New Compost Bin

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by TnAndy, May 16, 2018.

  1. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Had some leftover concrete from driveway pours last year, so I poured a 14' x 26' in a bunch of different pours, this spring, I got 8" block laid along the back wall, (48" high) and divided the whole thing into 3 different bins as I went. Now have two of them nearly full of cow manure/hay from our barn, chicken manure/wood shavings from our laying house, and a tandem load of horse manure/sawdust from a local horse barn. Piles are heating nicely and should make dandy compost in a few months. The third bin is empty (except for a few buckets of hardwood mulch that will be gone soon) so I can flip/rotate the other two to get them turned and air added.


    BenP, sec_monkey, Ganado and 9 others like this.
  2. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Looks great!
    sec_monkey and tacmotusn like this.
  3. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor Site Supporter+

    Damn it Andy, you do things so well thought out and professional that you make the rest of us look like amateurs.
  4. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Well it's easy....I simply screw up a time or two, and finally get it close to right. :D
    sec_monkey, Yard Dart, Ganado and 4 others like this.
  5. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Distant relative of wife had cattle and made similar setup, he had 5 bays and rotated them as it composted, used bucket loader to turn it and mixed in peat moss to blend it and get it to heat, bought semi truck load of peat moss out of Canada fairly cheaply and made almost as much selling the compost, organic all the way, as he did on the milk. I bought some from him for my greenhouse, good stuff and I knew that it was actually what the bag said it was. I envy you and the only way to make it quicker and better compost is to run it thru a hog. Doesn't smell so good but it is rich manure and quick to make as well and works really well for hay fields..
    sec_monkey and Cruisin Sloth like this.
  6. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Ain't that the 'whole truth and nothing but the truth.' There is a huge nursery in town and they have the exact same set up, totally professional...and I am green with envy...a true confession from the fella that can't saw a straight line to save his life.
    sec_monkey and tacmotusn like this.
  7. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    We're in the planning stages of another hoop house similar to the 20x36 one we have now....if we go ahead, this one will be 30x90 (or so) with similar waist high beds, so a whole lot of compost will be needed to help fill the beds.
    Bandit99 likes this.
  8. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    We raise a couple pigs/year for pork, but they are out on pasture, so the manure isn't really accessible short of picking it up with a shovel here and there (I ain't). Content to just let that go back to the pasture ground.
    duane likes this.
  9. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I have a 10' x 16' hoop house that I use for storing wood and I'm so impress with it cost, ease of construction and durability that I am consider building a second one double in length to 10' x 40'. I didn't consider doubling the width until now. I would be interested to know if you are using any center supports and how many PVC sections you used (I assume 4) to give you the 20 foot width. Did you use 3/4" or 1"? Don't mean to pester you, Andy, but as Tac said you do things so well that I feel more than safe in copying you. :)
  10. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Didn't use PVC, used wood. I cut white oak strips 1/2" thick by 4" wide and laminated them together into a half round, then mounted those on 4' high side walls that sit on top the waist high raised beds around the outside.
    It was a lot of work, and I ended up having to run 1/4" cables across on the hoops to keep them from pushing the outside walls out of plumb. Next one, I'll just go with conventional metal pipe.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    20' wide works with 32" deep (front to back) beds on the outside "U", and a 60" bed down the center. 32" is about the max you can comfortably reach the back of (60" working from both sides), leaving about a 4' walk aisle down both sides. That aisle might seem wide until you maneuver a wheelbarrow load of compost down it, then you'll appreciate the width. We built the outside U first, and filled it with dirt, then built the house on top. Then came back and poured concrete for the aisles, leaving a 60" section out of the center for that bed. Ran PEX tubing under the concrete and in the bed bottoms for solar hot water.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Laid the block for the center bed about 4-5' at a time, filling it as I went using the tractor bucket and the double front doors.

    Finished product in production: (If you look close, you can see the cables and turnbuckles)


    This one was an experiment that for the most part has worked out grand.....wife raises an amazing amount of food in much so I sorta question the sanity of another one, but another would put us nearly 100% inside growing (corn, and squash being the exceptions....both need outside pollinators apparently). Going 30' wide allows for the same 2 outside beds, 2-60" wide inside beds, and 3 aisles between all.
    Bandit99, Ganado and ghrit like this.
  11. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @TnAndy OMG Andy! I dare not show this to the wife or she will be after me to mimic it for sure and, as much as I would like to do so, there is no way in hell I could ever build something that even comes close to this. This, without a doubt, is the most amazing greenhouse I have ever seen. Wow!
  12. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Thanks !

    Like I said, it was one of those experiments around here that worked out mostly right. I wouldn't bother with using wood again, I'd buy metal top rail used on chain link fence, 1 3/8" x the heaviest gauge I could find (it comes in 16,17,18ga apparently) and a hoop bender from here:
    Here, Lowes (building supply big box store) carries 10'6" pcs for about 12 bucks, takes 3 of them for a 20' wide hoop, or 36 bucks/hoop. (plus cost of bender) I probably spent close to that with glue/screws and having to come back with the cable IF I were to build another 20' wide house, it would be metal tubing....looks like a lot easier deal too. I would also add roll up sides to it.

    If you skipped the cinder block raised beds and concrete floor, ( I did that looking ahead to getting older) it really wouldn't be hard to throw one up. I'd also skip trying to heat it. Not only is it a lot of trouble, but we've found most plants don't respond to growing well in the winter...the lack of daylight hours is as much of a factor as the temperature. What we try to do is use it about 10 months out of the year. Cooler weather crops like broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, and peas, late February to about now (just picked the last of the peas today, and pulled the vines), then tomatoes, peppers, bush beans, carrots thru the summer/early fall months, then back to the cool weather stuff. Lettuce/spinach will over winter with a good frost cover when it gets down in the teens and below, but that's about all we try to grow over the dead of winter.
    Ganado likes this.
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