Compost Tumblers

on-ground compost tumblerThis Is Not An Alien Space Pod

Compost tumblers are a great idea: instead of having to lift your compost with a compost fork to turn compost by hand, a tumbler lets you just give it a spin, and it all gets mixed and tossed like a salad. Tossing it frequently like this speeds up the composting process.

But not all tumblers are the same. The problem with many of them is that they are just too big. Compost is very heavy. It takes a lot of force to rotate a 55 gallon (or bigger!) drum that is half full of wet compost, sitting high off the ground on a shaky stand. Don't buy these.

Single and Dual-Batch Compost Tumblers

A single-batch compost tumbler that is on a ground base with bearings is a much better design. They are stable and big enough to handle a lot of kitchen scraps. They work really well, but you still have to stop adding stuff at some point to let the scraps finish and turn into compost. If you keep adding stuff, you'll always have fresh stuff in there. What do you do with your scraps while you're waiting for the compost to finish? If you generate a lot of kitchen scraps or manage a large garden, your best bet is to get a second tumbler.

But if you have a smaller garden, a dual-batch compost tumbler solves two problems. First, because they are split, each chamber is light enough to be easy to turn, and because there are two you can still make plenty of compost. Second, when one side is full you can stop adding stuff to it so it can fully break down, while you start use the other side as the active bin. They are ingenius!

Hot Frog Rolling
Compost Tumbler

This 37-gallon single batcher can be rolled right over to your garden when the compost is ready!

Dual Batch
Compost Wizard

Larger dual-batcher sits on the ground and has two 40-gallon chambers.

Dual-Batch Compost Tumbler icon

This smaller size compost tumbler lets you finish one batch,  while adding new scraps to the other side.

For more on composting visit these Related Articles:

  • How to Make Compost
    Complete instructions on making compost that doesn't smell, no matter what bin you use. Learn how to balance ingredients for speedy, odor-free compost.
  • Compost Bins Reviewed
    Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of different types of compost bins, so you can pick the one that will work best for you.

  • Benefits of Compost
    What compost does and why it's so important to a healthy garden.

  • When Compost Stinks
    The compost troubleshooting page. How to prevent or fix a smelly batch of compost! (HINT: It's not the design of the bin, it's the proportions of types of ingredients.)

  • Compost Tea
    How to make actively-aerated compost tea for boosting disease resistance in the garden.

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