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Compost bin siting

I’m planning to get a compost bin in a bid to utilise the forthcoming leaf fall and general pruning.
Ideally I would go for a sizeable wooden crate type design, but space constraints mean I will most likely have to opt for an upright plastic bin type.
ihave a site in mind which sits in dappled shade, hidden from the majority of the garden focal points. 
My question relates to what to place it on. Initial research suggests a soil base is the best medium to place the bin on. My chosen site however is a pebble base. Would this create an issue and prevent successful composting?



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  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,134
    The pebbles might complicate the process of collecting the mature compost. You do not say if those pebbles are loose or set in cement or something like that.
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 29,178
    Papi Jo said:
    The pebbles might complicate the process of collecting the mature compost. You do not say if those pebbles are loose or set in cement or something like that.
    Ditto. Can worms get up from underneath the pebbles into the bin?

    I think any compost bin, even one not " perfectly " sited, is better than no compost bin. 
    If that's the only place you can have one, then put it there.
    Devon.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 4,435
    If the pebbles are loose, can you remove some to make a space for the bin to sit on soil?
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 18,510
    Whichever you choose, put a piece of chicken wire down first to stop the rats coming up into it. 
    A sunny spot is best if you can,  it gets hotter and works quicker. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,102
    It is best to site a compost bin on bare soil rather than pebbles.....it makes emptying it a lot easier as you won't be shovelling up pebbles with all the nice compost. If you have a lot of leaf fall in your garden in autumn then you would be better off keeping those separate from the rest of the compost and rotting them down in a leaf bin.....a wire enclosure works just fine for leaves. If you have too many of them in with the general compost then it can slow things down a lot and you can get horrible claggy lumps of mould.
    I have my bins by the back door, all the easier to reach them from the kitchen with all of those lovely fruit and veg peelings. It makes life a lot easier in winter when you do not want to be trudging the length of the plot in foul weather. Plan for more than one bin (two if possible) so that you always have one on the go and one almost ready to empty.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,134
    Ceres said:
     Plan for more than one bin (two if possible) so that you always have one on the go and one almost ready to empty.
    Good advice!
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Thanks for the replies. 
    The pebbles are loose. I take the point about removing them to prevent digging the pebbles out when collecting the compost.
    Interesting regarding fallen leaves. Maybe best to make leaf mould with the bulk of the fallen leaves and reserving a smaller amount for the bin?
    I like the idea of putting down chicken wire. The last thing I want is rats nesting in the bin.
    Good advice regarding having two bins on the go. I have room to accommodate two.

    Thanks, a bit more knowledgeable now. Stand by for more quizzing once the bin becomes reality!
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 6,368
    Definitely go with the chicken wire to discourage rats from burrowing into the bin. Make sure it completely covers the base area and I also wrap mine up the side about 6"  so they can't sneak in round the edges.

    I have 2 compost bins each with (a double layer of) chicken wire in a corner of the shingle drive way. Makes great compost but the combination of shingle and wire makes it a bit difficult digging out the last couple of inches of compost from the bottom of the bin. I am going to move them to join my other 2 bins which are in a separate utility area.

    This area is slabbed with large concrete slabs, cemented into place on top of about 6-8" of hardcore. I was concerned about the lack of soil contact. Needn't have worried! These 2 bins are absolutely teeming with worms and other composting friends. Worms lay eggs in soil and, as long as there's a bit of soil going in with plant roots etc, the eggs hatch and you get worms. A friend has one of those large tumbler bins which is several feet off the ground - and he also finds lots of worms in there.

    The main advantages of compost bins on properly laid paving are -
    • heavy duty plastic bins become rat proof
    • it's really easy to dig out the finished product
    • it's easy to 'turn' the bin by just scraping out the contents and then refilling the bin
    • it's really easy to sweep up after emptying, turning or filling the bins 
    • and I also think the slabs may provide some residual heat after sunny days which speeds up the whole composting process.

    As Hosta said, any bin is better than no bin. However, I would now always put my bins on a hard base. 

    I'm a composting addict. It's almost a magical process to turn waste into black gold and once you've bought or made the bins it's all for free. What's not to love?
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,102
    I will never understand why people 'dig out' compost bins as it is such a annoyingly difficult thing to do. I have three plastic bins and when one is ready to be emptied, I pull it over then it is so easy to shovel up the exposed contents rather than trying to get the compost out of a little hole at the bottom of the bin. It also takes no time at all.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,134
    @Topbird How do the earthworms make their way into your compost bins if they rest on hard paving rather than on the soil?
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
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