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Compost bin for a very small yard

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Compost bin for a very small yard

Post  TSHRED on 1/10/2015, 10:09 am

I'm looking for a quality composter for my small backyard. It's just the two of us food scraps (we juice a lot so pulp) and some yard trimming, leaf waste, etc..

Are the two chamber rotating bins any good?
Any recommendations?

Would a small yard shredder be helpful to grind up the yard triimings first? Looking for advice there also.

We have skunks and opossums so it needs to be pest proof.

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Re: Compost bin for a very small yard

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 1/10/2015, 11:07 am

I love my chipper/shredder that we bought in1998 from Sears.  Everything compost better when chipped to a small size.

I have a small tumbler composer but have never been happy with it.  Others have done better with different types so hopefully they'll chime in!

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Re: Compost bin for a very small yard

Post  sanderson on 1/10/2015, 2:52 pm

Shredding branches, large leaves first is always a good idea.  It creates more surface area for the composting organisms to work.  There are several threads here on purchased composters.  Most have trouble getting the volume large enough to start the heating process from the composting organisms.  (Sunshine and exterior heat don't count.)  They can't be filled to the top  or else the materials won't blend when turned.  I'll let others speak to their experiences.  Oh, yes, Fall of 2012, before I even thought of gardening, my first attempt was a 33 gallon garbage can with drilled holes on the sides and bottoms.  I thought the "black gold" would just fall through the 1/2"  metal screen near the bottom. Embarassed  Fresh air is important or else the anaerobics take over.  I would roll it on it's side but the small amount of leaves and kitchen scraps just didn't work.  After 4 months, I did start to get a little leaf mold that my husband tossed.   rofl   

Early 2013 I made a 3" diameter, 2 1/2" high wire cage, lined with fly screen.  It did heat up but it was located where I couldn't spread a tarp to properly turn the compost.  Also, I wasn't using horse manure in those days.

Exactly how large is your back yard?  Mine is a small modern suburban size so I had to really think about where I could erect my 3' x 3' x 3' bin later in 2013.  To turn, I have to spread a 9' x 12' tarp to place all the material, then rebuild it top to bottom, inside to outside.  Then repeat 6-7 more times.  
During the heat of the summer, turning compost becomes a night time activity.  Very Happy  

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Re: Compost bin for a very small yard

Post  TSHRED on 1/10/2015, 11:34 pm

My backyard is maybe 27x25 feet. 
I think I can section off a small area with screening.

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Re: Compost bin for a very small yard

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 1/11/2015, 12:31 am

If you have room to fit a pair of 3' x 3' x 3' chambers, all you have to do is toss material from one side to the next.  Another option is the heavy black plastic recycle circle chambers (I'm not sure what to call them).  I used to have one of these and it worked quite well.  It makes a smaller pile but I never had problems with it heating up.

If you use one of them, you load it up with your layers, then when you're ready to turn the pile, you pull up the black plastic over the top and set it up next to the pile you are going to turn.  

Either way, with a square cubicle or the round chamber, you peel off the top, down one side and the other and as you do that you put that material in the "center" of the next pile.  Then you put the hot core material on the outside of it.

If you don't have room for two, Sanderson can point you to a post where she showed how she does her piles.  It's probably twice the work, but gets great results.

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Re: Compost bin for a very small yard

Post  has55 on 1/11/2015, 3:08 am

sanderson, thanks for sharing. I'm learning what not to do.

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Re: Compost bin for a very small yard

Post  camprn on 1/11/2015, 8:07 am

I built a small 2x2x3 compost bin out of wood from a re-purposed pallet. With worm action, it worked quite well to make black gold.

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Best plan I have found

Post  Cajun Cappy on 1/11/2015, 11:22 pm

I keep this link in my garden file on my computer and hope to do it some day it is the best looking rig I have seen yet.


http://www.vegetable-gardening-with-lorraine.com/compost-bin-plans.html

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Re: Compost bin for a very small yard

Post  sanderson on 1/11/2015, 11:30 pm

Cappy, thank you for sharing.

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Re: Compost bin for a very small yard

Post  has55 on 1/12/2015, 6:46 am

@sanderson wrote:Cappy,  thank you for sharing.

+1

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Re: Compost bin for a very small yard

Post  Kelejan on 1/14/2015, 9:35 pm

Cappy, in effect that is what I am already doing except that is not as finished and well built and beautiful.

I had a job lot of wood, and in my enthusiasm I built a number of 4 x 4 beds. Just because I had the wood.  Meaning to use them as I expanded.

Instead I pile them four high and put a spacer between each layer, and used it exactly as in the article.  When the compost pile needed turning, I lifted off the top stack and laid it on the ground etc. etc.

The spacers are the problem as they are always falling out between the segments.  This plan looks after that problem very well.

So these plans are better with the corner piece offset in height.  I think I will rebuild my compost bin.  I have six segments but only go four high of course.

I no longer have 4 x 4 beds as I am little person and it is hard to reach the middle of a 4 x 4 bed so now I make 6 x 3 beds. Only 18" reach needed instead of 24".

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Re: Compost bin for a very small yard

Post  jimmy cee on 1/14/2015, 10:51 pm

This will be my third season with this little tumbler.
1st wasn't successful
2nd was very good.
I have 2 larger piles so I really was not tending to it.
The company I purchased this is very helpful,
Put together nicely, hardy and easy to use.
It has a 4 1/2 star rating on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Envirocycle-EBC-BK-Original-Composter-Black/dp/B004FVEDAI/ref=sr_1_22?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1421293564&sr=1-22&keywords=compost+tumbler
And I paid $100.00 more than now, they lowered the price 1 week after I made the purchase.
I sent them a request for a refund, they agreed, I received a refund for that..
What more can one ask ?
I called them a few times for help and received it...

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Re: Compost bin for a very small yard

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