EXPERIMENT: Composting Using Grass and Leaves

I’m sick and tired of paying for dirt.  I’m done with it.  I’m ready for a more cost effective way to get ‘dirt’ using materials I have around in the yard.  I’m also ready to know exactly what is in my soil instead of depending on a plastic bag to outline all of the ingredients.

DIY Pallet Compost Bin

Enter my DIY pallet composting bin.  I built the bin in about an hour with the help of my wonderful wife.  It is very similar to the DIY Raised Garden Beds using pallets that I made earlier this season.  The only add-ons are four legs and a bottom to keep the compost off of the ground.  All in all, I was very pleased with the end result.


Grass Clipping Layer in Compost Bin



Now to the experiment portion- actually making compost.  I have a couple of things that I can always depend on to compost: grass clippings and leaves.  So, I decided to lay a thin layer of grass clippings in the bin and watered the clippings.  Next, I placed a thin layer of leaves on the grass and then watered.  I repeated these steps until the bin was full.  Finally, I took my hand-tiller and mixed all of the layers together.  With everything nicely mixed, I took my shovel and scooped the edges up into the middle of the box to make a mound.  I watered the whole entire box once again.

Leaf Layer in Compost Bin


Tomorrow, I plan on checking to see if the temperature is warm in the mound.  The warm temperatures and moisture helps to break down the material into compost.  On Day Three, I plan on turning the whole entire bin using my shovel.  Hopefully we will see some decomposition.  My plan is to have this material fully decomposed in about three weeks.

Grass Clippings and Leaves Mounded in Compost Bin

Do you have a compost bin/pile?  Do you prefer to use grass and leaves or some other material?  What’s the best method you have found?  I’d love to hear from you!  Drop us a line below in the comments.