How To Use Compost Tumbler


Have you recently started composting or want to try a new method of composting?

Do you want to try using a compost tumbler to make your own compost?

Are you looking for easy instructions to help you compost in a compost tumbler?

Whether you have never tried composting yet or are thinking of trying a new way to compost, this article could help you try out composting in a compost tumbler. In the sections below, we will share with you all the details you will need to start making your own compost using a compost tumbler.

Read about why a compost tumbler can be a good choice to compost, some of the things you need to be careful about, how you can use it, how much compost it can produce, and a lot more.

5 ways a compost tumbler is better than a compost bin

If you are contemplating whether you want to use a compost tumbler or a compost bin, here are a few advantages of using a compost tumbler instead of a compost bin:

Option #1

Perfect to keep rodents away:

  • A compost bin is set on the ground and gives easy access to rodents and other animals around.
  • On the other hand, a compost tumbler is mounted and closed, which makes it difficult for pests to access the compost heap.

Option #2

Easier for those who have a back problem:

  • If you have a back problem, or pain in any other part of the body, using a compost tumbler could be your best bet.
  • These are easier to turn and don’t require much hard work or effort.

Option #3

Better if you have a lot of grass clippings:

  • If you have a lot of grass clippings, you can easily add them in the tumbler without causing any odours or sludge.
  • A compost tumbler allows better air ventilation that reduces any odours.

Option #4

The whole family can give a hand:

  • Turning your compost pile regularly will help it decompose faster and improve the compost quality.
  • Tumblers are made in such a way that anyone in the family can easily turn them, every day.

Option #5

Speeds up the composting process:

  • One of the key ways to make sure that your compost mix is working well and turning into good quality compost is to turn it well.
  • A composting tumbler makes it very easy to turn the compost mix, especially as you don’t have to do it with hand each time, and turning the whole tumbler ensures that all sections of the pile are turned.

Are there any disadvantages of using compost tumblers?

There are not really any disadvantages of using a compost tumbler, but here are a few things you should keep in mind before you buy one.

  • Compost tumblers are smaller than compost bins and may not always give you a large amount of compost at a time.
  • A compost tumbler does not work the best during colder months or in colder climates. This is because during winters, they do not heat up well, and this makes the composting process take much longer than it otherwise would.
  • The compost mix in the compost tumbler will not get access to worms, which are essential to break up the ingredients and also make the mix richer.

Is it easy to use a compost tumbler?

Using a compost tumbler is fairly easy and anyone in the family can help turn it.

Detailed instructions on how to use a compost tumbler:

– How to set up your compost tumbler

  • Keep the compost tumbler in a spot where it won’t get too much moisture. A covered area is usually the best as it will keep the compost tumbler protected from too much moisture and sun.
  • If you feel that keeping it in the shade is not making it warm enough, you can cover it to contain the warmth.

– What should go inside a compost tumbler

  • This choice leaves from plants and trees
  • Peels and skins of fruits and vegetables (except citrusy ones)
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea leaves
  • Plain printer paper
  • Black or white newspaper
  • Freshly cut grass
  • Cardboard          
  • Waste from the yard which has not been treated with any chemicals
  • Wood shavings
  • Sawdust 

– What should NOT go inside a compost tumbler

  • No tea or coffee bags
  • Avoid adding dairy-based products or scraps from meat and seafood as these can create a lot of odour in the compost pile
  • Bones
  • Onions and peels from citrus fruits as they can slow down the composting process
  • Waste from house pets such as dog or cat waste
  • Waste from the yard which has been treated with any chemicals  
  • Coloured newspaper or coloured paper
  • Glossy paper
  • Sticky paper labels on fruits and vegetables
  • Sanitary waste
  • Greasy food waste 

– How to get compost started inside the tumbler

  • Start collecting all your green and brown waste till you have a sizeable amount to add in the pile.
  • Make sure that you collect enough material to fill up the compost tumbler.
  • Fill it up to capacity with a 1:1 ratio of green and brown parts.

– How to keep compost cooking inside the tumbler

  • Turn the tumbler once a day or as mentioned by manufacturer.

– How to know when your compost is ready

Once the compost is ready, it will:

  • Smell sweet and earthy
  • Have a crumbly texture
  • Look dark and rich in colour

Is a compost tumbler great for beginners to use?

Yes, anyone including beginners can use it. These are easy to fill, easy to turn, and easy to empty out as well!

Can you use it to produce a lot of compost in a month or a year?

If you want to get more compost from your compost tumbler, try the following:

  • Use two compost tumblers, one for the regular process and the other where you keep adding new ingredients. Adding fresh ingredients to a mix that is well into its composting process could slow it down, hence the second one.
  • Collect a lot of brown and green matter and add it all in the compost tumbler at one go. This will ensure that the composting process starts off faster.
  • Turn, turn, turn the compost tumbler to speed up the composting process.

Who is the ideal type of person to own a compost tumbler?

  • A compost tumbler will be useful for if you are looking to produce compost for your home use or for your family, kitchen, window or balcony garden.
  • Using a compost bin will also be great if you are a small to medium size family.
  • It works well if you want the compost regularly and fast.

The process of composting can take anything between a few months to almost a year, and sometimes, even more. Remember, the quality of the compost and how fast it is ready to use will also depend on various factors such as the ingredients you are using, the way the composting process is happening and even the weather where you are!

We would suggest you give the process its natural time and keep the above tips in mind. Even if you fail a few times, don’t give up, because eventually, the results you will see are worth trying for.

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