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<  Composting, Mulch, and Soils  ~  New compost bin

PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:38 am
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:43 pmPosts: 10
After some thinking on what to do with limited space I thought I would try a compost tumbler. I know with the area this will take I could have made a compost bin. With composting being a new adventure I need to make it mobile. If all works well and I finally settle to a spot. Then I will go bigger. For now this will do.
My son.
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Made high enough to get wheelbarrow underneath. Added rebar for mixing.
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Still need to drill holes in the side. Not sure I will drill holes in body. Do not want rain to make compost soggy. Maybe in one location to turn and drain if too much moisture is produced.
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Wood was stained with Cabot stain sealer. When the weather warms up I will paint the barrel to blend in surrounding area. PVC pipe was drilled to let air in. Would that be enough if I didn't drill sides of barrel?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:48 pm
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:17 pmPosts: 20
Really good job. We made one last summer with the bin upright. It works pretty god, but can be heavy to turn. I got about 30 gallons of rough compost from it in a year.



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Jo-Ann
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:03 pm
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:02 pmPosts: 1927Location: PNW
You did a great job on it! I wouldn't think the pipe would let in enough air by itself, but I've never used a bin like it, so I can't say for sure. I wonder if putting holes in the ends would be sufficient. That wouldn't let much rain in like holes along the sides would. Just a thought.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:03 am
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:43 pmPosts: 10
The 2" PVC pipe was drilled with many holes. In the picture it does not show where I drilled a 1" hole through the 2X6 in the location of the pipe ends. I did drill holes in the side of the barrel for more air circulation. Do I need holes so rain can get in????


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:33 pm
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:02 pmPosts: 1927Location: PNW
I knew you put holes along the pipe. Sorry I wasn't clear on that. Maybe some of the long time composters will chime in. You could just try it out as you have it a and see how it goes. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:09 pm
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:35 pmPosts: 162Location: NH zone 4/5
I'm not seeing a crank to turn the thing, so I'm thinking your going to tug the drum along to rotate contents. This'll do as long as its not too full. I would not worry about adding holes. Aeration will happen from turning the drum.

If you add a lot of juicy stuph that is chopped small before adding, a colander may a good thing-- too wet compost is slower than just right.

Compost tumblers are for the impatient. If you wanna fiddle with yer dirt, you built a dandy example.

Take it out for a spin! ;-)



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Tom C
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:46 pm
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:43 pmPosts: 10
This ol' boy won't need a handle. lol. :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:53 pm
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:55 amPosts: 7
That's a huge compost bin you have right there! It could really accommodate a lot of stuff from which your plants and garden can really benefit. I was just wondering where you are storing it. Is it in the garage or in the garden shed?



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:42 pm
User avatarJoined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:12 pmPosts: 139Location: Richmond, VA Zone 7
Make sure it is well supported and braced.

Bought one about that size from Plow & Hearth. It sits on a curved base with wheels to help the barrel spin. Filled it with lots of good stuff and found that when it gets to be about half full, it's really hard to turn due to the weight. Projecting hand holds would help, but I had forgotten how heavy compost gets when you get it wet.

As a side note to all those vermicomposters out there, I have decided to use this barrel composter as a pre-digester for worm food. Have been throwing in lots of fruit & vegetable skins along with old bedding material. Has yet to heat up, but hoping that a week or two in this "digester" will up the microactivity on the skins and make them easier for the worms to get to when I throw them in. It worked well when I was grinding them up in a food processor. Hoping this will work as well with less effort.



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:33 pm
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:07 pmPosts: 48
Just a thought. Get rid of the supports put it on the ground and roll it. Just make sense to me.



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:14 pm
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:08 pmPosts: 187Location: Zone 5
raidencmc wrote:
Just a thought. Get rid of the supports put it on the ground and roll it. Just make sense to me.

It might roll okay that way, but wouldn't it be much harder to remove the compost once it's done?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:36 am
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:17 pmPosts: 21
I've always wondered whether these drum bins can be spun properly to mix the conents.
And then, since it is just one bin, wouldn't it be necessary to always be separating so that when the time comes you can draw out the finished compost.
Two bins is always a better way....and three bins just makes good sense to always have a source of finished product. But 2 or 3 drums, can take up a lot of wasted space, not counting the dollars it would mean.
Seems to me too, such a bin would have to be drawn out by hand...instead of spade.
I'd like to hear from others who have these drum types and what results they have and are they pleased with it.

Personally I like the idea of being up on the 'horse' keeping it off the ground which can keep the bin up from weather conditions that might make it difficult to operate and use. I think it was well made and thought out.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:33 pm
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:08 pmPosts: 187Location: Zone 5
I can't speak from personal experience, but I've seen some barrels built with more than one compartment which made sense to me. Otherwise, you'd never have a finished batch of compost.

I was thinking a smallish 2 compartment version that I could keep right outside the kitchen door would be perfect for a steady supply of new compost for topping up pots and such. Everything else would continue to be rotated through my worm bins or outdoor 3 bin compost system or simply buried strategically all over the yard to decompose on the spot.



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:37 pm
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:08 pmPosts: 187Location: Zone 5
love2garden wrote:
raidencmc wrote:
Just a thought. Get rid of the supports put it on the ground and roll it. Just make sense to me.

It might roll okay that way, but wouldn't it be much harder to remove the compost once it's done?


I think so. One of the best features I've seen is the door on the side that is used to feed the barrel when it's on the top and then on the bottom, opens to let the material fall out into a wheelbarrow packed underneath. :)



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:02 pm
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:35 pmPosts: 162Location: NH zone 4/5
The tumbler I used this past summer, really needed handhold(s) if more than half full.

It was in rollers in a cradle rather than (as you illustrate) up on a stand.

My lower tumbler emptied just fine with a fork.



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