Build composters – location, material and filling

Build composters - location, material and filling

A composter has many advantages and should not be missing in any garden. We will show you how you can easily build a compost container yourself.

Build composters - location, material and filling
Build composters – location, material and filling – © K. Thalhofer –

Waste disposal is expensive and everyone is required to separate their garbage. But where to go with the old apples, the potato peels and the coffee grounds? There is a solution for all biodegradable waste generated in the kitchen and in the garden. Because these are allowed on the compost. You have your own garden, but so far no compost bin? Then you will be interested in the following instructions. We will tell you why a compost container pays off, what is on the compost and how even inexperienced do-it-yourselfers can easily build their own compost container.

Compost containers are worthwhile!

A compost bin is handy and helps you to save money. Instead of the chargeable bio-waste bin, various kitchen and garden waste can land on the compost in the future. This will not cost you a penny and will even bring you something else, namely nutritious garden soil and an effective natural fertilizer that will make your plants grow and prosper.

Attention: The compost bin in the garden does not replace the bio bin!

You can not automatically throw all the waste in the kitchen and garden onto the compost. When composting, there are a few things to keep in mind. For the process of composting to really get going, a balance between carbon and nitrogen is necessary. Carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich materials should be more or less balanced on the compost.
high-carbon waste

  • pruning
  • bush cuttings
  • leaves

nitrogen-rich waste

  • grass clippings
  • biowaste
  • coffee grounds
What may be composted?NoGos for the compost
Grass clippings
Cut flowers
Balcony plants
Raw remains of fruits and Vegetables
Rotten fruit
Crushed tree or hedge trimming
Coffee grounds
Paper cardboard without pressure
Banana peels
Citrus fruits
Cooked pasta
Foliage of cherry laurel, beech, chestnut or poplar

Build compost container – step by step instructions

  1. Set location
  2. Determine the size of the composter
  3. Preparing building material and tools
  4. Prepare base area
  5. Place corner posts in the ground
  6. Cock chick wire
  7. Install boards on the three sides
  8. Attach boards to the front

Set location

The choice of the suitable location is not insignificant for the later composting. The location should be as shady as possible.

Tip: A too sunny location leads to the drying of the compost. Also keep in mind that the compost heap should be easily accessible from the house.

Determine size

When choosing the right size, you’ll notice the size of your garden and the need for compost. Compost containers should generally not be too small. The minimum dimensions are about one meter. Larger compost containers may also have dimensions of 1.5 meters. Of course, you can also build several smaller compost bins and place them in different locations in the garden.

Tip: The compost bin should not be too low. About one meter in height is considered a guideline here.

Preparing building material and tools

Here it is important to clearly favor wood. Wood is the easiest to work with, it is cheap and can be kept for a long time. Look for a sturdy wood that does not rot too fast. Here, compost containers made of larch wood have proven themselves. Larch wood does not have to be impregnated extra, but has a natural protective function.

Tip: Use spruce or pine wood, impregnate the strips before use, so that the compost container does not start to rot prematurely.


  • four corner posts
  • four wooden strips
  • chick wire
  • wooden boards
  • nails


  • spirit level
  • hammer
  • tape measure

Prepare base area

Once you have found a suitable location, dedicate yourself to the preparation of the soil. To make it easier for the microorganisms and insects to find their way into the compost later on, loosen the soil surface accordingly.

Place corner posts in the ground

According to the dimensions you now bring the four corner pillars into the ground. These should be buried at least 15 cm deep, so that the compost container later has the necessary stability.

Cock chick wire

So that small animals get no way to settle in the compost, the bottom surface is now lined with chick wire.

Install boards on the three sides

Now attach the boards to the back and the two long sides. The boards are fastened with nails. Be sure to keep an even distance between each board. This distance should not be less than five centimeters.

Tip: Sufficient ventilation is particularly important for the compost bin. This is achieved by the distances between the individual wooden strips.

Attach boards to the front

If you have completely covered the three sides with boards, you now devote yourself to the front. Attach two wooden strips to the two corner posts so that a groove is created. In this groove you can now easily insert the other wooden slats. So you can easily remove finished compost and adjust the height of the compost bin individually.

What’s in the compost?

Now the compost bin is ready and you can start filling it. Autumn or spring are ideal times for setting up a compost bin. If cutting works are done, you can use the crushed branches and twigs to create the first layer in the compost heap. The coarse garden waste is mixed with grass clippings and straw. Now put on a layer of manure. You can now gradually apply kitchen and garden waste.

Tip: In summer, the compost heap can dry out quickly. Therefore, occasionally water it so that the microorganisms and earthworms continue to do their work there.

Alternative: Compost container made of europallets

euro pallets
euro pallets – © animaflora –

If you own Euro pallets or have the opportunity to purchase them inexpensively, a practical and affordable alternative is found. In addition, Euro pallets already have the right dimensions and the necessary ventilation slots are also available. You only need four europallets, which you now connect with angles or nail together. Then you can fill in the compost as described above.

Compost container without nails

You do not want to use nails or screws when assembling? Then you decide on a compost container, which you provide with a plug-in system. For this, you must provide the boards with small recesses. These must correspond to the dimensions of the wooden slats. Measure the distances exactly and then saw out the recesses.

Then insert the individual boards into each other and create a flexible plug-in system, which provides a secure hold and can also be removed easily if you want to remove compost . Corner posts can save you in this case. With it you can also build your own compost container with little manual skill and thus enrich your garden and at the same time save money. Because the container is easy to put together, you can resize it at any time and move it easily to another location.

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