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Welded wire bins/rings are best

by Gardener Ed
(Tallahassee, Florida, USA)

Welded Wire Compost Rings

Welded wire compost rings are the best compost bin. They meet 8 of the 10 criteria. I use 16 foot lengths of 4 foot high 2x4 welded wire, 12 1/2 gauge.

While they are made of galvanized wire, the steel in the wire may be made of recycled steel. So this meets 9 of the 10 criteria. If you live outside of the city, rats and mice are usually not a problem.

They will last for 30 years or more; mine have.

They are free standing and need no additional support. Simply coil the wire fencing to the desired diameter; 3 feet minimum and 5 feet maximum and lace them together like tying your shoes. If the ring is too narrow there is not enough mass to retain heat. If too wide the center doesn't get enough oxygen.

They are easily unlaced, unwrapped, and moved adjacent to the pile for turning.

Women and older men lacking upper body strength may prefer wire fencing that is three feet high.

This wire fencing is usually sold in 50 - 100 foot lengths. You can make three rings with the 50 foot length. Three families could share the cost if they only want one ring.

These compost rings allow maximum air circulation and are self camouflaging; especially if you paint them black. Coil them up tight for storage or transport.

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Jan 09, 2013
Thank you for this and I agree
by: Mike Kilmer

This is a great article! My friends here in Pensacola showed us a similar method and they actually included a lining of hardware cloth to help contain and keep critters out.

Am going to link to this from an article on the Academy Fence Company blog ( on using excess welded wire fencing for a compost system.

Jul 26, 2013
Add cover
by: Jim in Willits

I have been using wire bins for over 20 years. The only problem we encounter is the ravens like to come and dig them up. Whenever garbage is added, it is covered with whatever we have piled beside it, grass clippings, hedge trimmings, vegetable garden roughage, horse manure, sawdust, etc. We don't turn our composts but just put up another bin when the last one is full. We use some baling twine to tie the wire together so when want to open it up we just cut the twine. We have five or six of them available when we want to start the spring garden. If we run out of wire we just remove the wire off of the oldest bin. I used old four foot deer & rabbit fencing from a fence that was torn down. Not turning the compost makes it take longer to produce good compost but it is sure a lot less work. To solve the raven problem I cut a piece of OSB in a rough circle to put on top. The ravens only bother the freshest bin as the others have reached a point where there isn't anything interesting for them there. During the winter the rains keep the compost moist enough to provide a good home for earthworms, and we get lots of them. During the summer it dries out enough so that the earthworms leave. This has got to be the cheapest, laziest way of composting there is. The OSB cost me $7, the fencing was free, and all I do is put garbage into it.

Nov 09, 2015
Plastic lattice instead. NEW
by: Anonymous

I had a bunch of plastic lattice left over from another use. 4 foot high by 8 foot long. I cut it to make rings similar to your size. They really hold up and are sturdy, light weight and don't rust. I love your concept, but used this lattice instead.

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