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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-24-2010 02:41 AM
ckmotorka Thanks for the reply. I had a feeling that was the answer. I guess I'll keep my old (completely inefficient) can in place as a "staging" bin while the tumbler cures.
02-22-2010 09:43 AM
root*children ck - I would add some really hot stuff - like fresh manure of fresh grass clippings, these will heat up very quickly and speed up composting. Other than that, yes I would either add a second composter or have a bigger bin
02-22-2010 01:25 AM
ckmotorka I've been composting for over a year using converted 20 gal garbage cans with the bottoms cut out and air holes drilled all around them, etc. Slow and inefficient are understatements. I just built a rotating composting bin using a 30 gal barrel and added all the stuff from my "current" can. My bin is almost full. I add stuff nearly every day. The bin will be full long before the compost is fully "cooked." Here's my question: What do I do while I wait for the compost in my tumbler to cure? Short of having multiple bins, what's the answer?
11-14-2009 01:14 AM
taraht Hi Composters!

My master gardener friend helped me with my first garden this year here in Michigan. I made a compost pile in the field behind my house and composted EVERYTHING because I didn't care if animals helped lower the pile. We never used it on the garden, though... it was just for reducing waste/smells.

Now, I am moving to South Carolina (never to harvest my asparagus or strawberries ). I am realizing that I depended on my friend too much and now have no idea how to garden. I Googled "south carolina organic gardening consultant" and various derivatives there of but no help. Anyone have a website to get me started?

I saw a solar heated composting system online that claimed you could add meats/bones and such. I am looking for the simplest system for trash/smell reduction. Must it be meat free to be used as garden enhancement?

06-23-2009 01:09 PM
Originally Posted by notwonamesalike View Post
Tumbling Composter: Pros: Fast, Easy to turn. Great for our grass clippings when we've let the lawn get to long to just fall during mowing. Cons: Small batch composting. Can't continually add stuff or it never finishes.
Aah- that's kind of what I was thinking might happen. I asked about that earlier in the thread, but no one answered. I like your idea of using the pile as a holding site until you can put more in the tumbler though. Thanks!!
06-23-2009 01:07 PM
notwonamesalike double post...sorry.
06-23-2009 12:55 PM
Originally Posted by changingseasons View Post
Which one is your favorite? I'm still trying to decide what type I want to build.
They all have their advantages and disadvantages.

Worm bin: Pros - GREAT compost - nutrient rich, kid loves it because worms are fun. Easy to maintain. Cons - we generate a lot of compost - so it doesn't handle it all. Can't add yard debris on top of our kitchen scraps because it's for small scale composting. Separating worms from castings is involved.

Tumbling Composter: Pros: Fast, Easy to turn. Great for our grass clippings when we've let the lawn get to long to just fall during mowing. Cons: Small batch composting. Can't continually add stuff or it never finishes.

Electric: Pros: Fast! 2 weeks. Cons: Noisy enough that we keep it in the garage. Smelly. It's hard to figure out the brown to green ratio (only smelly when you open it though - and not a big deal when out in the garage.)

Wire compost pile. Pro's - by far the easiest. I just toss stuff in and leave it. Haven't taken a batch out yet. We were sort of thinking it would be a great holding "tank" for our compost material while we were waiting for a batch to finish in the rotating composter. No smell yet. Cons: Noticed lots more critters (bugs really) in this composter. No biggie.

My favorite though is probably the worm bin. I just love the compost that comes out of it.
06-22-2009 05:43 PM
Originally Posted by notwonamesalike View Post
I've decided I have a composting addiction.

I have:

1 large chicken wire compost bin.
1 large ceder vermicompost bing
1 large tumbling composter
1 nature mill electric composter

Which one is your favorite? I'm still trying to decide what type I want to build.
06-22-2009 04:07 PM
notwonamesalike I've decided I have a composting addiction.

I have:

1 large chicken wire compost bin.
1 large ceder vermicompost bing
1 large tumbling composter
1 nature mill electric composter

06-20-2009 10:12 AM
Quirky Mulvah, it's not too late! You can pick up a bale or two of straw, which is actually much better than grass for composting because grass tends to mat. Or if you have leaves you can use those too although they do still tend to mat somewhat. It's actually great to have a large volume composter because it will go much more quickly. If you have any kind of ag coop around you, like an Agway, give them a call. Or look on Craig's List.
06-19-2009 09:45 PM
Mulvah Edited. I succumbed.
06-01-2009 06:08 PM
cera :
05-25-2009 07:22 PM
changingseasons subbing...

We will soon (hopefully) have our first house, and finally a yard to garden in!!

I'm looking at all the different DIY composters that people have, and can't make up my mind. I like the idea of the barrel on rollers (very cool pics earlier in the thread!)- that way I don't have to stir, just spin the barrel. But then I like the idea of having 2 compost piles going- one composting, the other one to throw fresh stuff in... and 2 barrels on stands seem like they would take up way too much space. Also- are there holes drilled into the barrels (I didn't notice any holes in the pictures), or are you just getting air flow when you open and spin it? And if you only have one barrel, do you just scoop out some compost and let the rest of the stuff continue rotting (while still adding more to it)?

Any major pros or cons for rolling barrel vs. pile? I can't wait to get started!!
04-30-2009 03:27 PM
proudmamanow subbing...this is our 2nd year with our composter, not sure how it has overwintered & think it needs some TLC. Looking forward to learning!
04-29-2009 04:48 AM
lightheart Okay I was the last poster here... but that's been a month ago...

My tidbit of advise for today, if you turn a stinky compost pile do it the same day that you (or your neighbor) mows the grass. It sorta covers the smell.

I have a too wet, too stinky compost pile that's not heating up, it needed help, so today I cut the grass (put the clippings in the pile too) and turned it, can't say if it's truly less stinky than it was, but I tried. Oh and I also went to the coffee shop and got some coffee grounds to mix in which I made sure to save some of to add on the top so that hopefully passerbyers will smell coffee along with fresh mowed lawn and not rot.
03-25-2009 10:28 PM
lightheart I have never used an accelerator before so I really don't want to bash or discourage their use.. I can see that they can help the pile especially if their main ingredients are a high nitrogen something. Maybe even some minerals or trace elements that will boost the power of the compost...

Some tips to get quick compost- carbon-nitrogen ratio try for 30 to 1, make the pieces small that you are adding, better to have some different size pieces in there so things just don't mat down, but no logs or anything huge, having layers of air in a compost pile is good. turn turn turn and then turn some more, moisture, not sloppy wet, but not dry. you can use a piece of black plastic, white/clear plastic/ an old window to make a solar cooker of sorts to keep the pile warmer and the heat in the pile.

I have heard of folks using animal feed, something high in nitrogen to give their pile more nitrogen... I'm still up in the air on whether that's a good thing or not in the long run and for the big picture of the world... might not be food for humans, but it's food... but then I think what about using things like blood, bone, fish meal... potential food also ... but I would be more likely to use something like that. all that said... might want to check what is in the accelerator your looking at buying and compare it's ingredients to a bag of dog food or rabbit pellets and see if you could get more bang for your buck.

I would be interested in hearing from folks that used an actual accelerator too and see what their thoughts were on the results
03-25-2009 07:50 PM
katie9143 anyone used a compost accelerator or have made one themselves? i want to speed up my compost to hopefully use it in a few months in my garden?

11-18-2008 10:57 PM
carmel23 oh, and I was surprised to read that people were concerned about having bugs in the compost pile. You absolutely need bugs to help in the process of breaking down the greens and browns into compost. Mites, worms, ants, all of these bugs aid in the process. They're called mesofauna. Not that you would want to attract bugs that will then turn on your garden, or attract other pests, but I wouldn't freak if I saw a rolly polly, or bugs in general.

11-18-2008 10:26 PM
FarmerCathy That might be a good thing for me since I've only stirred mine once.
11-18-2008 09:41 PM
carmel23 I was reading in the grow biointensive book that it is actually better not to turn the compost pile because, although it takes longer for the matter to break down, you get better quality compost by not turning (and just layering browns and greens, and letting it cook)...

Has anyone NOT turned their compost and gotten better, richer compost? I know it is kind of hard to say, but even anecdotal observation is welcome :
11-17-2008 09:24 AM
ema-adama What a great thread. I finally got around to buying myself a composter for my birthday and have been systematically putting all non animal waste into the bin, with leaves and cuttings from our garden.... (about 2 months now)

And it is just the hugest fly fest. (I have figured out from this thread that I needed to be putting 'brown' stuff in more regularly - so I am starting today to throw 'green' and then 'brown' every day. What I am wondering is if it is necessary to turn, and if you are turning to you turn the whole lot each time?

There is very little heat coming out of the bin at the moment. But the pile is not getting any higher either (a sign that it is decomposing?)

Thanks for any advice.
11-11-2008 06:43 PM
Teenytoona Heh! That's advice enough! So you drilled the begeebus out of it? A few holes here and there won't do?
11-10-2008 06:11 PM
Smokering Teenytoona: Yes, drill holes. Believe me, you want to drill holes. Anaerobic bacteria cause a stench that has to be smelled to be believed... and I found that out the hard way. Sides, top, bottom... wherever a hole can be drilled, drill one!
11-09-2008 11:37 PM
kundemama subbing
11-09-2008 08:38 PM

with this cover,cp.html

Can't vouch for it, I live in an apartment. But together they only cost $60.
11-05-2008 06:27 PM
Teenytoona DUH! I forgot to sub
11-05-2008 06:26 PM
Teenytoona More questions!!

We've got an awful lot of rubbermaid trashcans so I decided to make one a compost bin. I just put layers of green then brown, etc into it and lidded it. DO I need to drill holes into it? Where do I drill holes - side, top, bottom? Can I lid it then roll it around to stir it? I started it Saturday and haven't checked it since.

We've raked up a bit of leaves as well. Will these sit ok in a pile all year until I need them?
11-01-2008 08:39 PM
Quirky You could maybe build a pallet compost bin and build a lid for the top to keep the critters out? If you were careful to attach them true and square, maybe a hinged lid of another pallet on top?
11-01-2008 07:51 PM
Lolagirl Thanks for the encouragement! I'm still scouring the internet for an inexpensive, contained compost bin of some sort. I've also been battling squirrels recenty, they trashed my pumpkins on Halloween and have been trying to get at the birdfeeders, so I'm especially concerned that they and the raccoons will be all over an exposed compost heap.
10-29-2008 09:07 PM
Originally Posted by root*children View Post
That's what I made also, but I'm pretty sure a racoon could easily get into it.
Hmmm.... That would be a tough one.
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