Get Started Guide

Ready to make your own fertilizer at home? Learn how to set up and start using your Steve’s Earth Engine cedar compost bin.

Choose the best location
Pick a spot in your yard that’s flat and relatively firm to set up your composter. Installing on a slope puts stress on the frame and can shorten the lifespan of your bin. Make sure that the composter is at least two feet away from walls and fencing. This allows for proper airflow around your bin, which helps the composting process.

When possible, choose a shady area over a sunny one. Sunlight can dry out your compost pile and slow down decomposition.

Set up your compost bin
Your Steve’s Earth Engine composter will arrive preassembled. To finish setting it up, you’ll need just 10 minutes and a hammer. Simply follow the instructions that come with the composter to attach the steel mesh backing.
Watch video: How to set up your bin

How to use the slats
Our composters come with wooden slats that easily slide in and out of the front of the bins. These removable slats give you the flexibility to adapt your bin as needed. When it’s full of waste or humus, put all the slats in. When a batch of compost is finished and ready to be transferred to the garden, remove slats for easier access to the pile. There’s no right or wrong way to use the slats—experiment and find what works best for you.

During the colder months, when you’re likely putting in more material than you’re taking out, it’s a good idea to use all the slats. That way, your bins are ready to hold the maximum volume of organic matter during the fall and winter.

Do you need a cover for your composter?
It’s not necessary to cover your bin to create great compost. But if you live in an area with squirrels, raccoons and other hungry wildlife, you may want a cover. We sell screen covers that keep wildlife out while letting vital moisture in. The screens are designed so you can easily fold them back when it’s time to add waste or scoop out humus. Screens are sold separately, as well as bundled with our compost bins.

Next: Learn what can go in a compost bin

Watch video: How to set up your compost bin


Steve Watson is the designer, master builder and founder of Steve’s Earth Engine cedar composters. For over 25 years, he’s been constructing compost bins for home gardeners and organizations nationwide.

Steve’s Story
“I’ve purchased two double-bin cedar composters from Steve’s Earth Engine over the past few years. They are durable, and the cedar weathers to a beautiful natural finish that blends in well with a garden. And most important, they work! I get loads of rich compost from them.”
Byron B.Whitmore, CA

Contact Us

Have questions about composting or using your Steve’s Earth Engine compost bin? We’re here to help.

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