DIY Compost Bin out of Lattice

by BrendaReeves

There are many expensive compost bins for sale on the internet. Why spend the money when a DIY bin costs 1/8 of retail cost?

Firstly, decide where to place the compost bin. Right outside the kitchen door is convenient for throwing out kitchen scraps. A compost pile made correctly will not have any odor to it, and furthermore, this one will have a decorative touch to it. Place it at least five feet away from the foundation of the house.


Important Before You Begin

Secondly, gather all the materials needed. Some may already be on hand: 2 4X8-foot lattice panels (each cut into 2 4X4-foot pieces) 4 2X4s cut 5 feet long 2 Large clothesline hooks Shovel Drill, screwdriver, or hammer Screws or nails Tape measure When purchasing the lattice, ask the store to cut it to the specific measurements needed. My local Home Depot Store wouldn't cut it for me claiming the lattice fell apart when they tried to cut them. Lowes did cut it, so they got my business. Your local Home Depot may not have the same policy as mine, so give them a try if that's where you like to shop.

Lattice Compost Bin

Lattice Compost Bin
Lattice Compost Bin
Brenda Reeves

Building the Compost Bin

Step One

Measure a 4X4-foot square at the site chosen. Mark each of the corners of the square which is where the posts will be placed. Dig a hole for the first support post. The hole should be about 1 foot deep. Insert a 2x4 post and fill the hole in well with soil or easy mix cement.Tamp down the soil around the post to keep it sturdy. There is no need to use cement if you think you might want to move it to a different location later. Packing the posts with soil only, makes it easy to move. Hold up the lattice to the first post to make sure the spacing is right for the next post. Dig that hole. Continue to do this until all four posts are in the ground. The front two 2x4s should be placed with the 4-inch side facing out. This will make it easier to attach the gate later.

Step Two

Almost Done

Next, line up the lattice sheets against the posts, and screw three of the sheets in place. An electric drill or screwdriver makes this step go quickly. Hold the remaining sheet of lattice against the posts to determine the best location for the hooks. Mark and drill the holes. Tighten the nuts on both sides of the clothesline hooks. A second compost bin can be attached to the first one with just three sheets of lattice. This makes it convenient for turning the pile and will increase the amount of compost at hand. To make the compost bin more attractive, grow flowering or non-flowering vines up the sides of the lattice. Potted plants can also be placed around it. By not purchasing a ready made bin, this easy project saved me anywhere from $200 to $500.

Morning Glory Designs

A Final Touch

You might be thinking that you don't want an ugly compost bin placed outside your kitchen door. This compost bin is beautiful when you grow flowering vines up it. The following vines and plants would be an added feature to the compost bin, and they can easily grow from seed planted in the ground: Sweet Peas, Hyacinth Bean Vine, Morning Glory, Geraniums, Marigolds, Petunias, Sweet Potato Vine and many more. The morning glories you see on the products above are a photograph I took of the flowers growing up my lattice compost bin.

Updated: 05/21/2013, BrendaReeves
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BrendaReeves on 01/09/2013

Thank you, Katie. I haven't been writing for a while. My mother was in the hospital and is now in the nursing home again. Her mind is fine. I think she was misdiagnosed. However, she can't walk and can barely feed herself. I just can't do it at home anymore. Of course, she doesn't want to be in the nursing home and tries to make me feel guilty. People just don't realize what they are in store for when their parents get old.

katiem2 on 01/09/2013

Referring back to this while planning my spring gardening.

BrendaReeves on 11/18/2012

Thanks Pam. It also keeps my dogs out of the compost.

dustytoes on 11/18/2012

I love this idea! Right now my compost is sitting in an ugly pile without a bin. I find it an easy and quick way to make it, but having lattice that flowers or veggies could grow up and along sounds like killing 2 birds with one stone!

BrendaReeves on 11/17/2012

Thank you Katie. I love keeping a compost pile.

BrendaReeves on 11/17/2012

MIke what your son did sounds like a great idea. I think I might do that next season. Thank you for the comment.

katiem2 on 11/17/2012

I love this idea, it's so attractive. You are really on to something here and a good incentive for families to get involved in the diy compost a great family science project and a wonderful activity for the kids. :)

teddletonmr on 11/17/2012

@BrendaReeves using the lettuce to build a compost bin makes for a great looking design. Your suggestions cause me to reflect on when my eldest son, was working on his gardening merit badge. The boy decided he would construct his compost bin, using recycled wood fence boards we had laying around from another home improvement project. Similarly, he used old weathered 4x4 as corner posts, and ran 6-foot dog-eared pickets from one post to the other horizontally.
Instead of planting marigolds, daisies he planted a vining variety of grape tomatoes along with the early girl variety. Both grew like crazy, produced lots of fruit, and made the structure all but disappear into the garden landscape.
Happy gardening, Mike :)

BrendaReeves on 11/17/2012

Thank you Mira. When I took that picture, it was early morning, and I didn't realize the sun was lighting up the centers until I loaded them on my computer.

Mira on 11/17/2012

Great idea to have flowers around the compost bin :-) I love your morning glories.

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