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Which type of composter do you use? Need advice.

Discussion in 'Composting' started by Waite, Feb 25, 2018.

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  1. Waite

    Waite Well-Known Member

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    I've been an open ground guy pretty much all my life, but have been thinking about going to a tumbler to make thing easier and neater. I have used pallets and other homemade bins on and off, it seems they're all a pain to turn, so I end up going back to open ground.

    While cruising Amazon this one caught my eye. The compost tea-collecting base is a nice plus, as is the the dual chamber. It might seem a little small, but I think it'll provide enough for my square foot beds. They usually sell for about $135, is on sale for $87. Might be on closeout.

    Thoughts? Any other suggestions? I'd like to keep it around $100 if I can.

    https://www.amazon.com/Good-Ideas-C...id=1519567956&sr=8-4&keywords=compost+tumbler
     
  2. w_r_ranch

    w_r_ranch Master Gardener
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    I'm not a fan of composting myself because I don like looking at them & they attract mice/rats. I prefer to burn stuff & distribute the ashes... but that just me.
     
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  3. Waite

    Waite Well-Known Member

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    I can't burn, I live in a small city. It'll live behind the garage, so no worries there either. Aesthetics though are one reason I want to get away from open ground.
     
  4. Mr_Yan

    Mr_Yan Well-Known Member

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    I vermicompost with a mix of red wigglers and European night crawlers. This processes all my kitchen scraps and spent grains when I get around to home brewing.

    When I do large composting I like the raised bed compost in place method - some call it lasagna gardening. Layer it in a garden, cover with soil and start growing.

    A buddy of mine used one of the tumblers and it is very much a batch process thing. Load it up. Turn it for a week or two. Dump and sift out what didn't finish. He gave it up after a year.
     
  5. Waite

    Waite Well-Known Member

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    How do you overwinter them? Do you use a homemade setup?
     
  6. Mr_Yan

    Mr_Yan Well-Known Member

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    I use a series of 18 gallon tote bins (like rubbermade but cheaper) with torn up corrugated cardboard and kitchen scraps. Works out that I add a day of two worth of kitchen scraps to a bin per week - we cook from scratch for 5 people so this is not a small amount of kitchen scraps. In the winter these stay in the basement on the floor. In the summer I put them in the garage and in a wooden bin next to the garage. I have used other systems but this tote is the easiest.

    Check out this website www.redwormcomposting.com if you're interested in reading more about it.

    Worm castings are different to work with than compost - really they act closer to a fertilizer than soil compost.

    Worm bins have two things that can really go wrong
    1. They get too wet and go anaerobic and will stink badly. This is entirely avoidable - generally caused by over feeding - but tends to happen to everyone at some point . I had a bin go off on me and I just learned about it today so now the basement stinks.
    2. fruit flies take up residence - again avoidable but not uncommon at some point.
     
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  7. Waite

    Waite Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I've looked into it before. My niece and her husband do it, the bring me worm tea from time to time. Just not sure I want to deal with it over winter. I was hoping you had a newer method.
     
  8. Mr_Yan

    Mr_Yan Well-Known Member

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    There is a vermicompost method where the kitchen scraps are put into a perferated bucket and partially sunk in the garden. The theory is native composting worms will work in and out of the bucket and finish off what is in the bucket. I have not tried this but will try to find the article where I have read about it.

    On another note I shred all my fall leafs and put them over garden beds a few inches thick and let them mulch in / compost down over the winter. My lot has a large soft maple, a few dogwoods, a birch, and several shrubs worth of leafs.
     
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  9. Waite

    Waite Well-Known Member

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    I've seen that method done with 4" perforated PVC pipe. It looked pretty interesting, unfortunately space is at a premium in my beds.
     

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