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Small farmer in a big city

DIY Wire Leaf Mold Compost Bin

DIY Wire Leaf Mold Compost Bin

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I have said it before and will repeat it; Autumn is my favorite season, and fall gardens are the best!  I like autumn because of abscission, the process of deciduous trees losing their leaves.  People rake up the leaves and set them on the curb.  I usually come around and pick up as many of the bags as I can find from all the neighborhoods between my house and the farm. Hey, why not?  Thanks for doing all the work and giving me the necessary ingredients to make one of the best soil conditioners on the planet.  To convert this yard waste into "gold", you are going to need a bin to house the leaves during the decomposition process.Most people will go out and buy a wire bin, and they will pay between $60-$150 for one.  That is absurd!  For around $80 and a couple hours of your time, you can make 10 bins with one 100’ long roll of wire. Here is what you will need and how to put it all together.  

What you need:

  • Welded Wire Fencing

  • Wire Cutters or Snips

  • Gloves

  • Zip Ties, Wire, or Twine

Steps: 

  1. Put on your gloves.

  2. Compost bins need to be a minimum of 3 ft wide. To make a bin this size you will need a 9.5’ piece of welded wire.

  3. Unroll a 9.5’ long piece of welded wire and cut with your snips. Be careful, the roll will want to recoil. I recommend placing the roll flat on the ground and adding something heavy to hold the wire flat on the ground.

  4. Pick up the roll and form a circle. The ends should overlap by a minimum of 2 squares. This will help to reinforce and stabilize

  5. Cut Rebar Wire into strips 6” long

  6. Attach the interior piece to the exterior piece by twisting the cut ends around the wire fence

  7. Attach the exterior piece to the interior piece by wrapping rebar wire around both. For extra security make sure to put emphasis on top, middle and bottom.

  8. Move the bin into garden (you'll want the bin somewhere close because you'll eventually be using the leaf mold in your garden)

  9. Fill bin with leaves

  10. Moisten leaves and allow to sit for 6-12 months or until decomposed. During this time re-moisten & turn leaves during dry periods.

Quick Tip:

To speed up the process keep the leaves covered with a tarp. This will help increase the internal temperature of the pile speeding up the finish time.

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