Putting up a traditional compost heap is a wonderful experience that every gardener must go through.
But it takes up your time, energy and space to:
- Pile up a lot of yard wastes.
- Bring all the materials to the most uniform piece size possible, of one to two inches.
- Turn them one to three times a week for several times.
- Keep the pile bug and odor free, with the right moist, aeration and temperature levels.
You can get to having your compost ready much faster and with very little effort, using a composter tumbler, also known as compost bin, composting barrel, or simply tumbler.
Getting the best results from your tumbler is easy, simply follow these tips:
- Place it in a sunny location – most tumblers are designed for that. The heat accelerates the composting process and helps temperatures to rise warm and uniformly enough so pathogens and weed seeds are suppressed.
- Fill it with 3 parts brown waste, to 1 part green waste – You don’t need to add equal parts dry and green materials to keep the process coking, because inside the tumbler there is less evaporation. Examples of brown and green materials are:
– Brown: hay, straw, dry leaves, paper, cardboard and tea bags.
– Green: kitchen scraps, fresh grass clippings, fresh manure, coffee grounds, seaweed and green plant cuttings.
- Don’t fill it up to the top – Stop adding materials when 75% full. It needs enough free space to allow air flow, and consequently optimal composting process.
- Give your tumbler 5 to 6 turns every 3 to 5 days – It increases enormously the composting process speed, by pumping in more oxygen, blending up the ingredients and changing particle positions.
The following tips will help to get your compost ready even faster:
- Turn it more often, but not more than once a day. Frequent turns will accelerate the process considerably, but excessive turnings might compromise the quality of your compost.
- Chop the materials to uniform pieces of one inch thick and add them all at once. It will increase particles surface area and get the compost process going much faster.
- Add fresh finished compost or a compost starter to it at the beginning, which will jumpstart the process by bring adequate quantities of the right beneficial microorganisms, increasing the quality of your final compost.ATTENTION: Beware that accelerating the composting process will promote the development of beneficial bacteria, rather than beneficial fungi. In general, bacteria dominated compost is good for your garden, while fungal dominated compost is better for your trees. Some exceptions are, for example, tomatoes and strawberries, which strive well with fungal dominated compost.
If you follow all these tips, you can have good quality finished compost in as little as two weeks!
Here is our choice of an affordable home size tumbler that might be just what you need to treat your organic kitchen and yard wastes: —The Yimby Compost Tumbler Review—
So put up that tumbler, and Let’s Spin that Bin!