There are several things to consider when building a wooden compost bin. One of the most important things to look at is the type of wood that you are going to use for the bin. The type of wood can play a big role in how long the system will last and how well it performs. Read on to learn about the woods that work best for a wooden compost bin.
You may be interested in using new wood that you can purchase from a lumber yard or from some other source. Many times, this is a good choice as it will not have already been worn down through other uses.
When purchasing new wood, you need to pay attention to the species and the construction. For example, sometimes manufacturers will make a type of composite wood out of several different types of wood species. This is a common practice by many companies that make compost bins and it works well.
You should also consider what types of wood work well without rotting. For example, red cedar, redwood and black locust are 3 woods that are naturally resistant to rotting. These woods will be able to stand up to water and the elements without decaying and becoming weak.
Treated vs Untreated
Another factor to consider is whether the wood is treated or untreated. Treated wood will last longer than untreated wood in most cases. However, there is some concern about working with treated wood when you are trying to make compost. Treated wood is treated with a variety of chemicals that could potentially be dangerous; there is a lack of information as to the long-term effects of what these chemicals could do to the soil.
If you are creating compost, the wood will be directly up against the compost that you are making, so they could leak out into the compost. Then when you go to put the compost on the ground, the chemicals will be passed onto the plants that you are fertilizing. If you are worried about the chemicals being passed onto other things, you should most likely avoid treated wood. In that case, a naturally rot-resistant wood like red cedar may be better for you.
If you can find old growth wood, consider using it for your bin. This type of wood has grown for hundreds of years and it is very mature. Old growth wood has several growth rings inside it, which makes it more dense and durable. Wood of this type is less likely to rot and break down as easily at some of the other woods that are commonly used for building. Old growth wood is often found in older buildings and other sources of reclaimed wood.