Friday, August 16, 2013

Tumbling composter

More than five years ago I bought my first compost bin and fell in love immediately.  Compost is the key amendment to my garden, and best of all is the cost - free!  I developed a system that I would turn the compost with a garden fork a couple of times a week and found that worked well.  Lately though the compost bin has been showing signs of its advancing age.  How many years is 5 years in compost bin age?
We had loosely talked about a new bin, and on a recent trip to Bunnings I wandered over to look at the selection.  Gosh there were aerobins, tall bins, short bins, rolling bins, rotating bins, and the prices were just as varied.  I eyed the top of the range rotating bin at $200.00 and thought about the bonus I had received which would pay for it.  Still mulling over my decision I came across this bin - at half the price it seemed a bargain! 

So somehow we purchased this little beauty and it quietly swayed back and forth as we drove home from the big smoke.  That night I dreamed of finding the perfect place for it, then filling it up with the half matured compost from my old bin.  How many times would it be tumbled every day?   Could anyone tumble it when they walked past or would there have to be a specified "tumbler"?   Oh this was exciting!  Surely there are other people who get this excited about a new compost bin?  Hubby reckons I am a special breed!  the following evening I worked into the dark setting it up.  My! doesn't it look pretty!


It went into the area where the old bin had been and the already completed compost was moved into the bin out by the back fence.  Hopefully that will just sit there and mature and attract lots of worms and just get better and better. The brochure said this tumbling bin will work better if filled in one go and then processed, so the top half of the unprocessed compost was added, along with some lovely dried leaves, some clippings and kitchen waste.  Right now we tumble it every time we go out into the garden so that should mix it really well.
So now I have the processing compost, and the finished compost, but where do I put the next lot as it accumulates?  Do I need 3 bins?  I know that if you have bays three are recommended, but I don't have the space for three bins.  I had a bucket with holes drilled into it that I had intended to make an in ground worm bin, so for now I  put that on top of the finished compost in the old bin while it accumulates.  I don't want to attract flies and cockroaches, so have been wrapping it all in newspaper.  Mulched leaves can accumulate in a rubbish bin, and green clippings I can lay on the ground under the plants.  What does everyone else do in this situation?

16 comments:

  1. Africanaussie, I have a much smaller garden than yours and still finding the right solution to compost. The kitchen waste is the problem. Btw, do you use bacteria composter to hasten the compost process?

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    Replies
    1. Stephanie,
      My bin was working well I had a great system, just wanted to try something which made mixing a bit easier. I liked adding to it along the way and then mixing just the top part so that the bottom half could mature. I have never added bacteria composter before but bought some to add to this bin. I normally add lemongrass or comfrey leaves which accelerate the process.

      Delete
  2. How would the worms get into this bin? Or would you buy worms and add them to the compost?

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    Replies
    1. Sami, I think these make compost really quickly and then you have to put them into the other bin to mature and finish off with the worms.

      Delete
  3. Congrats to you, the proud mama of a new compost bin.....I'm jealous.
    Now your plants are going to look even BETTER!!! Is this possible? Have fun.

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    Replies
    1. Virginia,
      Oh I do hope I prove you right!

      Delete
  4. Poor worms must get dizzy with all that tumbling!

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    Replies
    1. Audrey,
      Oh that is funny! As I understnd it the first part of compost procesing does nt involve worms. They only come at the end, when this compost will be placed into the other bin to mature.

      Delete
  5. Yep, you need 3 bins. Or more if you get more compost. What other choice does a compost junkie have :-)

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    Replies
    1. Laura,
      Easy for you to say what with all the room you have!I am going to see if i can get a good system going with my two bins for now.

      Delete
  6. Lol, special breed indeed! That made me giggle. It looks like a fabulous choice. I haven't as yet started making my own compost, so I can't really help with your dilemma about what to do with the next lot of compost. It sounds like you might have to get a couple more tumblers!

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    Replies
    1. Bernie,
      Oh gosh I thought with your lovely garden that you would be a diehard composter.Hopefully I can win you over.

      Delete
  7. We have a compost tumbler. It seemed to work best if we only half filled it and kept it moister than you would keep a heap. Also, things needed to be chopped fairly finely. It did produce compost more quickly than the bins but with the volume we use the bins work better for us. We use the tumbler to mix our own potting mix now.

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  8. missy,
    Oh thank you, I was just thinking mine was a bit wet, but it is getting a bit hotter now. I would be interested to hear what you put into your potting mix. Every time I buy a bag I swear I will never buy another....

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  9. Enjoyed reading this. On our way to buy a second bin.

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  10. Hi

    By any chance you still have the name and model number of this tumbler compost bin?

    Bunnings is no longer selling it and I'm trying to find it elsewhere. How do you find it so far?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete

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