Compost is essentially plant food, and allows you to renew your garden season after season. Compost allows your soil to retain more water, and has an ideal PH for plants at around 6.5.

This compost bin is to me one of the most magical aspects of the garden, because it is the transformation of death to life in the sense of converting dead plant matter into usable plant food (compost). The magic lay in the fact that bacteria does all the work, heating the compost up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit when you get your ratio of carbon, nitrogen, water, and air correct. At this temperature, decomposition happens quickly. The result is dark moist earth. This then goes through a curing phase where once earthworms have moved in or seedlings grow out of it, it’s ready for the garden. The ingredients can be may things, but here are some typical ones:

  • Brown leaves
  • Wood chips
  • shredded cardboard
  • shredded paper


  • Green plants
  • Kitchen waste
  • Grass


  • Meats
  • Citrus
  • Cheese/Dairy

The more these ingredients are shredded the fast the reaction that can occur. These are then covered or soaked with water to the wetness of a sponge. Then they are left in the dark until they start heating up.

A box can be constructed of wood pallets and lined with wire to keep out rodents. A lid and a door can be added for access.