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Thursday December 14th 2017

Tumbling our Compost

Our lightly used & new to us tumbling composter!
Our lightly used & new to us tumbling composter!

We’ve set up the tumbling composter that my brother gave us. He’d gotten TWO for free via Freecycle. (Love that site!)

I’ve got the counter top compost bin set up (and labeled to remind all NO MEAT!) in the kitchen and we’ve already emptied it a few times!¬†Each time I empty the counter top bin into the big bin, I’ll give it a spin and tumble the contents around, breaking them up and speeding the composting by adding more oxygen to the pile.

What do you put in for composting?

  • Vegetable matter including peels, those bits you’ve left in your fridge too long
  • Egg shells (the one exception to the no animal matter rule)
  • Coffee grounds & tea bags
  • Green Grass, annual weeds (green material)
  • Leaves that have fallen in the fall, woody prunings (called brown material)
  • Shred/Chop the brown material if you can!
  • Green materials & vegetable waste may be shredded, but soft juicy items will break down fast.
  • Cut citrus waste into at least quarters (I chop it up smaller.)
  • You can speed up your composting by adding alfalfa meal. (I’ve also heard comfrey, blood meal and bone meal can help move things along too!)
  • Beware that pits take a LONG TIME to compost. ie: peach, plum, mango, avacado

DON’T ADD to your Compost:

  • Meat/Fish/Poultry (including bones)
  • **Dairy/Eggs/**Fat
  • Wood that has been treated
  • Pet or human waste
  • Pernicious Weeds (plants that are destructive in nature to other plants)

** These items may be added to a compost pile although not recommended as it will seriously slow down the amount of time it will take to break everything down. Also, animal bits can attract unwanted animals which can be a problem in an open top compost pile/bin.

Any other tid-bits?

  • A nice mix of Green and Brown materials are recommended for the best compost!
  • Your compost need to be moist, but not too moist! If you can squeeze out water like it’s a sponge, it’s too wet.

Now I’m wondering if I should add some worms? If I add worms, do I need to sift all of the compost when I go to use it to keep the worms or do I add the worms to the garden too (they’re good after all) and get more (new) worms for the composter?

Do any of you have experience with vermiculture and a tumbling composter? I’ve only used the age old compost pile that you turn with a back-breaking pitchfork.

TIP: Do check with your town offices to make sure they have no rules about composting. The town we live in only allows self-contained, covered composting units, no open compost piles/bins.

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