How to Use a Compost Tumbler

Correctly using a composting tumbler will ensure high-quality compost in a short amount of time. In addition to a composting tumbler, you will need a bin or garbage can that is the same capacity as the tumbler to effectively compost. This bin will be used to store kitchen scraps until you have enough to make a batch of compost. Unlike other composting methods, you should not add scraps throughout the composting process for the best results.

If you live in a cold climate, don’t expect to use the compost tumbler throughout the winter. In cold areas of the northern hemisphere, you can load the tumbler a final time in October; in April the compost should be read to use. Use bins to store kitchen scraps during the winter; the scraps can be processed in the spring.

Step 1: Collect kitchen scraps such as vegetable scraps, fruit peelings, and coffee grounds in a bin or garbage can with a lid.

Step 2: Add a small amount of sawdust after every deposit into the bin to minimize smell. Continue layering kitchen scraps and sawdust until the bin is full.

Step 3: Dump the contents of bin into the composting tumbler. If the contents of the bin seem particularly wet, add more dry composting material such as dead leaves, newspaper, or more sawdust.

TIPS: The ratio of dry material to wet kitchen scraps should be roughly one to one. However, the dry materials added to the bin to reduce smell count towards this ratio; you may not have to add any dry material to obtain the correct moisture level when loading the tumbler.

Step 4: Close the compost bin and rotate it for a few minutes several times a day.

Step 5: Check the moisture level of the compost each time you rotate the tumbler. The compost should be damp; you may need to add water. Rotate the compost tumbler after adding water to distribute the moisture throughout the mix.

Step 6: Store new kitchen scraps in the bin for future batches of compost. Do not add the scraps to the tumbler at this point.

Step 7: Continue rotating the compost tumbler for at least two weeks. After two weeks, monitor the compost until it is fully decomposed and ready to be used.

Step 8: Remove the finished compost from the tumbler. Fill the tumbler with new composting materials once the bin is full.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

How to Set Fence Posts in Concrete

Learning how to set fence posts is the first step in building a sturdy fence that will stand for many years. While...

How to Fix a Cracked Slate Walkway

Slate walkways are a beautiful alternative traditional concrete paths. However weather and accidents can both cause damage over time, creating a slate...

Vintage Shutter Garden Trellis Craft

You can easily make this Vintage Shutter Garden Trellis for an outdoor garden, a container garden, and even a patio garden! This...

How to Remove Climbing Vines from Stucco

Climbing vines such as ivy and honeysuckle often grow on the exterior of buildings. While many homeowners like the appearance of these...

Many Ways to Make Compost for a Garden

There are many ways to make compost for a garden, yard or indoor plants. The best composting method will depend on the...

5 Surprising Things that Shouldn’t Be Composted

Composting is a great way to recycle food scraps and other biodegradable materials, but some items aren't necessarily suited to your compost...