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what base is best for a compost bin

Could someone please tell me wether it is best to put my compost bin on a concrete or paving slab base or to place it straight onto the soil. Any ideas please?



  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Soil-somewhere for the moisture to drain away and the worms and so on will move in from underneath

  • NetherfieldNetherfield Posts: 120

    /\ /\ /\ /\  Agreed.

  • I think it's a god idea to put some chicken wire beneath the bin to stop any rats getting in if you put it directly on to the soil.  My black bins are in fact on paving slabs which have a bit less than a half-inch gap between them.  No rats - but the worms can get in there.

  • Great idea about the chicken wire. I once asked about rats in the compost bin at a gardener's question time at Shrewsbury Show and was told that the best way to keep rats out of the compost bin is to keep the compost wet.

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    I have mice, and ants, which seem to live semi-pemanently in my Dalek compost bins. I'm not aware that they cause any problems. By digging little burrows through the compost, I assume that they help to aerate it. The bins are actually on concrete, but there are small gaps at the side, which (inadvertently) just about allow small animals to get in.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414
    artychris wrote (see)

    Could someone please tell me wether it is best to put my compost bin on a concrete or paving slab base or to place it straight onto the soil. Any ideas please?

    Mine are on soil, hand built wooden boxes with chicken wire on the soil which has now rotted away and not been replaced. When I get to the bottom of my in use box  woody branches are scattered on the soil and the filling box turned on top of that then left to rot down and I start filling the box that was turned out.
    This allows air in the bottom, turning the filling box puts the newest stuff at the bottom mixed with more air and damping with the magic mix as I go allows the heat to build up, six weeks later I will be using compost from that box.
    Never been bothered by mice or rats but have the the odd solitary bee in there.


  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    My daleks on soil. Never had a problem with mice or rats in there.

  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 806

    I have a dalek-type bin set on gravel, and a big timber composter on bare ground. The dalek always has plenty of worms (as well as ants and woodlice) - I have no idea how they get there - while there are very few in the big composter. I did notice it was a a lot wormier in wet weather, so perhaps it's too dry there for them some of the time. Now and again I see mouse or rat-holes in the big heap, but they could get in from the top or the sides, I can't prevent it.

    But they both produce good compost, and there doesn't seem to be a vermin problem.

  • artychrisartychris Posts: 60

    Thankyou very much everyone. You have all been a fantastic help, as usual!!

  • I know this is an old post - wondered if anyone would like to add any comments?  My garden is just gravel and flower borders and I have just acquired my first 'dalek' compost bin. I wondered what to stand it on. The gravel is on top of concrete where it's sited. Should I put bricks or some sort of base underneath? I have thick black plastic but presume this isn't a good idea?  I don't want gunge out of the compost to leach out and make the gravel all messy. I have lots of fallen leaves in bags ready to start it off.  I could clear an area under the bin so it sits on concrete?

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