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The Bearded Farmer
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What would best suit my needs????

I have a fairly large veggie garden in the burbs of PA. Its all seperated raise beds with a 110 gallon rain barrel setup I am building and a koi pond. I am looking into building a new compost pile setup. Right now I have a standard open pile, but I would like to make it look nicer since I do have close neighbors.

The 3 setups I was looking into are:

- 2 stage bin made from pallets

- 3 30 gallon drum tumblers

- 2 worm composting bins

What in your opinions would be the best/most functional setup???
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Bobberman
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Pallets are cheap or free. I would put 8 pallets and make a Octagon that will have a better look than a square. The next thing I would plant peas climbing beans and climbing flowers all around the compost! Leave one pallet for the extrance or ee two on opposite ends! If that is too big make a hexigon one! Another option is a circle with snow fence! Set the pallets on brick so that ever other brick is missing and leaves a opening under the pallet. If you want a higher one set block with the holes parallel to the ground so there are air inlets under the pallets!
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The Bearded Farmer
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I never really thought about making a shape, thats a decent idea. I was just going to use 5 pallets to make a double open front square.

As far as yeild I'm guessing the pallet method would give me the largest amount in a reasonable time.
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Bobberman
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I would put stakes in the ground and lift the pallet over the stake. Two stakes per pallet! You could even wire it to the stake! A hinge on two p[allets would make a door if the pallets are set up on brick!
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The Bearded Farmer
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It sounds like for most people the tumblers are not worth the effort. I think I might stick to the pallet idea and throw some thompsons water seal on them to make them look a little nicer.

I might make a small wormery also to experiment with.
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ctutt
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Compost Bins

I prefer concrete blocks and a 3-stage set-up. They look nice, they're easy to build and relatively sturdy.

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rainbowgardener
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I did a worm bin last winter, mainly just for the experience. It seems like that is more a small scale thing, better suited for dealing with your kitchen scraps than for bushels of yard wastes. It was great to have in the winter so as not to have to take kitchen scraps out through the snow and dump them on a frozen pile.

But for your "fairly large veggie garden," I think you are going to want something bigger, like the pallet bins. They don't have to be ugly:

[url=https://www.brookstone.com/deluxe-compost-bin?bkeid=compare%7cmercent%7cgooglebaseads%7csearch&mr:trackingCode=3AF0D1DA-740C-E111-B18D-001B21A69EB0&mr:referralID=NA&mr:adType=pla&gclid=CJfz0M_x560CFYSK4Aodw2Kg3w]fancy compost bin[/url]

https://www.mastergardening.com/compare/969/970/971

https://www.hgtv.com/landscaping/an-attractive-compost-bin/index.html
(home made fancy compost bins with arbor)

One of the bins I have is just a wire grid bin similar to this:

[url=https://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/7185-product.html?utm_source=rkgkeywords&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=20111101&utm_term=]wire compost bin[/url]

mine is green coated steel wire. It is not fancy, but it is very innocuous in the landscape. The bin kind of disappears visually and it mostly looks like a square pile of leaves.

Not suggesting you should buy something really fancy (unless you have the bucks to spare and really want to :) ), just throwing some ideas out there, that you might be able to replicate.
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The Bearded Farmer
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I would never spend that much on a bin but they are awsome.

The wood bins with the arbour is beautiful but huge.

I might steel a little from that one though. for my pallet bins. I could put a nice little sign on it and grow some beans on lattice around it!
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rainbowgardener
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I wouldn't either spend that much, just thought you might be able to borrow some ideas.

I bought my wire grid bin for $30 about 15 years ago (the same thing costs more than twice as much now) and I am still using it, though now I also have an Earth Machine type composter. But it was a great investment of $30!


Don't know if you noticed, at the bottom of the hgtv one is this link:

https://www.hgtv.com/landscaping/assembling-a-compost-bin/index.html

It looks like a very simple, easy to assemble homemade compost bin that is relatively attractive.
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toxcrusadr
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I like multiple pallet bins, especially with 3 sections rather than 2. Each one smaller than the last because the pile shrinks as it decomposes. Fresh material always into the first pile, when it's full turn it into bin 2 and begin again in bin 1, and so on. You get finished batches faster that way.

Have fun!
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Bobberman
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Ya instaed of turning the compost just move it to the next bin after several weeks expecially some of the under part that is starting to compost! Even three bins would be better! The last bin with easy access!. You can even mix potting soils in the last bin with the compost
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HannahGrace
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I've actually been wondering about the best ways to do compost as well. My family has always just buried compost stuff in the garden but that doesn't seem to work very well. I'm in a quandary, however, as whatever I decide to do needs to be pretty easy, without a lot of work. I really like the pallet idea though. :)

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The Bearded Farmer
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Scored 6 clean pallets today and it looks like the weather will be decent tomorrow so I will have time to build something. I will hopefully post pics when I'm done.
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Garden_by_Faith
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Can't wait to see pictures. I think it will look great with some kind of greenery growing up the pallets. I was going to make my compost bin out of brick, but I am curious now to see how yours turns out. Best of Luck!!

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The Bearded Farmer
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Well here is my progress so far .......

[img]https://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/alf00amf/SAM_0186.jpg[/img]
(beginnings of the rain barrels setup in the background)

Was going to make a 3rd teir but I'm not sure if I will have enough room for that yet. Friday When I have some time again I will pick up some 1"x4"s and add slats on the bottom sides of the pallets so it all looks uniform and I will also add some 1"x6" boards around the top to kind of cap it off and make it look nicer. Might even break out the wood burning kit and make a nice little "compost" sign for it!
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Bobberman
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Anothing you might consider is that the tomato poles fit nice in betweet the palet slats after the garden is done. They stand up straight and it keeps them nice a protects the compost from wind in the winter! With your set up I would say you could hold 40 tomato post!
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dustyrivergardens
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I am liking that yep very good.

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The Bearded Farmer
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Just for a little update!! Finished up the compost bins today!

I came across another pallet which was longer and wider than the others I had and it was in great shape. I ended up taking the bins all apart and using the larger pallet in the back so I could have wider sections.

[img]https://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/alf00amf/SAM_0187.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/alf00amf/SAM_0188.jpg[/img]

I threw some boards in to make both sides of all the pallets look identical and added top boards to everything just to clean up the look a little and make it more visually pleasing.

The only thing I would like to add is a nice little stenciled sign at the top that says "compost". Just to add a fancy little touch. I might pick up some thompsons water seal also and throw a coat or two on in the spring.

Got to lowes today also and picked up a 5 gallon bucket to build a compost tea brewer since I alreay have an unused aquarium pump!!!!
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The Bearded Farmer
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Great part is its all recycled wood and it cost me absolutely nothing because I had a box of primed wood screws in the shed from another project!
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Garden_by_Faith
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Lookin Good! :D
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HannahGrace
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That looks great! :)

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rainbowgardener
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Great job! I also keep a compost bucket under the sink. Mine are the buckets that cat litter comes in. It just fits under the sink, maybe 2 gallon size or close to it. It has a tight sealed lid. I fill one of those up in a week of cooking and then carry it out to the compost pile. Dump it in and cover it with leaves (or whatever "brown" I am using, but I collect bags of leaves in the fall and that lasts a long time).
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The Bearded Farmer
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I've always had a pile just not an organized one.... I use a 5 gallon bucket right outside my back door to put kitchen scraps in. I manage to fill that thing in about a week and a half!

Updates on compost tea brewer later!
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superschwein22
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I susually just have a small container tightly sealed right on my countertop and I empty it out almost daily. It doesn't hold much, lol. Every other week or so I put a few handful of leaves right on top onto the pile. Other browns are already mixed in with the daily stuff.
What do you think about putting straw in your compost? I did during the fall and am not sure whether I regret it. I feel like it will take a long time to decompose.

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rainbowgardener
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One summer when I ran out of fall leaves, I did get a straw bale to use for mulching and for browns in my compost pile. It did break down slower than when I use leaves for the the browns, but it got there eventually. It helps to be sure that it is mixed with other stuff and stays damp.
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dustyrivergardens
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I use straw all the time I put it in my chicken coop for a few weeks gather it up and compost it. I don't no if the chicken poop helps it compost quick but it works nicely...

superschwein22
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I find that it just really clumps together and just sits there. Maybe I just put too much and need to bump up my greens for it to do something. And I think chicken manure would definitely speed it up. I only have rabbit and guinea pig poop which technically I don't think can be considered hot.

dustyrivergardens
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I put layers of things in like a 2-4 inch layer of browns cardboard shredded or newspaper stuff like that included would be the straw chicken poop mix then a 2-4 inch layer of grass cutings next a layer of leafs I do a light layers of leafs threw out the mix 1 inch no more. banana peals orange grapefruit peals and coffee grounds I toss in when ever and so on and so on until it gets to about 3-4 ft tall. usually after I throw the grass in things get cooking. then I turn it after a week or ten days If I don't have any more grass I will purchase some alfalfa pellets and put a layer of that in there about 1 inch high and wet it. It will get hot again and I turn it again and again until its cooks itself out. also It works so much easier in the summer when the bugs can really get in there and do there job.

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The Bearded Farmer
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Put my last little addition on the compost bin today

[img]https://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/alf00amf/SAM_0190.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/alf00amf/SAM_0189.jpg[/img]

Now on to the rain barrels!
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Bobberman
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I see you covered the tops of the pallets with a 2 by 4 . You could put a few two by 4's o the top of the pallets and put your flats with new plants till yopu are ready to use them! Good job! If the compost gets too high just add some slats between the pallets in the front!
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rainbowgardener
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Too cool! I love your Compost sign! :)

What's the colorful stuff you are composting?

I always see people's pictures of bins like yours. Apparently it works some places. I have to have 4 sides and a top on mine or all the kitchen scraps get eaten out of it by the raccoons, oppossums, etc. That means 1) they don't get to be part of my compost and 2) those guys are messy when they eat and fling stuff all over.
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The Bearded Farmer
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Thanks Guys!

Just kitchen scraps and cardboard for now. Looking to get some manure to throw in there locally.
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Tonio
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Marlingardener wrote:Oh great, not only do you have beautiful compost bins, but you even have a nice sign. :roll: Right now I'm green with envy! Pretty soon your garden is going to be green with all that nice compost.
+1 to that :D
Nice art work, and bins there TBF !!

T
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GardenGnome
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Nice job I'm just using wire fencing.
Someone who lived here before me had a triple stall set up. I wasn't into gardening and took it down. Time to rebuild my way.
I want to hear more about rain barrels is there a spot for it on the forums?
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rainbowgardener
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Not exactly a spot for rainbarrels, but there is a Water Gardening section. I have two rain barrels and love them!
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The Bearded Farmer
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The next addition to my composting!! A compost tea brewer! Should be a nice little setup. Dechlorinating my water as we speak. Should be brewing my first batch of manure tea tomorrow!

[img]https://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/alf00amf/SAM_0192.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/alf00amf/SAM_0193.jpg[/img]
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dustyrivergardens
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I love using compost tea the plants seem to just love it. the tomatoes squash and my artichokes seem to grow a ton overnight when I spray them with it or even just a soil drench they love it...

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