RTÉ One, Friday, 8.30pm

Handy Man: Sean O'Neill

Programme 4

Building A Compost Bin
Firstly you will need six or seven wooden pallets. Prise off the planks of the pallets, using a hammer and nailbar (or two). Be patient as there are a lot of nails.

Now cut four lengths of 2 x 2 rough, each about 4 feet long. Lay two 2x 2’s down on a flat surface about 1 metre apart. Now put one of the pallet planks across from one end to the other starting at the bottom of the 2 x 2’s. Square the plank to the 2 x 2’s on both corners and screw together. Now lay a plank above the first plank and screw to the 2 x 2, do this with more planks until you reach the top of the 2 x 2’s, leave a few inches of 2 x2 proud of the last pallet plank. Now you have one side made, repeat the process for the second side. Now stand both sides, with the 2 x 2 proud at the top. Get some help to keep the sides from falling over.

Now let’s fix on the back. Line up a pallet plank to go from the bottom corner of one side to the other and screw together. Use a square to square up the new plank with the sides, continue attaching pallet planks until you reach the top, going a little higher than the sides. Now the two sides and back are made. The front will be a hinged door so firstly cut two lengths of 2 x 2 to brace the two sides together. Attach one length, with screws, to the bottom of the sides and one length to the top, making sure the box is square. Now to make a door.

Measure the gap between the top and bottom brace and cut two pallet planks about an inch less than this measurement. Lay the planks down and attach a pallet plank across at one end, make sure this plank overhangs the two planks by about three inches at each side. Now add more planks to fill up to the top. Now attach two hinges to one side. Now attach the hinges to the compost bin. On the other side attach a hook clasp to keep the door closed.

Now for the roof. Cut the proud 2 x 2’s, leaving the back ones a little higher so the roof will be at an angle, for rain to run off. Again lay down two pallet planks and attach pellet planks (as with the door) to make your roof. Make the roof slightly wider and longer (about an inch all round). Attach two hook hinges to the top back pallet plank. Now lift the roof into position and screw the hinges to the roof. Get some roofing felt and tack it in position, heavy plastic could also be used. Now cut a short (2 foot) length of 2 x 1 to hold the roof in the open position, make sure this is solid and not liable to fall. Lastly, drill a good few half-inch holes around the four sides for ventilation.

Now you have a compost bin. For the energetic, it is an idea to have two of these bins so that you can leave your compost to rot for six months, then open it up, turn it with a garden fork and fork it into the other bin. Then start filling the empty one. Happy composting.

The Gardeners

Handy Man: Sean O'Neill

Click here to view Sean's Blog...

The Gardeners