How to Use a Compost Tumbler

Worm_Factory_360_WF360B_Worm_ComposterComposting has many benefits to a home gardener; some of these benefits include an increase in crop yields and eradication of pests. Obtaining commercially prepared compost requires a lot of money. Any farmer can be in a position of making his compost even though he has limited space. This can be achieved by using a compost tumbler in place of a compost heap in the backyard. The following are the steps required to use a tumbler in making of compost.

Steps in Using a Compost Bin


Step one: Have the compost tumbler stored in a good place like the garage.

This will ensure that the tumbler is not exposed to excessive moisture that can penetrate the ventilation openings. If your storage area is not well covered, you will need to cover the tumbler with a plastic tarp.

Step two. Make sure that all the composting ingredients are added all at once.

Ensure there’s enough to make the tumbler full. Also, ensure that all the waste are added into the tumbler. Tumblers usually help to speed the time taken for compost to mature. With a tumbler, it takes a period of two to three weeks.

Step three. Ensure that the waste ratio in the tumbler is one to three, that is; one part of green wastes and three parts of brown wastes.

Brown wastes are composed of paper and wood products while the green wastes are composed of food scraps and grass clippings; these are the perfect ingredients for the best compost.

Make sure that wastes like shredded paper, empty toilet paper, newspapers, lint from vacuum cleaners and dryers, fireplace ashes, paper towels, hair, sawdust, coffee filters, wool rags and yard trimmings are added to other household wastes like nuts, seed shells, vegetables, empty eggshells, hay and tea bags.

Step four. Turn the compost in the tumbler daily.

Make at least a rotation using your hand each and every day or any number of rotations recommended, depending on the model of compost bin you have. The rotation ensures that the wastes are fully mixed to achieve the best compost. Using a tumbler is very advantageous since they are easy to manage and requires much less effort as compared to backyard compost pies.

Step five. Monitor the odors from your compost.

Offensive odors indicate that the compost ratio employed in making them was biased. The imbalance will lead to building up of pungent gasses like ammonia which will mean that there are excess levels of nitrogen in the compost. When ammonia is produced, it indicates that the compost requires more of brown waste. Other smelling odors like grassy smells indicates that the compost is not well aerated. Constant mixture will help release excessive moisture will help reduce the odor.

best compost tumblerStep six. After two to three weeks, check whether the compost is ready.

It is ready when it produced an earthly smell. It will appear like loose soil bearing a dark brown color.

If your compost has not achieved this color or smell, it is a clear indication that it is not yet ready.

You are required to continue mixing hem at least once a day to achieve the desired results.

Step seven. When your compost is mature, remove it.

Transport them to the farm using a wheel barrow or any ferrying mechanism at your disposal. After you have removed some of the mature compost, do not clear the tumbler to act as a starter for the new batch. This time round you will have acquired the correct guidelines for making compost, the procedure is the same and next time better results within the desired time will be achieved.

Here’s a video on how to use a compost tumbler from Planet Natural:

Supplies Required

To ensure a consistent production of compost, ensure that you save up food scraps in a separate container and avoid using the tumbler to full load. Constant following of the guidelines provided by the tumbler manufacture will help you achieve high-quality compost.


  • Do not add pet wastes or diapers to the compost in the tumbler.
  • Refrain from putting any meat or dairy products to the contents of the tumbler. Thing like metal, glass, plastics, pesticides, weeds or painted woods are not advised at all. These waste will not contribute to a healthy compost and can impede plant growth.

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