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Tips for compost tumbler

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Tips for compost tumbler

Post  jimmy cee on 7/2/2016, 9:58 pm

This was my 4th season using a tumbler. I consider it sort of a winter toy.
I'll start filling when things in my yard are done, that's around December.
This past season was my finest somewhat finished compost and that was because it was the fullest of all the years.
Here are my findings, right or wrong, I'll probably stay with them.

A full tumbler will complete in time, much longer than my piles, however, will finally finish, I always transfer mine to main piles in spring.
Should tumble frequently so items don't get bogged up together. If a clump has banded together, and not frozen, prod with a tool and tumble, material must be loose and airy.

Above all else, keep from getting soaked.( not enough ventilation to dry ) if wet, add browns till moisture is absorbed..Getting soggy can occur over time using kitchen scraps. I keep straw, newspaper and various cardboard material around just for this.

Keeping the tumbler out of the weather is a great help, no extra moisture will run in.enough moisture is usually provided in the greens added.

Leave some material in from last batch, helps new material start.

Tumble slowly and feel material churning inside. I know of folk trying to spin it like those spinning on the price is right tv game show.

As I mentioned before, to me a tumbler's a toy, some consider it a tool, which it really is. It will warm up, not nearly as a pile does.  It will freeze solid in winter, I just keep adding then..










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Re: Tips for compost tumbler

Post  sanderson on 7/3/2016, 2:15 pm

Thanks for the topic, Jimmy.

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Re: Tips for compost tumbler

Post  jimmy cee on 7/3/2016, 3:44 pm

Wink
@sanderson wrote:Thanks for the topic, Jimmy.

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Can you help me?

Post  Leone on 8/12/2016, 2:16 pm

We bought an Envirocycle tumbler this year. It is the 17 gallon size.


We filled it just the way the instructions said. 75% greens (kitchen scraps) and 25% browns (shredded cardboard).

It takes us 1 week to load the thing to the top and now it has been one week composting and the contents are not hot, only 80 degrees. We are turning it twice a week.


Our kitchen scraps are what is left over after juicing our vegetables. I know there are a lot of enzymes in the juice, but not much left in the pulp by the time we are finished with it. I don't know if that matters in making compost, but...

1. What can we do to heat it up?
2. Does it look too wet to you?

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Re: Tips for compost tumbler

Post  yolos on 8/12/2016, 2:56 pm

Put some gloves on, get a handful of the compost and squeeze it.  If you get more than a drop of liquid after you squeeze, then it is too wet.

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Re: Tips for compost tumbler

Post  Leone on 8/12/2016, 3:21 pm

@yolos wrote:Put some gloves on, get a handful of the compost and squeeze it.  If you get more than a drop of liquid after you squeeze, then it is too wet.
Ew... yuk! No
Okay so I did that and got about 20 or so drops. Way too wet. I added another 2 1/2 gallons of shredded cardboard and gave it a good spin. I suppose I should keep checking for wetness each time I turn it and continue adding cardboard until it is just 1 drop.

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Re: Tips for compost tumbler

Post  yolos on 8/12/2016, 3:38 pm

Here is a write up of how to tell if the moisture is correct in a compost pile.

http://ucanr.edu/sites/scmg/Sonoma_Gardener_Articles/Measuring_Soil_Moisture_by_Look_and_Feel/

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Re: Tips for compost tumbler

Post  jimmy cee on 8/13/2016, 6:31 am

Hi Leone
Don't get to excited about heating up a tumbler, not going to happen.
It can get warm, however, I've never been able to reach temp's I get in my compost piles.
There's just not enough mass to do it. That heat comes from many zillions of microbes rubbing against each other.
Tumblers just not able to hold that many. Tumblers are much slower than piles, however they do work if not forgot about.
Mine was just a learning tool on the road of compost knowledge.

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Re: Tips for compost tumbler

Post  sanderson on 8/13/2016, 5:40 pm

And rotate slowly so the material can tumble and mix.

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Re: Tips for compost tumbler

Post  jimmy cee on 8/13/2016, 10:12 pm

@sanderson wrote:And rotate slowly so the material can tumble and mix.
Exactly...

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Re: Tips for compost tumbler

Post  Leone on 8/15/2016, 7:45 pm

Okay, thanks so much for the information. I really appreciate it.

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