How to Construct a Compost Barrel

What You'll Need
Plastic barrel
Mild dish detergent
Leaves and grass clippings
Vegetable and plant waste

Creating a compost barrel is a fun and easy project that can help improve the health of your garden and plants. Using compost as a fertilizer or mulch can add some great nutrients to your plants by using simple plant and vegetable waste that would otherwise go into the garbage. By composting, you can cut down on your household waste, and using a compost barrel is an easy and contained way to get started in composting. Build this barrel in about an hour and be on your way to feeding your garden with the best fertilizer around.

How to Make a Compost Barrel

Step 1 – Clean Your Barrel

Residue and chemicals can be harmful to your compost and garden so it is necessary to thoroughly clean your barrel before using it. Wash it with the dish detergent and rinse thoroughly.

Step 2 – Create Some Pathways for Air on the Bottom

Use the screwdriver and hammer to create 4 to 6 holes at the bottom of the barrel. Twist the screwdriver around as you go to create holes about the size of a dime in the barrel.

Step 3 – Create More Holes on the Body of the Barrel

You will also need to add more holes to the body of the compost barrel. It is best to create about 3 rings at equidistant spacing at the bottom, middle and top of the barrel. The size of the barrel will determine how many holes in each ring, but generally they should each be a few inches apart.

Step 4 – Select a Location

Choose a location for your compost barrel. You will want to select somewhere that is close to your house so that you can easily dump your waste in it, but also somewhere that is out of the way so that it is not viewable to guests. Behind or on the side of a garage or shed are great places to place a compost barrel.

Step 5 – Fill the Barrel with Waste

Add leaves and grass clippings to your barrel and then begin adding kitchen scraps as you have them. It is easiest to collect scraps in a bag or bucket in your house and periodically dump the scraps into your pile. Add a small amount of water to the barrel to wet the matter. Try to create some layers at the beginning stages of your barrel, keeping the kitchen scraps covered under grass and leaves.

Step 6 – Turn Your Compost Pile

Regularly turn your compost pile once or twice weekly. Use a shovel or pitchfork to prevent the compost from being starved for oxygen. Alternatively, you can roll the barrel to mix it up.

Be sure not to place any animal products, oils, dairy products or animal waste in your compost pile to prevent attracting flies and animals. Within a couple of months, you should be able to begin using your compost once it has broken down. This is a simple way to cut down on household waste and help your garden’s health at the same time.