The ComposTumbler Has Helped us Create a Very Dark Brown, Earthy Smelling Compost.
The ComposTumbler compost is finished so I decided to take it all out and spread it around plants in my garden. It is very dark brown and has a good earth smell. It is amazing that it can smell like that after all the rotting stuff that went into it.
The Compost is Easy to Harvest
I used the compost tub that I ordered directly from the company to catch the compost. It was very easy to get it out-just keep turning with the door open. Sometimes it missed the compost tub so maybe next time I would use a tarp to catch the finished product. I don’t want to lose any of the precious compost because I missed the tub. The tub got filled up very fast and overflowed so we did it in steps. We ended up getting 4 tubs of compost which fit nicely into 4 black trash bags. They weren’t full though because then they would have been really heavy.
The Process Took Longer Than 14 Days As Advertised
This process took about 3 1/2 months. It took a while to actually fill the tumbler and then we just let the micro-organisms go to work. I wasn’t willing to cut everything into really small pieces to get the 14 day compost. There are several requirements to be able to produce 14 day compost which I didn’t do. I ended up with great compost anyway, it just took longer. My one piece of feedback is that the tumbler is quite large and for a smaller family it will take a while to fill it up so maybe it would be better to purchase the smaller one called the Back Porch ComposTumbler. It also costs less!
My new compostumbler is getting full. The other day I looked in. It was more than 3/4 full. It has been very wet looking so I didn’t think my mix of greens and browns was correct. So I have been adding shredded leaves as the brown material. The leaves are a good addition, mixing in nicely, absorbing some of the wetness. I can feel how much is in there when I rotate it. It feels heavy and I can hear the kerplunk as the material goes around. Even though there is so much in there and it is heavy, the gearing system makes it easy to turn.
I wanted to take a picture of it being so full. So I went out a few days later with my camera in hand and now it looks to be over 1/2 full. The compost is shrinking! I was surprised that the compost had compressed so quickly. It must be working well. That is just the nature of compost. Your pile can be very large and as the compost critters start to work, the pile gets smaller. It is the same in the worm bin. I start off with a worm bin full of moistened newspaper and after a week the pile goes down a little as the worms work the scraps and the newspaper.
When I saw that the compost had shrunk, I thought I would keep adding kitchen scraps to build it up. After thinking about it, I decided that I would like to see a finished product. If I keep adding kitchen scraps then it will prolong the process because all the new food scraps will need to be composted. So I am stopping and letting the process complete itself so I can see the finished compost. I will just add the food scraps to another bin for awhile. I am very excited to see the finished product.
Read more about what kind of compost bin to buy at Compact Compost Tumbler. The picture above is a Compact Compostumbler.
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I recently bought a new compost tumbler: the actual Compostumbler. I have wanted one of these for the longest time and I had never taken the plunge. Now I am the proud owner of a Compact Compost Tumbler. It took about an hour and a half to put together. I hired a handy man. He said it came with good instructions, plenty of extra screws and things and it was actually easy to put together. It took about an hour and a half.
I am quite surprised by the size of the tumbler. It holds 9.5 bushels or three 30 gallon trash bags. It is hard to actually visualize how much space 3 black trash bags full of kitchen scraps and some kind of browns takes up. I have already dumped a lot of stuff in there and you can feel that it is somewhat heavy when you turn it. But there is room for a lot more. I almost need help from some neighbors to fill it up.
The claim is that you can make compost in 14 days. There are some qualifications to that claim that you learn about after you read the directions.
- First they say that the kitchen scraps should be cut into small pieces and any browns that you would use should also be in small pieces. For instance, leaves should be shredded so that they can decompose faster.
- The correct mix of greens and browns should be used. See my post on Using Greens and Browns in Composting.
- The Compostumbler needs to be full. It needs that much volume to create the heat for the best environment for composting. Composting still works without the heat, it just takes longer.
So in my situation I am not going to get compost in 14 days because I am not cutting up my kitchen scraps into small pieces though I do shred my leaves. It also is going to take some time to fill it up so that will delay the process.
In order to compost with the least bit of bother this is a real star!! You don’t have to worry about turning your compost pile. The tumbler turns quite easily and it is really a pleasure to go out and turn it knowing that the compost is getting aerated. It sure beats turning a compost pile for me, though I am sure it is good exercise and very satisfying to watch the compost progressing for those of you who do turn compost piles. It also can create compost quickly because it can be turned so often creating lots of aeration. You don’t have to worry about animal pests getting into your compost because it is off the ground and inaccessible. It really presents a win-win situation for the beginning composter who wants to go green and start composting.