A tumbler composter is a great way to create valuable compost for your yard and garden. Compost is known as black gold to gardeners, but if you live in town, your neighbors may not appreciate you keeping a compost pile. A tumbler keeps this mess under wraps. And there's an added benefit to this style of composter: the tumbling action makes turning your pile quick work and speeds up the process of converting waste to compost.
Composting is a great way to improve the quality of your soil. Regardless of whether it's heavy on clay or sand, or even if it seems reasonable loamy, there is room for improvement. Adding organic matter is a great way to improve nutrient levels and improve the soil's ability to retain moisture. The addition of organic matter through composting also improves the structure of the soil, providing better drainage when necessary.
Gardening can be tough on your body, and using a tumbler composter is one way to make it easier. It takes a lot of time every week to turn a traditional compost pile with a shovel, rake, or pitchfork, not to mention strength to repeatedly lift and move the matter. A tumbler composter requires little more than a quick spin or two each time you add additional organic matter, making it suitable not only for smaller spaces but also for people who might have avoided a compost pile because of the physical requirements.
That compost will improve the quality of your soil is not the only argument in its favor. Composting allows you to use excess products that would normally go to waste in landfills. You can compost many types of organic matter, from lawn clippings and small tree branches to offcuts from the kitchen, such as vegetable peelings, used coffee grounds, and eggshells.
While you can put all of this organic waste in a corner of your yard and allow it to break down, this can take a lot of time and effort. The pile is also unsightly, and, depending on your neighborhood and how many kitchen scraps you add, may attract small animals, and could smell if the composition is wrong. A tumbler composter allows you to keep the organic matter enclosed and makes quick work of the turning process. Turning is a vital step in keeping a compost pile because it redistributes the matter, mixing the warm inner areas where the most decomposition is happening with outer layers to keep everything breaking down.
Another benefit of having your compost in a tumbler is that it protects your organic matter from the elements, ensuring your process is much more efficient than an open pile. Exposure to rain and snow allows the smaller, already broken-down areas of composted material to sink into the existing pile. Not only do you lose this valuable product, but the larger pieces of your compost pile will take longer to break down.
By having your organic matter in a tumbler, you can easily open it up and toss in some kitchen or lawn waste whenever you have some. Position your composter in an easily accessible spot and add materials frequently. Newly added materials provide energy and speed up the composting process.
Unlike commercial fertilizers, compost is usually safe. You cannot burn your plants or overfeed them with compost, and adding it to your garden and planters is an easy process. Work it into the soil as you plant new seedlings, or sprinkle it around the base of plants already in the ground. You can also apply it in a thin layer over your lawn to give your grass a boost.
One of the greatest advantages of having a tumbler composter is that you can keep adding kitchen scraps all year long, including throughout the winter. The composting process will slow down as the weather cools, as it does take heat to break down organic matter. The compost will create some heat on its own, though, and storing your organic waste in an opaque composter allows it to continue soaking up heat from the sun.
If you have a lot of scraps, you may worry that composting will leave you with too much raw material, but there's always someone willing to take fresh compost off your hands. Share your black gold around the neighborhood, or look for more ways to use it in your yard. You may find that after you spread it in your flower and vegetable beds and top-treat your lawn, you have less than you expected. Additionally, keep in mind that a large pile of raw scraps will break down into much less ready compost.
Composting can help reduce the amount of food scraps and lawn waste you send to the landfill, but you can't just dump everything you don't eat in there. Large branches and large amounts of leaves or grass clippings can break down, but will take much longer than other additions and could throw off the balance of natural chemicals like nitrogen. Definitely do not add grease, oil, or meat to the compost. Pet waste, including cat litter, should not be composted either.