Winter / Weekend projects

Garden compost bins

By Paul Hervey-Brookes

Somewhere in the garden, most people will have space for a compost bin. You can buy many ready made for awkward spaces but why not have a go at making your own?

They can be super complicated or really easy but for the best way to recycle and also to look a little shabby chic the ones I like the best, crying practical and resourceful, are made from old pallets. These can be usually be found for free at your local builders merchants or garden centre in their “give away wood pile”.

To construct a planter from pallets is really simple. You will need a minimum of four pallets, 14 gauge wire for binding, some simple tools and extra hardware (should you so desire). The layout is quite simple... three sides and a door!

Stand the three pallets on their sides, this will give you a narrower, taller bin and then strap the side and rear pallets together using the wire. A length of approx 18-20 inches will suffice. Do not over tighten the wire or it will snap.

A simple construction to provide a valuable service in the garden.
Paul Hervey-Brookes

Wire at the top and bottom for extra stability and strength. You can add small gauge wire around the sides on the smoothest side to deter any rodents.

At the front of the bin you can either repeat the wiring process or hammer in a stake inside one edge and hinge your fourth pallet on to make a door.

Remember to add a cover to the heap as it develops to retain the all important heat and when summer comes water the heap to keep the process going.  Within a few months you will have enviable rich brown compost to use on beds and borders.

Meet the author

Paul Hervey-Brookes

Paul had his own highly successful landscape design business, and has also designed a range of gardening gifts for Marks & Spencers.

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