How to make your own compost heap

Composting at home is quick and easy to do. Although buying a subsidised compost bin can be a great way to start, there are lots of other ways to start a compost heap.
Compost bin made of pallets with a wheelbarrow.

Whether you have a small or large garden you can make the most of materials that you may have lying around. All you need is some time and handy tools like a spade and garden fork.

Cheap ways to build your own compost heap

There are many items that you could use to make a compost heap. If you haven’t got a lot of garden waste, you could easily convert an old storage box into a compost bin. You can use the lid to keep the materials you place inside warm and away from the elements. Just make sure that you drill some holes into the base of the box so that there is enough drainage.

This approach can also be taken with an old bin. It is small, lightweight and can sit at the bottom of your garden. Depending on what size bin you have, it can hold as much material as a small compost bin.

Another cheap way to create a compost heap is to use welded wire mesh and a wooden stake. Buy the mesh in a roll and insert into the ground, using the stake to hold it in place. For the top, you can use more wire mesh. You will need to cable tie this to the top of the roll of mesh you inserted into the ground.

Build a compost heap using pallets

If you have access to any wooden pallets, this can be the ideal solution to building a sturdy and relatively large compost heap

After clearing and levelling the soil you intend to use as the base, consider laying wire mesh as a precaution to prevent any pests from entering. Then insert one pallet into the soil, ideally more than 20cm in depth. You may need to put some stakes at either end of the pallet to secure it into place. You can then position two other pallets at right angles to the ends of the first pallet. Make sure there are no gaps. To keep the pallets stable you can use wire or cable ties to fasten the edges of the pallets together.

Make sure that you leave the final pallet a little looser in the ground, so that you can open it when you come to taking out the soil improver.