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Should I divide up my composter?

I’ve recently made a composter from reclaimed scaffolding boards. It’s 2.3m by 90cm deep by 90cm high at the back and 70cm high at the front. I had intended to divide it up into 3 sections but do not know if that is a useful thing to do or not. I dare say I could fill each section or even the whole thing over a few months. Thanks.

This is the sort of look I’d be going for if I divided it up...

Any advice would be appreciated.


  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,813
    I would divide it into at least two sections. Fill the first section, wait until the volume falls by half then turn it out into the second section. Re-fill the first section and repeat. Think about how you will get the compost out. It can be awkward to reach in with a spade or fork, that is why the commercial versions have removable boards to allow easy access.
  • Thanks. There are just 3 screws at each end of the planks so it would take no time to unscrew the front and screw them back in after.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,823
    To speed up decomposition, you ideally need to turn the compost regularly.  The smaller  your sections, the more difficult that will be to do, so two larger sections might be better than three.  You should also try to keep the compost moist, but not wet.  We water and cover ours with a tarp in Summer.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    I would go for two sections but I would modify the front so that you can slide the boards out easily, and only one section at a time. You will find it really irritating to be messing around with a screwdriver every time you want to get at the compost and if you remove the whole front the new heap will tumble out while you are removing stuff from the finished heap.
  • If you have to screw /unscrew the front boards  all the time it wont take long till the holes in the uprights break out under the pressure of the compost. As an example I made my own veg (brassica) cage from narrow posts & 2x1 battens, screwed together with narrow plasterboard screws instead of using nails.  I  dis-assemble move it  and rebuild once a season. After 3-4 moves some of the battens started to split, and now some of the uprights are "wearing" as well. It was a cheaper option at the time but a metal frame would have been better.
    So I agree with others set the front up so you can slide planks down between 2 uprights, leave a bigger gap than you would imagine to allow the wood to swell when wet.
    AB Still learning

  • WilderbeastWilderbeast Posts: 1,415
    Yes split in 2 the recommended size for really good composting is approximately 1.2mtx1.2mtx1.2mt, apparently this gives just the right size to allow best formation of the bacteria and fungi that do all the work. Turn regularly and mow, shred, chop everything you put in as much as possible will speed up the process. Caution is advised others here will agree composting can be quite OBSESSIVE 🤣🤣
  • Great, thank you!!
  • Couple more questions. Would you recommend getting a garden shredder?
    should I cover the garden waste in a layer of carpet for insulation? How do I stop it getting too wet? 
    And lastly, a bit of a random one, I was thinking of building a hedgehog home into the unit by making a. Suitably sized hole at the back and then having a brick built construction leading from it into the pile. I figure the garden waste/compost will cover the hog home and insulate it.
    the pic shows the sort of thing I was thinking of building...

  • WilderbeastWilderbeast Posts: 1,415
    @joe.shimmin personally I have a mower, granted it's quite a big unit but only domestic it shreds all my waste better than any of the shredders I've tried, that includes all hedge trimmings (not just leafy stuff but up to 20mm). 

    I put old compost bags and a lump of insulation on top of the heap with several layers of carpet on top of that. All helps to keep the heat in. This time of year it can be difficult to get a heap hot from scratch unless you have lots of green waste at once.

    I wouldn't add the hedgehog house onto the heap they can get very hot, you'll be turning the heap (or at least I would be) and you be back and forth to a compost heap take bits and old hoggy might get rather disturbed.
  • Thanks for the answers. No worries, I’ll make the hedgehog house elsewhere. Thanks for all of the advice 👍🏻
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