on top of them.
  7. Put more water on it.
  8. Put the lid on the plastic bin and store it in a dark place. 

Pretty simple way to keep your plants happy and worms plentiful! 

One word of caution: Raccoons, rats, and other wildlife may be attracted to your compost bin. Check out our recent article to learn 5 simple ways to keep pests away from your compost bin.

by  Marjorie Hastings

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