Forum home Problem solving

DIY - Compost Bin

As most of us will be in need of a way of reducing our garden waste now.

When constructing a bin connecting directly to the soil under the compost bin.

Should I put a layer of small wire mesh to stop any of our friends from down under getting into the bin.

But should I also have the mesh etc coming up the sides from ground level to stop them entering from the sides too, if I need too.
South Monmouthshire stuck in the middle between George and the Dragon


  • TerrysWorldTerrysWorld Posts: 157
    Adding, can I compost without leftovers from the kitchen and how long would it take to breakdown.
    South Monmouthshire stuck in the middle between George and the Dragon
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    You might find that your fork kept snagging on the mesh. When I had moles in my garden they would go in the compost and eat all the worms and nothing I did kept them out. I fear that more permanent solutions are required. The time it takes to make compost varies according to the material in there, the weather and how often you turn it.
  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 Posts: 920
    We didn’t have a base to the bins we had on the allotment and didn’t had any problems. The sides were just pallets with no mesh.

    You don’t need to add kitchen waste as long as you get a good mix of brown and green waste. Books and experts vary on the proportions of one to the other but a rule of thumb we follow is 60/40 brown to green. For brown we shred our weekend papers And any other paper waste as we don’t generate enough from the garden through the year. We use a paper shredder because we now have one but before that I would just tear the papers into strips (just roughly, probably inch or so wide and the length of the page)

    Any reason you’re not composting kitchen waste? You can compost all your eggshells, coffee grounds, teabags, veg and fruit peelings/waste without any risk of attracting rodents.
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
    East facing, top of a hill clay-loam, cultivated for centuries (7 years by me). Birmingham
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    I think the kitchen waste thing is cooked food. It's not good to chuck in your leftover mashed potatoes and gravy. The rats - not to mention cats, dogs , foxes and badgers will be in like a shot.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    I've composted for about 15 years now. I started with a 'everything goes on the compost' approach. Rats.

    I now compost kitchen veg scraps (uncooked only) and stalks from the veg plot, in a plastic dalek. It's kept right near the back door, so it is really convenient in the winter to drop in scraps. The disturbance of being close to the house helps keep pests away. It doesn't smell bad or anything. It is in direct contact with soil, but because it is sealed, I think rats just don't find it attractive at all.

    All cooked food waste, meat etc goes in the council food bins. They are better set up to deal with it.

    My open composters only get hedge clippings, weeds and mowings now. They attract slow worms and grass snakes (more than welcome), but no rats for years now.

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,586
    Cooked food waste, people!!! especially at the moment, if there is anything left over in my household, it is frozen.  We have the council darlek at the moment, we had 2 they are on slabs, but absolutely teeming with worms.  I remmber there was a thread on here about cooked waste on the compost heap, I always understood it encouraged vermin.  We had rats when we had chicken, a very nasty smelly man from the Public Health dept, came and put poison down, said I wasnt happy because I had hens, a rabbit, dogs, cats, and toddler, he told me they have right of entry, treated me like a murderer.  Neighbour, who has just made his own very posh one, gave me another green plastic darlek.  Hubby made doors for the bottoms, because its ridiculous that you have to tip them up to remove compost. My hubby made some from palletts, and I have been round gardens open for charity where they have compost heaps made from just chicken wire.  Put on you shredder contents, hair, animal hair, empty vacuum cleaners onto them.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    Cooked food waste, can be things like used cinnamon sticks, bones, marrow skins. It is not an instant indication of wastefulness. 
  • TerrysWorldTerrysWorld Posts: 157
    Thanks everyone.

    Reason for asking, i did not want to attract vermin into the compost.

    Currently looking to position the bin near my garden shed at the bottom corner of the garden. 

    I did have a bin some 10/15 years ago and did have what appears as field mice from the size of the run as our garden borders open fields.

    This time of year most of my waste would be from cutting/trimming bushes, which I wonder if they would compost being from 1cm up to 3cm which normally would go to the recycle centre. Otherwise it will be mostly lawn cuttings and come autumn/winter would be mostly fallen leaves.

    If I started with the 60/40 brown/green would that have to be kept moist too not drying out.
    South Monmouthshire stuck in the middle between George and the Dragon
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    It's better to have some moisture because it will just sit there for ever if it is very dry. There is much science and some magic to perfect compost, but in truth, all things rot in the end, you simply want to speed it up. I chuck everything in according to season, except cooked matter and branches, chopping up dry stems and bits of twig. Then, when the bin is full I turn it, mixing it all up and wetting it down if it is dry. Usually, I would turn it regularly and it makes excellent compost. At the moment there are sloworms overwintering in there so there has been no turning! It may take a bit longer.
  • WilderbeastWilderbeast Posts: 1,415
    The no food waste rule is fine but if your compost is very hot then vermin won't come near anyway. We put absolutely everything in ( @Nanny Beach it's not loads as we are very good) but my hot heaps run above 60°c and upto 85°c way too hot for vermin. If your compost is just middling along then vermin can move in just because they like the warmth.
Sign In or Register to comment.