Make your compost bins work

Compost bins can remove loads of waste and make loads of garden compost - a clean nutritious soil improver.


  • AUTUMN - sweep autumn leaves into bags and containers to make leaf mold or for composting later on.
    Vegetable kitchen scraps, old plants and flowers provide continuous small amounts to compost.
  • SPRING - skim annual weeds into composter. Mix fresh grass with autumn leaves to make compost pile, ready by summer for autumn gardening. TIP: Spread leaves on lawn to mow into grass cuttngs.
  • SUMMER - Green manures nettles and comfrey cut from spring onwards keeps compost bin fired up.
    In July / August cut hedges and shred into bags.
  • LATE SUMMER - Grass resumes growth. Mix cuttings with soft shredded hedge trimmings for an ideal green/brown mix for the compost bin. See Compost Tumbler Bins for autumn ready compost.
Compost bins, worm bins and other techniques enable you to recycle on-site to get the nutrient value all over again - no noise, fuss, or carriage to recycling centres. Let's start with compost making bins.

Different types of bin are used with different composting methods. My notes on the links below explain these methods.


My Dad wouldn’t recognise my 'space-age' composter. On this link I explain the advantages and practicalities of using these modern continuous composters - I've describe how they suit different needs.
Continuous compost bins explained on this link.


compost cake

All gardens thrive on garden compost - all soil types improve.

My best continuous recycling bin is here & my big heap is here - I explain more on each page. I prefer these to drum or tumbler bins, but these have advantages too that I explain. My drum compost bin saves liquid compost.


They really do work like this V

my compost bin works
Check these on my special page about bins that rotate to turn the whole heap, aerate and speed decomposition. Advantages and use of tumbler bins are explained on this link.

Is Plastic Any Good For Compost Bins?
Nowadays bins can be made from re-cycled plastic which has many good properties:-
  • Can be moulded to useful shapes faciliating new innovative designs e.g. tumbler compost bins,
  • Can be a ready-made single piece that's easily moved around to new locations,
  • Heap totally enclosed keeps cool winds out, but can also have smart vents,
  • Tight fitting lids and internal condensation retains moisture inside; some designs save liquid compost tea. Keeps out excess rain water,
  • Smaller convenient size contributes to lower temperatures. But finely shredded material packed wall to wall heats up well,
  • Tough, durable, and maintenance free,

About Traditional Composters Made Of Timber:

Here I explain more about the minimum heap size and how my big heaps have worked to produce good garden compost. You can also find kits for making traditional timber composters - all on this link.

My explanatory notes (free to read by clicking the link) deal with the basics, so you can better understand the composting process and adapt a method to your needs.

I think you'll agree - the worst part of mowing the lawn is not pushing the mower, but emptying the grass box; and the worst part of cutting the hedge is not the cutting, but gathering up the clippings.

...and with that in mind you probably put off doing the jobs.

So let me introduce you to some tools and methods to make all these jobs easier.

Collecting material for composting: First, here's a few very handy tools to help you collect your garden waste and make the hard work easier.

  • Worm Composting: Specialised worm composting bins are useful if you don’t have a garden but grow house plants, or when you want to make compost for plant containers or seedlings. Some types of worm bin are definitely easier to use than others. Find out how to make and use worm compost here and get the inside knowledge on good worm bin designs here.

  • Use garden compost effectively and efficiently: With just a few compost bins, gardeners can rarely make enough garden compost to go around. So find how to economise and prioritise compost distribution. This link gives details on how to distribute and apply compost.

Homemade Seed Compost

Seed compost 50:50 mix of gutter grit & composted wood

  • Mix your own seed and potting compost: You can make your own seed and potting compost out of ready to hand organic ingredients like leaf mold, coir, loam etc... The advantages include saving on cost and bulk, while your compost is better suited to plant needs - find more on making compost for growing seedlings and plants here.

  • Compare Proprietary Compost for Seedlings and Potting: What is multi-purpose compost, evaluate peat and non peat alternatives, will your compost bin help? My compost garden page checks them all out.

  • Compost Gardening: You can make and harvest organic matter by re-using, recycling and converting nutrients to organic form with green manures.
    You can make a range of soil conditioners, composts and nutrient rich liquid feeds. This link is about working with the nutrient cycles in your organic garden

Commercial growers make useful organic fertilizers and soil conditioners from their nutrient/organic waste streams. Read more on this link about ready made organic fertilizers and how to use them.

Find more links about Compost Gardening below:

Types Of Garden
Help On Making &
Using Organic Matter
How To Recycle
Waist With Worms

Static Fast Through Converters


Drum & Tumblers


Traditional Large Heap Containers


Decomposition In Progress - Hot & Cold


Materials You Can Recycle


Recycling Organic Matter In Many Ways


Mix Your Own for Seeds, Potting, Planting...


Horticultural & Proprietary Mixes


Make Best Use Of Organic Matter


Better Worm Bin Designs


Managing a Wormery

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My Neighbour's Compost Heaps

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