How to Use a Compost Tumbler Bin

how to use a compost tumbler binThough we don't have the largest garden in the world, we certainly have one of a good size that needs attention. To keep supplemental costs down, we use our own compost as an additive.

A compost tumbler bin performs the same job as a stationary composting bin, with one exception. It breaks down the organic material in a fraction of the time if used correctly.

How to Use a Compost Tumbler Bin 

compost tumbler bin
Tumblers work on the concept of continually mixing your material, either in an automated fashion as with industrial rigs, or simply each time you add volume to your mix. Once added, you crank the side handle or hand-roll the bin to thoroughly mix the compost. 

If, however, you do not turn the handle, you effectively have an elevated bin that will create your black gold in about the same amount of time as a stationary compost bin. It comes down to how much effort you put into the process. We keep ours close in relation to the garden for easy of transport.

Smaller Compost Tumbler Bin Units

These are designed for the homeowner in mind who has an average-sized garden of about 40 square feet. The units are easy to turn, but do not produce as much material as larger models due to size restrictions. These units are also less conspicuous on your property, and can be moved if the need arises.

Larger Compost Tumbler Bin Units

compost tumbler binsThese behemoths are targeted toward a larger growing area, so that would be anything over 40 square feet. Plan on these compost tumbler bin applications to remain where you put them until they fall apart. 

There do exist larger hand-cranked compost tumbler bin solutions, but if the full volume is there, the weight does make it difficult to crank. Other types of tumblers are available that work on a principal of automated rotary gears, and others that are as simple as can be. They are round, and require you to push or pull them on the ground in order to mix the compost within.

Other Compost Bin Options

compost tumbler
There are several ways to compost material in your backyard, or even on an apartment deck. Not only is there the traditional pallet-constructed compost bin found on many organic farms, but stationary plastic one's as well. 

For those in apartments who have a need to fill only a few planters, a plastic bin drilled with a few holes with a lid on top will work, or even a black, construction-grade trash bag that can be lifted and shaken to mix the compost within. If you choose to purchase a compost tumbler, make sure it is the right choice for your situation, and be sure to buy locally.

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Kippi O'Hern said…
I have been using a drum with the bottom cut out but turning the compost is impossible so I need to purchase one of these! Have a wonderful day, Kippi #kippiathome
WT Abernathy said…
These are really helpful when turning the compost over. My first compost bin was a standard black, plastic box and I just didn't work it properly. I think many folks fail at making good compost because of the work involved. A tumbler takes the stress out of forking it over all the time and mixes it pretty well at the same time.