Do you need a base plate for a compost bin?

QUESTION: Do you need a base plate for a compost bin?

ANSWER: It could be a good idea for your compost bin to have a base plate for several different reasons. For one thing, a base plate prevents your compost from simply melding with the soil underneath it (if your compost bin is placed on dirt), so a base plate will prevent you from losing some of your precious compost to the ground beneath it.

It works in the other direction as well, and prevents unwelcome wildlife from tunneling into the compost bin through the ground. Trees can be an issue if your compost bin is set up near them, as their roots can infiltrate the compost from beneath in their search for nutrients, which the compost is chock-full of.

If your compost bin is positioned on concrete or another artificial surface instead of on the ground, a base plate will prevent the compost from staining what’s underneath it. For compost bins that sit on top of soil, a material like hardware cloth or mesh makes a good base plate that will allow worms and beneficial insects in but keep pests out.