Compost tumbler

Soils, peat, compost and other growing media

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Compost tumbler

Postby claire » 30 May 2006 19:55

Hi - have you had or do you know of anyone who has had experience of a compost tumber (see ... ategoryID= for a picture and description)? Do they work well and how long dies it really take on average to nake the compost? thanks,
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Postby gardening_guru » 02 Jun 2006 08:10

Hi Claire,

I have some experience of using a 'compost tumbler' in one of my customers' gardens, although I don't use one in my own garden. My two comments are:
1. The contents of the container can get very heavy in a short space of time, especially if there is a high water content in the rotting contents, you have to be strong just to swing the tumbler on the frame that allows it to swing round and round. Imagine the content weight of a 220 litre garden compost bin suspended in the air, that is effectively what this is.
2. I would question how mixed the contents actually get once the container is more than one third full, I have found the turning process just moves the content up and down the length of the container, not actually mixing it.

Call me old fashioned, but I don't think you can beat turning compost with a standard garden fork, it really gets air into the mix. However, when I worked at RBG Kew JCB diggers were used to turn the 2 storey heaps!

Also remember to leave the lid off any container when rain is forecast as water helps the rotting process.

Regards, George.
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