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The spinning (sometimes called a barrel) or tumbler composter is a commercial gimmick to convince you that anyone, including small children or pets, can turn the whole pile at once in a few seconds.
An open pile on the ground, the tackiest homemade bin, the wost designed commercial bin you could buy are all infinitely better than a tumbler or spinning compost bin. A compost bin that suspends the pile in the air or has a bottom that blocks access to the soil is worse than useless.
Don’t even get me started on the silly little doors at the bottom of many commercial bins designed to leave the impression that you can throw stuff in the top and shovel compost out of the bottom. If you want a pile that turns itself and requires minimal maintenance, an in-home worm compost bin is the real answer.
If you want to have an outdoor pile, the old fashioned open pile, a homemade enclosure, or the simplest commercial enclosure is your best route to composting success! This post happened because a friend at work emailed earlier in the week to ask about the current fad for rotating compost bins. Just stumbled across your blog and this entry while searching for info about ecological composters. Pests including raccoons shouldn’t be a problem for any style bin or even a free form pile… If you are mixing enough browns in with the greens.
Personally I love my tumbler, so much in fact that I bought a second one this year so I can have one finishing cooking while I’m filling the other. Either way of compost you should be able to put your hand in, grab some compost and once pulled out, it should not wet you hand. Keep in mind I wrote this post because I have seen far too many disasters and I don’t believe in spending money when some thing simpler and more attractive will do the job better. Keep in mind I wrote this post because I have seen far too many disasters and I don’t believe in spending money when something simpler and more attractive will do the job better. I am not sure you are adding browns at all from your description, grass clippings are just more greens.
The boxy shape of your tumbler probably is helping, not sure why leaving out the browns would help. I was forced to give up the backyard pile for a couple reasons…yellow jackets buried down and built a huge nest in it last year and it also attracted possums that drove the dogs nuts at night. After reading some of these posts about the tumblers, I suspect these folks are more urban? I would recommend avoiding a container the previously held chemicals, even if it was free, and even if it was carefully cleaned.
I am curious if anyone has somehow used the heat from a hot compost pile to heat their home?
On the other hand, for those of us who have a bad back and knees and difficulty with turning heavy piles of compost as a result, it seems that tumbling would address a number of problems. My over 25 years experience of a tumbler composter is just the opposite of the negative assertions of this post. Backyard Ecosystem began as an expression of my determination to make a difference in our own backyard.
Of all American pastimes, perhaps the most popular is musing about what the Founding Fathers would have thought about this or that issue. And although a lot of things have changed since they were around, the Founding Fathers' advice has aged remarkably well, and continues to inform our idea of what it means to live a good life. The first US president, George Washington, believed that a good life had to be an ethical one.
Washington frequently spoke about the importance of putting all of one's focus on following a higher purpose. Why are you asking me for personal information?We collect personal information including your contact and demographic information for the purposes of identification, account administration and display of personalised content and advertising. Samantha Stosur of Australia won her third round match at the French Open in straight sets.
Stosur recently told ESPN the Magazine that she achieves her strength through total body workouts, that she rarely lifts weights, and never does bicep curls.

The 30-year-old told ESPN that while her big shoulders and arms give her an advantage on serves, but that the downside is that it is hard to look nice in a formal dress.
Even in 2006, when she was just 22, you could see the beginnings of what her arms would become. Pink blossoms will soon appear on trees, and the National Cherry Blossom Festival starts on March 20.
I cut this piece of poster board in half lengthwise because I want it to look more like an art panel than a poster.
The bottom of 2-liter soda bottle has five points like the five petals of a cherry blossom. Rachel Meeks is the voice behind the popular blog Small Notebook, a resource for simplifying and organizing your home.
Sign up for the web’s most entertaining (while informative) weekly newsletter on your pregnancy! Do you think this would work on a stretched canvas because the pressure you have to put on the bottle to make the flowers? I think it would definitely work on canvas if you use enough paint because you don’t have to apply pressure at all. My concern about painting it directly on a wall is that it can drip, and later if you decide to paint over it you might still see the raised pattern from the flowers.
Most are too small to heat up properly, can’t be turned when full or nearly full, do not provide enough ventilation, do not let the compost contact the soil, and are just generally gimmicky, expensive, and useless. They should especially be uninterested in tunneling under since the bottom edge of the pile should have the oldest material that is fartherest allong in the process of decomposition even if you are adding new material to the top or center of the pile. I think Composting is one of those things you just go with what works for the given situation. It consists of 4 – 3 ft cedar posts (home depot cut for me) and 32 cedar slats for the sides.
Early on that should just make things really messy, latter on you are starving the compost of the bulk (the equivalent of fiber in your own diet) that makes compost useful for storing and releasing water once it is applied to the garden. I made myself, as I am now a single mom with 4 little ones, three of which are still in elem.
A worm bin should be small enough you can easily move it into shelter for the hottest or coldest parts of the year. I saw a guy on youtube who ran a length of garden hose through his compost pile to heat water for showering.
You just need to keep the hose in an appropriate mix of greens and browns that are in the hot phase of composing. I took a tour of Mount’s Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach and the guide told us the snakes love the compost pile. It’s easy enough to add a couple of buckets of nice, wormy soil into the tumbler and so incorporate the microbes. It it really isn’t that hard and as long as you use your fork corectly it should be good for your back. By deterring the raccoons, squirrels and chipmunks I reduce the likelihood of a coyote being drawn into my yard.
I have had a rotating for over 20 years, which allowed me to compost on the second floor of an apartment building, as well as in a backyard. But on one issue in particular, there's no guesswork necessary: the Founding Fathers spoke and wrote volumes about what it means to lead a successful life. But what has sports fans buzzing is what may be the most sculpted body at this year’s tournament.
But I just want to do it on a small piece of poster board and just put it up high where my cats can’t jump and tear it in half or something!
Turning one all day will not mix the contents as well as 15 minutes with a pitchfork or shovel on the ground.
I was considering a compost bin but had heard some mixed reviews…now I have more space at our new home and wondering how to start.

I wonder if one of the things we have lost in gardening is the automatic pest and weed management that chickens on a small farm provide. Mostly because (not only because of the potential smell) but also because of the fear of contaminating groundwater when it rains, ESPECIALLY for those of us who humanure.
If you are worried that this is going on then you probably need to add a lot of browns to the pile.
This post is a disservice to those considering a tumbler composter as a option, particularly for urban apartment dwellings whose options are limited. I used some leftover wall paint from when we painted my daughter’s bedroom which made it nice and thick.
Vermicomposting worm bins can save the world because they can operate effectively in the smallest of homes.
Nothing else is going to be a problem if you have mixed in enough browns, wet the pile evenly and covered the pile. Twenty years ago I would have suggested you try a back box with a lot of complicated piping. The reason why old-fashion outhouses (the granddaddy composter) simply didn’t work, was because the feces seeped into the free earth, when stormwater forced it down, causing all types of disgusting bacteria infections to pollute the wells and ruin the water. I did find that the carbon to nitrogen ratio is completely out of wack with what everyone says for general composting. The other will be from the last 2 months or so and is in it’s final stage of turning it over before I use it for plants, gardening, ect.
I do find that this kind of composting is quite wet so I also use my paper shredder and add brown and white pure paper to balance the moisture. Now I would just suggest you buy a solar panel or six and an sell anything you don’t need back to your utility company.
Examine the contents of the pile in a microscope and you will find a whole additional level of the the ecosystem operating (psychrophilic bacteria, mesophilic bacteria, and thermophilic bacteria), these microscopic decomposers are the real backbone of any pile. I alternate each one on a 2 month basis since once you have a good pile of waste, it will heat up and compost in 6-8 weeks. Enough panels and you could have a positive balance on the electric bill every month of the year. Use them to decorate the outside of your garden shed or garage and hang them on the exterior walls.
None of these things can efficiently reach your pile if it is not in direct contact with the soil.
Be one with nature, and ecological, but there’s nothing wrong with finding ways to cut your workload, and be cleaner to mother nature.
Wouldn’t that end up being the most unusual facade?View in galleryWith a big plate, two tiny ones and a little bit of paint you can make some lovely garden art. I do wonder, many of the tumblers I’ve seen used are rather vertical, where as mine are more boxy, I think that must help it aerate better, because 5-6 turns and stuff is usually fluffed up pretty nicely. They really help, are cheap and once you have them, just keep putting them back into the piles. You could, for example, make some unusual flowers.View in galleryTurn an old plate into a bird feeder and hang it from a branch in your backyard or garden. They can each be painted a different color for a more eye-catching look.View in galleryThis is something you can make with lots of plastic spoons and a lot of patience. Yo need a piece of driftwood or a plank, a few forks, some nails and something to bend the forks with so they get this funky look.Individual forks or spoons can be attached to small wooden blocks to make hooks for the entryway. They can be your new key holders and they can each have a different color: one for each member of the family.

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