Sunday, March 11, 2012

Starting Compost

I purchased this Dual Batch Tumbling Composter because of its rotational drum and two chambers. My only complaint: it took a bit of time to put together, as there's so many fiddly nuts and bolts and about 20 parts to fit together. Solid build though. Rotates smoothly and lots of air pockets for good aeration and water drainage. I'm happy with it.

The neat design to this composter is it's two chambers. That way, I have two batches to work with and hopefully can harvest my first batch in what the instructions say: 5-6 weeks. I can add less coarse bits to one side to start this spring and add regular compost to the other side. While one side newly composts the other side I can begin to use. That's the theory anyway...  It also has a great lid that is animal proof (hopefully) and it's off the ground. So critters if trying to get on it, will fall off because it rotates easily.

One of my hanging baskets
To start I added some soil from my winter containers. It's spent soil from last years annuals, and to initiate decomposition you need some soil. I also added just a skimming of soil from my garden (it has the microbes to help break down the refuse).

It's best to add materials in layers:
  • a brown layer (leaves, soil)
  • a wet (kitchen) layer 
  • and a green layer in stages.

My brown layer was made up of leaves, some leftover fall annuals (cut up), some perennial die-back and clippings from my rose bush.

The wet layer was made up of coffee grounds, potato peelings...etc. (Never compost dairy, meat, bones and wood ashes).

My green layer was the clippings I cut last week for homemade mulch. 

I've yet to fill the entire left chamber. I added water to get all the soil and material inside slightly moist (not soggy).

I will fill it all up once my other containers have thawed out. They were still frozen. lol 

Now that temperatures are getting warmer and there's plenty of bright spring sunshine, warmth and moisture will begin the process.  Will keep you posted as to how long it will take to get workable compost!


  1. Now that tumbling composter looks like the daddy. Lookign forward to seeing how you get on with it. I am being given a plastic compost bin by my Dad soon, so we can start composting once again.

  2. Yes, I too am looking forward to it. I opened it last night to fill with kitchen waste and steam came out, given it was cooler in the evening.

  3. hi,
    I found your blog because I was looking for a review of this particular composter. Now I see that I've been reading through your other posts for an hour! Your blog is entertaining, informative, and inspiring. Thank you for all the ideas, links, and information.

  4. I've had this composter now...for 3 years. Can't part with it. It's left outside all year and the plastic is still like new. I haven't had to schlep bags of soil anymore through my backyard. I just buy some pearlite to make potting compound. It works great. Glad you like my blog. Sometimes, I wonder who really reads my posts! Thanks a lot for stopping by!


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