Producing your very own compost is easier than you think and it’s full of nutrients to fertilise your plants.
Tidy up your garden, cut the grass, strim the hedges, rustle up the leaves and collect food waste from your kitchen like banana skins and vegetable peels - and whack it into your compost bin. This environmentally-conscious habit prevents food and garden waste where instead, you are putting it to good use. You’ll also save money at your local garden centre by home growing your recycled compost.
According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS): “Home composting is the most environmentally-friendly way of dealing with kitchen and garden waste - plus it produces compost that can be used as an excellent soil improver”.
How to use your compost bin?
Position your compost bin in your garden, either in the sun or shade (it just needs to stay in one place for a consistent environment) and over a soil base. Add in your garden and compositable waste, close the lid to keep heat and moisture in and let the bin work its magic.
The microorganisms from the soil will eat away at the waste and break it down, eventually decomposing it. This produces a lovely rich compost to be used where it can take any time between one month and up to two years to reach its maturity.
Your compost will be ready when it appears a crumbling texture in a dark-brown colour, with an earthy smell.
What to look for when buying a compost bin?
There are so many different options to choose from when looking at compost bins: What size do you want? What material is best? What features do you need? Before making your purchase, it is important to consider the bin’s different properties and read up on their specifications.
Capacity is a big thing to look out for – how much waste will you have to process? They can vary in size so make sure you have one big enough to fill. And check they have secure lids to keep animals away and moisture in, along with easy access doors, latches or taps to retrieve the compost hassle-free.
Ensure your compost bin is weatherproof. Being stored outside, it needs to withhold all that the different seasons bring – from rain and wind, to sun and heat. Make sure it’s a robust and durable design to stand up to these conditions. Ventilation holes are also great to allow more oxygen into the bins and help speed up the composting process.
Now see our pick of the best compost bins…
4smile 300 Litre Garden Composter Bin
Open the hinged lid, fill this composter bin with garden and kitchen waste (grass cuttings, leaves, vegetable peels etc.), and watch as it turns into a rich compost over approximately six months.
Arriving flat-packed but easy to assemble, position the bin made from 100 per cent recycled plastic straight onto the soil in your garden – there is no base which means worms and other creatures can get inside to help out, and any fluid can drain away freely.
The design is functional – there are ventilation openings to help with airflow and the dark colour allows the contents inside to heat up during the sunny hours, both speeding up the bacterial action to convert the organic waste into a great fertiliser for plants and vegetable patches. It’s stable and durable, ready to stand all weather and light conditions. There’s no wonder it’s an Amazon top choice.
Buy now £39.89, Amazon
Hotbin Compost Bin
Be ready to splash the cash for this top-notch compost bin from Hotbin. It may be a bigger hit to your bank account, but the innovative design with impressive features will speed up the composting process, producing your very own organic compost which your garden will love in no time at all.
Suitable for food and garden waste, as well as other items such as compostable cups and straws, load the bin up (it takes up to 200 litres) and be a more eco-conscious, zero-waste champion.
Featuring 50mm thick insulating walls, the bin will create a hot natural environment to help churn the contents quickly into compost. It has a lid thermometer to monitor the inside temperature and its airtight lid with a bio-filter eradicates any strong smells to keep vermin and flies away. Any liquid will funnel down to the drainage cap at the base which can be let out via the tap when needed.
Buy now £319.99, Amazon
Blackwall 200L Composter Converter
A forest green dome shape, this conical 220-litre compost bin will stand nicely at the bottom of your garden and provide a secure environment for the production of nutrient-rich compost for your plants.
The recycled plastic material is UV stabilised to prevent degradation, and topped with a windproof lid to ensure the ultimate stability to retain heat and moisture levels at all times, however windy it may be.
It boasts a lovely extra wide hatch for easy access to the compost once ready, making your life a whole lot simpler, and an optional base plate is available to buy separately.
Buy now £52.49, Amazon
Costway Tumbling Composter
You don’t have to dig, turn or mix by hand with this cleverly designed 360-degree rotating compost bin. Simply fill up and rotate five to six times every couple of days and leave the rest for it to do.
Its dual-chamber – allowing you to add fresh ingredients to one side while waiting for the other side to solidify – means that you can continuously produce rich and healthy organic fertiliser for your garden efficiently and fast.
There are ventilation holes which also help with the process, allowing oxygen to enter and circulate, while the tightly locked doors keep animals away. Look like a pro with the gardening gloves included and top up to 160 litres.
Buy now £86.95, Amazon
Dakota Fields Tionesta 0.4L Wood Outdoor Compost Bin
Add this stylish wooden compost bin to your outdoor area for a simple way to recycle garden and household waste. The solid pinewood contraption has the capacity to hold up to 0.4 litres at a time and its slatted design allows good air circulation to aid the composting process. It is hardwearing, weather and rot resistant. With its easy access open lid, it provides a convenient way to collect leftover waste.
Buy now £94.02, Wayfair
Outsunny 160L Outdoor Tumbling Compost Bin with Dual Chamber
Get green-fingered without having to use your hands with Outsunny’s tumbling dual compost bin – just chuck in greenery and compostable waste and rotate the shell to mix it all up every few days.
Suitable for up to 160 litres, share the load between the two chambers, one for keeping the ready compost, the other for fresh ingredients to be added. A tough and weatherproof design, set up the slick feature in your garden for optimum results. Garden gloves included.
Buy now £74.99, Robert Dyas
Keter 470L E-composter
Easy to put together, build this compost bin up in your garden and utilise its generous 470-litre capacity, topping it up with biodegradable items.
The weather-resistant resin makes it a tough, enduring design with smart features such as a top-watering cup and door which also functions as a leaf collector. An affordable yet savvy piece to create a nutritious fertilising agent to use for your new plant growth.
Buy now £60.00, Argos
Garantia Eco-King Compost Bin
Pull up the two filling covers, pour in vegetation and let nature do its thing. Over time, a lovely rich compost will form, perfect for your garden or allotment.
Garantia’s top-selling bin is made from 100 per cent recyclable plastic and can hold up to 600 litres, while maintaining warmth and allowing air circulation to provide the best results.
Place in direct sunlight and over soil to allow essential microorganisms to break down the leaves, grass, branches and the likes, and form the perfect compost. It will be accessible through the compost removal flap at the bottom of the design.
Buy now £69.99, Robert Dyas
Lacewing Outdoor Wooden Compost Bin
There’s no need to buy expensive pre-made compost thanks to Lacewing. The brand’s simple box-shaped wooden bin is an ideal location to recycle garden and household waste - and it will transform it into your own natural fertiliser.
The slatted design will allow airflow and insects into the compost to create a nutritious feed for your growing plants and vegetables, while keeping your garden tidy and compact. You can even pop in loose branches or twigs, leaves or grass shavings tumbling around.
The sturdy construction is made from pressure-treated pine wood, with zero wood-rotting guaranteed for 15 years, and stores up to 350 litres of waste.
Buy now £54.99, Amazon
VidaXL Eco-friendly 4-tray Worm Factory Composter Waste Bin
An alternative style compost bin, VidaXL have created a unique tiered design using four trays to gather your garden scraps and kitchen waste and follow its journey to nutrient-rich soil.
Simply start by placing some of the organic waste at the bottom of the tray, alongside a handful of worms (yes, worms!). Leave the worms to get busy at work and start processing the food. Once the bottom is full, add another tray and keep building up – the worms will naturally migrate upwards to the newest food, leaving the bottom full of nutrient-rich compost – it’s that simple.
Moisture will filter through the system, taking nutrient-rich particles along with it and harvesting an organic liquid fertiliser which can be retrieved from the spigot. Genius!
Buy now £92.99, Amazon