Composting is something that just about anyone has ever tried in their life.
Actually, it’s a very effective way to make good use of the food scraps among other yard wastes and that is why most people love it.
Also, composting could save you more landfill space than you ever imagined.
More to that, it presents to you the rich, fertile soil suitable for planting and any other home gardening needs.
However, there is always one challenge that most people who try composting face.
The compost piles tend to be either too small or too unsightly.
All in all, with the newly improved compost tumblers, this situation could be a lot more different.
This is because the compost tumblers offer ultimate aeration and the added advantage of keeping your compost in an enclosed container.
Oh well, if you tried to compost before using the compost tumblers before but it all failed, don’t give up yet.
Below are a few tips on how to turn the kitchen waste into good quality compost feed.
The best thing about this is that all you need for this transformation is the right balance of the organic compost matter, temperature oxygen, moisture as well as the right number of microorganisms.
Shall we get started?
What is a Compost Tumbler?
In case you are wondering what the compost tumbler is; I’ll break it down for you in a few.
This is a simple barrel that can be turned over and rotated freely.
Often, this barrel is made from recycled plastic, then filled with kitchen and organic yard wastes.
The entire composting process is contained within the tumbler.
The compost tumbler is the most effective enclosed bin method of composting waste.
This is because, with the compost tumbler, it’s possible to maintain the optimum temperatures in the tumbler.
In this case, the tumbler acts as a great insulator and the constant turning of the compost keeps the microbes in there well aerated and fully active.
The good thing about the compost tumblers is that some designs even come with aeration spikes whose work is bringing in the air into the compost.
More to that, the aeration spikes prevent the clumping of the composting materials inside the tumbler.
While some of the tumblers come with small holes on the ends for aeration, this helps to speed up the process of composting.
More peas / compost tumbler in the background pic.twitter.com/n7zQwlINFQ
— Hanuas Sepaa (@bakari_tafuta) September 6, 2018
What Can I Compost in a Tumbler?
In case you are new to composting and you are wondering what you can and cannot compost. Here is an outline that you can follow;
⦁ Kitchen Food Scraps; smoked, fried, raw and cooked foods
⦁ Bread; moldy or dried
⦁ Coffee grounds
⦁ Shredded paper
⦁ Tea bags and Tea leaves
⦁ Soft plant waste like leaves
Tip; You can make some leaf-mold tea for your compost.
In this case, you can use the leaves to make some nutrient-rich tea.
Here you should make something that resembles a tea bag.
In that, you can wrap a pile of leaves in a burlap then immerse it in a bucket of water.
This should be left to cook for three days or so then you remove it and dump the contents in the compost tumbler.
You can use the sipped out nutrient-rich water to water the plants in your garden.
Warning; Never compost dirty diapers or pet waste.
Also, avoid throwing metal, plastic, glass, dairy products, meat charcoal, adhesives, weeds, clipping with pesticides.
This is because such materials will contaminate your healthy organic compost.
In the long run, the compost made will only impede growth in plants or cause a very foul smell during the composting process.
The Benefits of Composting
⦁ Recycling of the Kitchen and yard waste.
Composting is one of the most important things that you can ever do with your yard and kitchen waste.
In that, composting helps to divert at least 30% of the household waste far from the garbage can.
This plays a major role in reducing the effects of global warming and unexpected climatic changes.
Normally, when the kitchen and yard garbage hits the landfill, it tends to lack the ideal amount of air for quick decomposition.
Instead, as the waste breaks down, it creates methane gas which is harmful to the environment.
In that, it facilitates global warming and climatic changes.
⦁ Soil conditioning
When you compost your waste, you are simply creating rich humus for the garden instead.
This humus then helps to add the required nutrients to the soil as well as facilitate the soil to retain its moisture.
⦁ Introduction of the beneficial organisms to your soil
When you add compost to your soil, you simply introduce the beneficial organisms.
These organisms help to break down the organic matter in the soil as well as aerate it well.
This is necessary for plant use and when warding off the plant diseases too.
⦁ Reduction in the Landfill Waste
Today, most of the landfills are quickly filling up with most of them actually being closed down.
This is because of the increase in the number of disposed waste materials.
Funny thing is that more than 1/3 of the landfills actually consist of compo-stable waste materials.
This being the case, when you divert these materials from being thrown into the landfills it means that the landfills will last much longer.
We no longer have to deal with cases of landfill close downs every now and then.
⦁ Great Natural Alternative
One thing you will fall in love with about composting is that it offers a great natural alternative to the inorganic chemical fertilizers.
This makes it a great alternative for garden beds and lawns.
The Ultimate Composting Tips for the Compost Tumblers
⦁ Activate by Adding a Small Portion of Compost activator
A new compost tumbler is a sterile place.
And for that reason, for the composting process to happen effectively, there is need to have the living decomposers from the natural environment.
And since they are not available in a new compost tumbler, you need to introduce them manually.
In this case, you may consider using yard wastes or scraps from your kitchen.
Since they are naturally covered in bacteria and fungi they will do you good in getting the compost on and cooking.
All in all, if you would like to give your first few loads of compost a boost, you may consider adding healthy soil, horse manure or a handful of compost if available.
If none of these free stuff is within your reach you can also opt or the bought compost activator.
You only need it when making the first few batches of compost.
Also, you need not clean the compost tumbler in between the batches.
This is because the bits left behind will act as the activator for your following batch.
Before you panic, you should know that the first few batches of compost will always take longer to break down.
⦁ The Carbon-Nitrogen Ratio in Compost
To most people, it may sound as if you need a science degree to get it through with composting.
Don’t be disillusioned! This entire process is way easier than you’ve ever imagined.
And that is why to get the best out of your composting you just need to put the first things first.
Since the compost tumbler is an enclosed compositing compartment, in most cases we hope to get the finished compost in a maximum of 3 weeks.
However, this can only be achieved if you observe certain criteria.
In this case, you need to watch the balance of your compost materials. In this case, you need the right balance of the carbon-rich brown and nitrogen-rich green materials.
This means that the carbon and nitrogen ration in your compost should be at least 25.
Basically, most of the waste produced from the home and kitchen waste tends to contain a higher percentage of nitrogen.
The major contributors here are always the coffee grounds, vegetables, fruits, meat leftovers and so on. In that case, for you to get the ultimate balance in your compost bin, you need to involve some carbon-based waste.
Here some shredded papers, sawdust, leaves, straw will do you good.
Since most of the people may not include carbon waste as part of their normal compost, it’s always necessary to add some carbon materials each time you add the compost.
The right way to do it is by adding at least 10% carbon to the full amount of compost added from the kitchen waste.
This ensures that you get the ideal balance of your carbon and nitrogen ratio.
Too much of either will only turn your compost tumbler into a contraption that harbors fluff and gunk.
You definitely would like that! Right?
— DIY-Crafts&Gardening (@Hairstylesgirls) October 9, 2018
⦁ Shred the Composting Materials Before Adding them
This is one of the most important things that you should do in a compost tumbler.
When you make some tiny bites for the available microbes this helps to speed up the composting process.
You obviously spent a fortune in buying and getting the compost tumbler ready.
Therefore, what we need here is the materials to compost fast.
In this case, what you need to do is chops the composting materials in smaller bits.
This increases the available surface area for the fungi and bacteria to work on.
In that case, the composting process will take a shorter time than initially speculated.
Also, you should note that when it comes to the compost tumbler you should not depend on your back up shredders.
Forget about the insects and earthworms to help you with shredding the materials.
This only helps in the compost pile.
Instead, use the materials in your kitchen and office to shred and chop the materials. A food processor would do a great job here in shredding the kitchen scraps.
⦁ Make Batches
When it comes to composting using the compost tumblers, you can only make small batches at a go.
Also, the entire process should remain uninterrupted.
By this, I mean that when you mix the ingredients then mix them, you should leave them to bake.
The whole process of composting is somehow similar to baking muffins.
You just can’t open the oven halfway through the baking, add some more flour then pop them back in to continue baking.
In our case, what you need to do is add all the materials of your preference until satisfied but don’t overfill since the contents won’t mix up as required.
When at the right level, you should completely stop adding some new materials then leave is to compost.
This is because the composting process will only start when you stop adding new stuff to the compost tumbler.
⦁ Store Some More Stuff for Your Next Batch
In most cases, the composting process may take longer than expected.
In that, it might even take longer than 3 weeks.
At two weeks the compost is normally broken down enough and you can move it out of the tumbler.
However, it’s not ready enough to be taken to the garden.
It may need some more time to heal.
If you still have more kitchen waste coming, you need not worry.
Below are some of the composting tips that will help you take care of this situation.
One, you might need to consider investing in two compost tumblers.
This way, as one bakes you can be filling the other one on this other side.
Actually, there are dual compartment composters in the market that you can consider.
More to that, you need to layer your waste in a bucket then add some sawdust.
From there, you need to transfer the contents of the bucket into the compost tumbler right after emptying the composting tumbler.
⦁ Observe a Steady Moisture Level
When composting using a compost tumbler, observing a steady moisture level in there is quite an elusive goal.
The compost tumbler is an enclosed environment and steady moisture level will help get the best out of the composting.
In that, in a desert environment helps to keep the components moist while in tropical regions, it keeps the contents from becoming too soggy.
Therefore, you need to be careful what you put into that compost tumbler.
This is because too soggy will cause the content to stink while too dry will stop the breaking down process.
Therefore, you need to find a way to adjust the moisture levels in the barrel.
Consider some wood stove pellets for the too wet environment since they will reduce the moisture levels.
If too dry, add water into the compost tumbler then turn the contents every time you add some more.
⦁ Turn the Tumbler
When it comes to turning the compost tumbler, some may be easier than others.
Therefore, as you choose a compost tumbler, keep it in mind that you will need to turn it on a daily basis.
This is because turning helps to aerate the content hence speeding up the whole process.
When you don’t turn the compost all you will have is a static pile that will break down after months.
Choose a tumbler that can be easily turned.
Definitely, a young and strong man will have the ability to handle just about any tumbler.
However, it’s always safer to settle for one that doesn’t say ‘I had trouble turning the tumbler’ in the customer reviews.
This Tumbler has the best feedback with amazing reviews that comes recommended!