Compost Wizard Dueling Tumbler

5 Reasons to Use a Compost Tumbler (AKA Make Compost Quickly and Look Good Doing it)

A compost tumbler not only made this urban composting space look a whole lot better, but it also sped up the composting process dramatically. Even more, it keeps pests from making a home in the compost bin. Wait until you see this compost bin makeover, a transformation that took just an hour but upgraded the space from junky to fabulous, and read the 5 reasons why I’ve converted to tumbling.5-reasons-to-switch-to-a-rolling-compost-tumbler

One thing about gardening in a small space is that you tend to pack every nook and cranny with garden. That makes the practical necessities hard to find a place for where they don’t become an eyesore.

The compost area in my garden consisted of a broken down city-provided compost bin that held together with sunshine yellow duct tape and not much else. The holes were created by unwelcome neighbors with beady eyes and long tails. You guessed it, rats! Our compost bin had clearly been the 5-star bed and breakfast to rats far before we moved in. As much as we tried to keep them out, they were determined to come back.

SPONSORED CONTENT: This post was sponsored by A.M. Leonard’s Gardener’s Edge, who also provided me with the Compost Wizard Dueling Tumbler, Jobe’s Organics Compost Starter, and an Odor-Free Compost Keeper. All of the opinions that are shared in this post are my own. A.M. Leonard’s Gardener’s Edge has also generously provided a giveaway for one of our lucky readers! See how to enter at the end of the post.

Goodbye Old Bin. It’s Time for a Makeover!
The compost space is located at the back entrance to the garden, which is a convenient location for using it, but what an eyesore! Here is what it looked like before.compostDespite regular aeration and the proper composting recipe, when you have only one compost bin, you can’t add new materials until the current materials are finished composting. And it takes a long time to fill up the bin in the first place. With this style of composter, we were continually adding material and digging partially finished compost into the garden.

While an open-bottom compost bin is best on soil so there is an entry point for soil insects and worms, a compost tumbler, like the Compost Wizard, is best on a raised platform because it is neater, easier to roll, and allows access to the compost tea spout at the bottom. Play the video for an idea of how it works.

 

5 Reasons You Should Use a Compost Tumbler

  1. A compost tumbler is neater as the compost is contained completely inside the chambers of the bin.
  2. A compost tumbler speeds up the completion time for finished compost. The Compost Wizard has two 25-gallon chambers so you can be making compost in one side while adding compostable materials to the other.
  3. A compost tumbler is easier to mix (by spinning it) than a traditional compost bin (using an aeration tool) or pile (fork turning the compost). It’s a whole lot of fun to spin it too!
  4. A compost tumbler is a closed system that keeps out rats and other pests.
  5. A compost tumbler like the Compost Wizard collects the excess moisture from the compost and makes it into compost tea. Collect the tea from the base of the bin and use it to feed your garden.

compost-wizard-dueling-tumbler

Composting Recipe for Compost Tumblers

I’ve previously written about how important it is to follow a compost recipe to be sure that your greens, browns, balanced materials, air, and water are added in the right amounts for effective composting. This recipe holds true for a compost tumbler with one exception, the process will be stimulated by heat and aeration, which will promote microorganisms to break down the material.jobes-organics-compost-starter

In a compost pile, soil insects and worms are introduced to also help break down the material, but the heat and movement of a tumbler do not provide a great environment for those creatures. Adding some compost starter to the materials will help to get the process off on the right foot.

composting-station-after-makeover

Make Composting Pretty with a Composting Platform

My composting area is now a feature rather than an eyesore with this good-looking barn wood platform built by Mr. Garden Therapy. He finished the job while I was out for a walk so it won’t take you too long. Here are the instructions:

  1. Level the foundation so that the planks lay flat and won’t be at risk of warping, bending or breaking. Use a level both side-to-side and back-to-front to ensure your foundation is level.
  2. Support under the planks to ensure they can easily support the weight of a fully loaded compost bin and a person working at the bin. Lay down joists that run perpendicular to your planks every 12″ for proper support.
  3. Raise the surface of the platform to prevent rot. Using gravel to fill in around your foundation and joists (not soil) will increase the longevity of the platform. Ensure the top of your joists protrude above grade so that your planks are not resting directly on top of the soil.

He did take some photos of the process which I have put together in a little slideshow.

Doesn’t the composting area look much better now?composting-station-makeover-project

A.M. Leonard’s Gardener’s Edge has plenty of smart tools like this for gardeners! If you need a compost bin makeover, an essential tool, or a smart solution to a gardening problem you have been facing, have a look through their catalog. One lucky garden therapy reader will win a $50 gift certificate to spend online! Simply leave a comment on this post telling us where you garden and what you would buy with the gift card. This contest has closed. The winner is Pat Cassity! Congratulations, Pat!gardeners-edge

 

Read more on composting:

 

About the Author : Stephanie RoseAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Gail Bell
    Gail BellSeptember 23,16

    Thanks for the informative post. I would buy a compost tumbler😀

  2. Mary
    MarySeptember 23,16

    I would love to buy a tumbler to use in my garden in Northern Maine! So much nicer than the old one that takes forever to produce compost.

  3. Michalle Baird
    Michalle BairdSeptember 23,16

    If I won the gift card from Gardeners Edge catalog, I would buy a Leonard Arbor Rain Hydration Tower so I could plant a Red Bud this fall and make sure it was getting enough water to survive!

    • Michalle Baird
      Michalle BairdSeptember 23,16

      And I live in Northern Virginia!!

  4. Barbara
    BarbaraSeptember 23,16

    I am now composting with a large plastic storage container and manually turning the compost. A tumbler would be the first thing I buy with my certificate!

  5. Lori
    LoriSeptember 23,16

    I live in Redmond, WA. I really want a compost tumbler. The space I have for it is in shade. Would it still work, but just take longer?

  6. Dee S
    Dee SSeptember 23,16

    I have a similar compost tumbler and it is easy to use. My only problem is I have more green than brown. I use straw when I have it and shred newspaper in our crosscut shredder. And I don’t water my compost enough.

  7. Molly
    MollySeptember 23,16

    I have had this compost tumbler for three seasons now and it is great! No critters, quality compost, and the tea aspect is a good feature. My suggestions for improvement would be to include a spout or spigot to decant the tea more easily. Once the tumbler is full of composting materials, it’s really heavy and the base can also get heavy with water (tea) making it difficult to decant. Lifting the base off the ground (using 2x4s or similar) is recommended for accessing the tea more easily. The other suggestion for improvement is to make the holes/covers wide enough to accommodate a standard garden shovel. It’s time consuming and awkward to remove the finished compost. You either use a small spade or your hands and it takes a while. When the other side is full, lifting the whole tumbler to shake out the compost is also problematic because it is heavy. Having a separate barrel nearby with “browns” is recommended.

  8. Faye M.
    Faye M.September 23,16

    I would love to upgrade to a tumbler composter!

  9. Linda T.
    Linda T.September 23,16

    My husband and I garden in Albuquerque, NM. We currently have a compost pile, but a compost tumbler would be so much quicker and easier to use.

  10. Karen S.
    Karen S.September 25,16

    The compost Tumbler sounds like a better way to compost. I live in Clearlake WA

  11. Shelley Glenn
    Shelley GlennSeptember 25,16

    I enjoy your the variety of topics that you write about. Thank you! Are those nasturtiums in the background of your pictures? They’re gorgeous. I have something similar in my own garden. I really enjoy the way they spread and flow over everything! I would love to win a gift card from Gardener’s Edge. I think I’d use it to buy a composter actually. I could definitely use one!

    • Stephanie Rose
      Stephanie RoseOctober 3,16

      Yes, Shelley, nasturtiums. A few seeds and they grow like crazy! Thanks so much :)

  12. Emily Rendall-Araujo
    Emily Rendall-AraujoSeptember 26,16

    Were about to move to the country where we’ll have twelve acres, after living in a city of sixty thousand for eight years. I can’t wait to have a big garden and chickens!

  13. Maria
    MariaSeptember 27,16

    I have a smaller garden in my back yard and love growing all sorts of veggies and herbs. I would purchase a composter as I don’t have one yet

  14. Heather Hodge Kolodny
    Heather Hodge KolodnySeptember 28,16

    Thanks for the tip about using gravel under the planks/joists. I do have a “potted garden” and small planters, but unfortunately I moved to a home with a completely cemented yard (how stupid was that!). This is my next DIY project by the mountains in Santa Monica, CA…

  15. Sofia the gardener
    Sofia the gardenerSeptember 28,16

    Hi! I am a high desert gardener in SW Colorado. If I won the gift card I would buy a tumbler compost bin or new pruners or compost starter or something decorative. Or a rain barrel… So many choices!

  16. Deb Muir
    Deb MuirSeptember 28,16

    I am a gardener in Fort McMurray, Alberta. I would love to buy a compost tumbler to tidy up my current compost area and to eliminate the dreaded pitchfork!

  17. Sandy Scheff
    Sandy ScheffSeptember 29,16

    I garden in Texas. I had a green thumb (northern Midwest) before moving here but so far the north Texas climate has defeated me. With clay soil I am always adding amendments but have almost decided to stick with container gardening. Oh how I covet home grown tomatoes. I haven’t looked thru the Gardner’s Edge catalogue yet but am confident there are goodies I cannot live without.

  18. Evelyn Lynch
    Evelyn LynchSeptember 29,16

    Nice compost tumbler!
    I live in Cape Breton Nova Scotia, where we have a very short growing season. I don’t have the need for a compost tumbler as my compost pile is also my horse manure pile! But I had a look at the Gardeners Edge catalogue and see many products I could definitely use. Where to start?…Please enter me in your contest.

  19. Judy Wilcox
    Judy WilcoxSeptember 29,16

    I would use it for new garden tools.

  20. Jess
    JessSeptember 29,16

    I love my compost tumbler, too! I don’t have a compost sifter, so I think I would buy one finally! Also, we’ll be moving to a rental home in a few months, so I could use the gift certificate towards some planters, so I can still grow my veggies.

  21. Tammy Baker
    Tammy BakerSeptember 29,16

    The first time I saw those composers ,a few years ago, I knew it was the one for me! I’m still very motivated but arthritis has taken my hands…but I just push threw the best I can. If I couldn’t make things grow the world loose so much more meaning..going to look in the catalog that you wrote about…probably more than I can spend…..but a girl can dream , right?? :)

  22. cyndi thoman
    cyndi thomanSeptember 29,16

    I would use it for compost tumbler and compost starter. I saw lots of great stuff I want.. I gone get me a catalog. thank you .

  23. Nanette
    NanetteSeptember 29,16

    I garden in Kenner, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. If I am the lucky winner, I would buy something for our new tree, Phillip. We named the tree Phillip because, well, why not? Trees deserve names too. Phillip will be very happy to have something from the Gardenersedge catalog.

  24. Lisa
    LisaSeptember 29,16

    Just discovered your site last week and it is a wealth of information!
    I am in need of a new set of pruners, so the gift certificate would be useful.

  25. Carla
    CarlaSeptember 29,16

    Hmmm. I looked at the catalog and I can’t decide. Lots of items I’d love. I have the same composted. This is my first year to use it. I garden in northeast Kansas.

  26. M.
    M.September 29,16

    I like the Lucca self-watering planters. Those would be most helpful! I garden in South Jersey, where it is very wet right now! Thanks, Stephanie!

  27. beth c
    beth cSeptember 29,16

    I would get a pruning saw and a bronze watering can!! Thanks so much for the lovely giveaway!

    • beth c
      beth cSeptember 29,16

      oh yeah, & i garden in our yard in colorado springs, colorado! :)

  28. Nancy Moreland
    Nancy MorelandSeptember 29,16

    I like that compost bin, need something that critters will not be able to get to and the size looks just right, I also love the chicken slogger boots!!

  29. Nicki Goff
    Nicki GoffSeptember 29,16

    Great post – I already have a tumbler bin for my compost and love it! Finding a rat in my old open bin instantly prompted a change. I’d love a small portable greenhouse to start plants.

  30. Anne Weber-Falk
    Anne Weber-FalkSeptember 29,16

    I live in northern Illinois and I would purchase things to make a nice looking compost area too. Never thought about it before but it makes sense. I always admire farms that are neat and clean and well put together. I need to make my compost area looking the same.

  31. Debbie
    DebbieSeptember 29,16

    I would get a compost tumbler for our garden here in Iowa.

  32. Pamela Murphy
    Pamela MurphySeptember 29,16

    I already compost. However, I really need either/both the large pick up wizard to control the fruit trees’ dropped fruit or the fruit harvester picking basket. It’s so long up to the top of the tree. Thanks for great products. I’m in zone 5b

  33. Diane Stallings
    Diane StallingsSeptember 29,16

    I really need a tumbler composter after it became obvious my dogs were always chasing off critters from my old open pit type. Plus, I am a bit weakened due to chemotherapy, and hate to have to keep forking. Here in NorCal, it needs watering due to our drought.

  34. Pat Cassity
    Pat CassitySeptember 29,16

    Wow, I’m so glad I got introduced to this catalogue and The Garden’s Edge! I live in Boise Idaho and have recently retired. Gardening has become a passion of mine. If I won the gift card I would buy some cool garden boots, update my tools and my outdoor lighting! Now you have me thinking!!

  35. Carolyn Hall
    Carolyn HallSeptember 29,16

    I garden in Edmonton, Alberta. I would use the coupon to buy the compost tumbler. It would replace my regular bins which are difficult to manage.

  36. Christine
    ChristineOctober 1,16

    Great post. The tumbler looks pretty sweet, I might have to invest in one myself.

  37. Gina
    GinaOctober 1,16

    I have a garden 30 X 60, North of Edmonton, Alberta. Currently, I dig a hole somewhere in the middle of my garden. Throughout the garden season I deposit garden waste into the hole, then at the end of the season, I cover the hole with soil. Does this work? Not real well. I would purchase a compost tumbler, maybe two compost tumblers. :)

  38. Denise Beemer
    Denise BeemerOctober 1,16

    I garden in Brantford, Ontario. I would definitely put the gift card towards a compost tumbler.

  39. holly
    hollyOctober 1,16

    The Tumbler would be great to start my composting here in San Diego County. I have been reluctant to start as I didn’t want to start a critter problem as the beady-eyed rascals thrive here year round. I have a 4×4 potager and flower garden would love the yummy addition to my poor sandy soil. Thanks for the post and the opportunity to tumble over a new life in the garden.

  40. Jeanette
    JeanetteOctober 2,16

    I garden at the northern most point of the Kitsap Peninsula. I would put theverything $50 towards a composter.

  41. Mary
    MaryOctober 2,16

    I garden in Birmingham, Alabama, and would put my winnings toward a compost tumbler!

  42. Laurel Hounslow
    Laurel HounslowOctober 3,16

    I could definitely use a compost tumbler! Have been coveting one ever since we moved to this smaller space. I want to create my own compost so that it is pesticide-free. This one is good looking and seems to be the perfect size. The one that was here was too heavy for me to deal with. And I like the compost tea aspect. Thanks for the great article!

  43. Karen
    KarenOctober 3,16

    I garden in St. Louis, MO, and if I didn’t buy the composter, I would spend it on oh so many things! I love that company!

  44. Barb
    BarbOctober 4,16

    I garden outside Chicago. We are reworking our backyard and I would love to add the compost tumbler to the plan.

  45. Jamillah
    JamillahOctober 4,16

    I garden on a teeny NYC balcony :) and all over my apartment. If I won I would buy the hot pepper wax, probably a little trellis for my jasmine, and definitely the soil analyzer

  46. Rhonda Boone
    Rhonda BooneOctober 4,16

    I have flowers everywhere in Webster, TX. I have always wanted to start a compost pile in our backyard but my partner doesn’t think it would look good so if I win the $50 I would be buying the compost tumbler! Thank you for this opportunity!

  47. Debi
    DebiOctober 4,16

    I garden in my backyard in Lexington Ky and if I won the gift card I would use towards the tumbling composter

  48. Bobbi Church
    Bobbi ChurchOctober 5,16

    I have a butterfly garden in the backyard,If I won I would use the gift card for The Worm Factory.

  49. Vickie browder
    Vickie browderOctober 5,16

    I would love a compost tumbler.

  50. Vickie browder
    Vickie browderOctober 5,16

    Good information. I would purchase the compost tumbler. I live in Aiken, SC

  51. CATHERINE STOECKER
    CATHERINE STOECKEROctober 6,16

    I would buy lights to start indoor vegies, I garden on Cape Cod in Massachusetts

  52. Beth Neuenfeldt
    Beth NeuenfeldtOctober 15,16

    I live in Amherst WI and I would put it toward a rain barrel.

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