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Compost Tumblers

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Compost Tumblers

Post  bonnie0128 on 5/24/2010, 9:27 am

My husband built me a compost tumbler from a large plastic barrel as one of my Mother's Day gifts (the other is a rain barrel). My question is...the flap warped a bit and it doesn't close properly so I have a lot of gnats and other insect activity. Is this going to be a problem? The vegetables are molding and breaking down and the "browns" seem to be decomposing too. The smell is a little "off" but it is mostly earthy (with a slight vinegar odor). Obviously, I don't have any instructions, etc - so any suggestions would be appreciated!
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bonnie0128

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Re: Compost Tumblers

Post  timwardell on 5/24/2010, 11:45 am

Those probably aren't gnats but black solider flies. I have a tumbling composter myself and see them all the time. They are beneficial and will lay eggs that hatch and help eat your compost.

See: http://www.thebiopod.com/
"...Black Soldier Fly, Hermetia illucens, which we lovingly call Solider Grubs. Virtually harmless to pets, humans and wildlife, this native arthropod does not spread disease, cannot bite or sting, and will not annoy you at backyard picnics!"

Note that you will not have nearly as many BSFlies in your tumbling composter as these guys have in their "BioPods" but you will have some. The BSF in the BioPods eat all the organic matter and leave nothing but grubs - to be used as fish or chicken feed. Our tumbling composters however will still produce compost - along with a few BSF grubs. Very Happy
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