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Compost Barrel?

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Compost Barrel?

Post  Davanna Driggers on 4/18/2012, 5:31 pm

My husband is in the process of planning a compost barrel. Smile I would love to hear form anyone about the best ones. What method have you found the most success with?

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  JennAndCompany on 4/18/2012, 11:08 pm

I look forward to learning more about this too Very Happy

Thanks for posing the question!

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  landarch on 4/19/2012, 12:17 am

I have a 55 gal. food grade plastic barrel with a screw top lid that I am planning on turning into a compost barrel...the simple type that you just roll around the yard. I need to drill some air holes in the side...and if the sides are too smooth I may have to screw in some small wooden baffles on the sides to help stir things up when rolled.

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  Rob C on 4/19/2012, 2:31 pm

I found some 55 gal plastic barrels on Craigslist for $10 a piece. Even though they said they were clean, I cleaned them out with a vinegar and water solution, then rinsed with clean water. I did add some baffles inside to help mix the contents. I drilled a bunch of 1/2" holes for air flow and built a stand for it to rotate on rather than rolling it on the ground. The stand it high enough so I can get the wheel barrow under it to empty the compost into.

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  Cincinnati on 4/19/2012, 2:43 pm

@landarch wrote:...and if the sides are too smooth I may have to screw in some small wooden baffles on the sides to help stir things up when rolled.

I have a commercial version. The rounded surfaces are 4 panels with about 1" seams parallel to the axis of rotation. This is enough to allow the contents to roll onto itself as it is rotated. So it you need it, I would think you could screw a 1x1 piece of wood onto the inside walls of the barrel.

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  Grandpop on 4/19/2012, 2:59 pm

I purchased one of the commercial types last year for $99. (Found it on sale for $74 this year) I managed to get two barrels of compost last year. It's on a stand so you remove one of the tops, fill it about 3/4 with your material, (I used mowed grass, leaves and a few leftovers), give it some water and then gave it a tumble or two each week. May be the lazy way, but you would be surprised how much compost you get. I think I will get three loads this year because I started late last year. Once I start I add to it from time to time, but I understand that takes a little longer. The best part . . . no muss, no fuss, no bugs, no smell!

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  plantoid on 4/19/2012, 6:37 pm

making the rotator for turning the compost in the barrel Use penny washers in & out , put long coach bolts or fully threaded bolts ( fully threaded screws as I know them ) through the wall of the barrel. to make spikes .. fit a nylock nut to each bolt to keep it tight .

The inside of the barrel will look like a hedgehog turned inside out , that will hold and turn the compost exceedingly well

If the bolts are too expensive perhaps use 1/4 threaded studding bar and cut it to three inch lengths and put a plain nut on one end of each 3 inch stud to make the bolt head . Dot punching the end of the thread of the bar into the nut to lock the nut in place = two dot punches in the top face of the bar into the nut thread 180 degrees apart .

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  plantoid on 4/19/2012, 6:39 pm

@Rob C wrote:I found some 55 gal plastic barrels on Craigslist for $10 a piece. Even though they said they were clean, I cleaned them out with a vinegar and water solution, then rinsed with clean water. I did add some baffles inside to help mix the contents. I drilled a bunch of 1/2" holes for air flow and built a stand for it to rotate on rather than rolling it on the ground. The stand it high enough so I can get the wheel barrow under it to empty the compost into.

Rob , can you give us a picture or your rotating composting device

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  Rob C on 4/20/2012, 11:59 am

@plantoid wrote:
@Rob C wrote:I found some 55 gal plastic barrels on Craigslist for $10 a piece. Even though they said they were clean, I cleaned them out with a vinegar and water solution, then rinsed with clean water. I did add some baffles inside to help mix the contents. I drilled a bunch of 1/2" holes for air flow and built a stand for it to rotate on rather than rolling it on the ground. The stand it high enough so I can get the wheel barrow under it to empty the compost into.

Rob , can you give us a picture or your rotating composting device

I'll see if I can get a picture of it this weekend

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  morganfam7 on 4/20/2012, 10:16 pm

Maybe baffles will help.

After we made our tumbler I realized there are tons of youtube videos about building
your tumbling composter, but very few shown turning it with a load in
it. Not as easy as you think. I found a couple that show it for just a
second or two. Here is one (a different set up from mine) and he turns it at about 8:30

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcPz4XF-yUM

The compost clunks around in the barrel and makes it difficult to turn. It throws it's weight around.


My kids are strong, but there is no way they can turn it. My particular set up is a blue plastic barrel set on wheels bolted to a pallet.

Here's a quote from Rooster:

I'll take my piles over my tumbler any day. I agree, they don't hold
enough and I personally think the tumblers need more attention. I just
don't think they hold the mass that is really needed to generate a nice
hot pile. I also don't think they mix as well as I can do with a little
fork or shovel work. For me it's just easier to make a pile on the
ground and turn it when needed. Just my thoughts, YMMV

I'm sure tumblers are best for some and piles are best for others. I thought I would chime in with my experience. Hope this helps someone.

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/20/2012, 10:43 pm

If I could only find a suitable compost tumbler, I'd ditch my current bin in a heartbeat. What a Face

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  martha on 4/20/2012, 10:53 pm

Grandpop, what brand did you get?

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  TN_GARDENER on 4/21/2012, 8:05 am

@Davanna Driggers wrote:My husband is in the process of planning a compost barrel. Smile I would love to hear form anyone about the best ones. What method have you found the most success with?

The most success I have with my tumbler is using it to store finished compost Very Happy

My neighbor tried it for a few years before giving it to me to try. A couple months in to it and I also gave up.

It is now full of finished compost. I"m waiting for my garden to mature just a bit before side dressing it. By mid summer, my new pile will probably be ready to go in to the tumbler.

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/21/2012, 11:10 pm

What surprises me most about this thread is the need to chop up the stuff you throw even into a tumbler compost.

Of course...if you were patient, you could wait it out.

But gardeners = patient?





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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  camprn on 4/21/2012, 11:28 pm

@AvaDGardner wrote:What surprises me most about this thread is the need to chop up the stuff you throw even into a tumbler compost.

Of course...if you were patient, you could wait it out.

But gardeners = patient?





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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  Rob C on 4/23/2012, 10:54 am

Here's two pictures of my tumbler. I've only been using it for a few weeks but it seems to be working, things are getting hot inside. I turn it once or twice a week.
PS- That's my neighbors fence (not mine) that looks like it's ready to fall down No



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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  KDeus on 4/23/2012, 11:00 am

What a great idea with the casters for the rollers!

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  Debora Cadene on 4/23/2012, 1:47 pm

Now that really is a clever idea. I hope you don't mind, but I pinned that picture with Pinterest and added it to my wishlist for the garden.

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  Goosegirl on 4/23/2012, 2:01 pm

@Rob C wrote:Here's two pictures of my tumbler. I've only been using it for a few weeks but it seems to be working, things are getting hot inside. I turn it once or twice a week.


I have my casters and my barrels but I am going to build my platforms MUCH lower to the ground! Another one of those weekend projects.....

GG

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  Rob C on 4/23/2012, 3:09 pm

@Goosegirl wrote:
@Rob C wrote:Here's two pictures of my tumbler. I've only been using it for a few weeks but it seems to be working, things are getting hot inside. I turn it once or twice a week.


I have my casters and my barrels but I am going to build my platforms MUCH lower to the ground! Another one of those weekend projects.....

GG

The only reason I made it that high is to get the wheel barrow (6 cu.ft) underneath for unloading. Just open the door and dump.

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  Goosegirl on 4/23/2012, 3:13 pm

@Rob C wrote:
@Goosegirl wrote:
@Rob C wrote:Here's two pictures of my tumbler. I've only been using it for a few weeks but it seems to be working, things are getting hot inside. I turn it once or twice a week.


I have my casters and my barrels but I am going to build my platforms MUCH lower to the ground! Another one of those weekend projects.....

GG

The only reason I made it that high is to get the wheel barrow (6 cu.ft) underneath for unloading. Just open the door and dump.

I have 2 20"x30"x4" heavy duty plastic pans from pet cages that are now going to be my compost pans. All I need is 6" of clearance to slide them under!

GG

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/23/2012, 3:49 pm

@Rob C wrote:
@Goosegirl wrote:
@Rob C wrote:Here's two pictures of my tumbler. I've only been using it for a few weeks but it seems to be working, things are getting hot inside. I turn it once or twice a week.


I have my casters and my barrels but I am going to build my platforms MUCH lower to the ground! Another one of those weekend projects.....

GG

The only reason I made it that high is to get the wheel barrow (6 cu.ft) underneath for unloading. Just open the door and dump.

That's probably one of the best composter ideas I've seen in a while.....casters to turn it and it high enough to just open up the door and dump out the compost? Brilliant What a Face

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  WolfHeart on 4/23/2012, 4:29 pm

@Rob C wrote:


Rob How do you keep the door on the barrel sealed shut? thinking

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Re: Compost Barrel

Post  doneal on 4/23/2012, 6:50 pm

I like It! VERY Neat! Very Happy

I noticed the compost pile next it. Do you take the compost from the pile and put it in the barrel? How hard is it to turn? And what did you use and what size are the baffles?

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Re: Compost Barrel?

Post  TN_GARDENER on 4/24/2012, 11:01 am

@WolfHeart wrote:
@Rob C wrote:


Rob How do you keep the door on the barrel sealed shut?


Rob can verify, but it looks like there are a couple of these slide locks on there.


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Re: Compost Barrel?

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