Connecting Greater Phoenix gardeners with information that helps put xeriscape principles into action.

The Making of a Monster Compost Bin

Well, our composting journey started with the modified trash can from the City of Phoenix. As I mentioned in a previous post, it was a cheap way to get started but it required guns of steel to turn the pile. So we apparently sped past the next size and, instead, built…The Behemoth Bin.

This guy measures 9′ x 3′ x 3’…which, on paper, doesn’t seem so big.  But it looks like I’ll have to go begging for food scraps to make a good go of it!

Here’s the really cool part:  there are 15 wood planks (5 for each section) that can be quickly inserted as your pile grows, making it really easy to turn.  No more Dumpster diving.  Or wearable compost.  (Not a good look.)

We may add some hydraulic hinges to help keep the lid open while we work…and to get that whole monster experience.  And our hose is close, but I’m thinking of moving it so we can run a water line over the top for easy watering.  Phase II…

If you want to build this guy, or explore other ideas for compost bins, I highly recommend the Composting For Dummies book.  It has everything you’d ever want to know about composting…from beginning to the finished natural product that enriches your garden!


(Almost) Free Compost Bin for Phoenix Residents

Almost Free Compost BinIf you’re at all inclined to start composting, here’s a quick way to start.  Just get a compost bin from the City of Phoenix transfer station (there’s one at I-17 & Dixileta and another at 27th Ave & Lower Buckeye), and have at it.

For $5 and a copy of your water bill, you can get a compost bin like this one.  It’s really an old trash barrel with the bottom cut off and holes put into the sides, but we’re using it while we build ourselves a fancier 3-bin version.  One warning, though:  these bins are huge and, because of that, I find it hard to turn the pile really well.  It ends up being a two-person job at our house.

I’m working on a more extensive article about composting, but if you want more info in the meantime, this excellent book was written by a Maricopa Master Gardener:  Composting For Dummies.


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