This group is about composting in piles, bins or tumblers.  Share your trials and errors, best practices and lessons learned. 

Members: 39
Latest Activity: Mar 24, 2016

Discussion Forum

Best practices for composting with leaves

Started by Asher Leigh Feb 16, 2016. 0 Replies

What are your perspectives concerning how to most effectively use leaves to begin a compost pile?Continue

Composting Ingredients

Started by Nathanael Davis. Last reply by Chris Jose Sep 1, 2013. 2 Replies

What are your preferred ingredients for composting? I try to use any produce from my own ground that we don't eat as well as canning by-product. I am on the fence about some store bought items, and I…Continue

Comment Wall

Comment by Adam Alexander on March 18, 2013 at 9:05am

It's still amazing to me to see how quickly a compost heap will shrink to about 1/3 its original size.  I think I'm going to have a new pile of compost ready just about in time to use it to plant this year. :)

Comment by Adam Alexander on March 20, 2013 at 10:06am

Just in case anyone would like to see, here is a picture of the compost tumbler that my roommate and I put together.  It's made out of an old 55 gallon apple juice barrel and some old reused pressure treated lumber.

Comment by Mark Massingill on March 21, 2013 at 4:24pm

I've got a 55 gallon steel drum that I'm thinking about making into a composter.  Where did you find the plans for that one?  Also, I haven't ever done much by way of gardening or composting, so how long does it take for a load to compost in that rig? I'm getting into everything in a big way this year and every little bit will help.

Comment by Adam Alexander on March 21, 2013 at 4:27pm

I haven't finished the first batch yet, so I'm not sure how long.  Basically looked at a few different vids on youtube of DIY tumblers and borrowed features from each.  My roommate helped with the specifics once we got going. :) 

Comment by Mark Massingill on March 21, 2013 at 6:00pm

Cool, I was about to check youtube when I noticed your reply.  Thanks, put up a pic if I ever find the time to make one. 

One more question, Tide or Eagle? (I live in Mobile, and it really needs to be Tide for us to remain friends, lol)

Comment by Adam Alexander on March 21, 2013 at 8:02pm

Haha...I lose more good friends this way...  I actually don't really care for football.  I'll watch it if other folks are...and if there are hot wings or cheese dip available. :)

Comment by Mark Massingill on March 23, 2013 at 1:15pm

I'm not big on the game either,  but the rest of the family are 'Bama fans, so when they play, it's "Roll Tide" around here.

As for the composter, when I started researching, I found an article comparing different composters to each other, and the compost tumblers to just using a compost bin.  The article said that manufacturer claims of compost in x number of weeks with the tumblers was false, and that if you turned the compost in a bin or pile as often as you rotated the tumbler, both methods produced usable compost in about the same time period.  The main benifits of the tumbler were: it was easier to turn the compost since you only had to crank an handle to rotate the drum; it was easier to keep the composting matter moist since the tumbler limited evaporation and run off; that an enclosed bin and the compost tumblers both help reduce or eliminate the ordor associated with composting in open piles and bins.

Here's a link for the article is anybody is interested:

Compost Tumblers

Comment by Adam Alexander on April 15, 2013 at 12:42pm

Building some raised beds in the back yard and getting ready to use my compost.  I'm going to mix it in with some composted cow manure and mushroom compost so that there's a good variety in there.  That's going to get mixed with other stuff like this.

1 part backyard soil

1 part vermiculite

1 part peat moss

1 part compost

Comment by Adam Alexander on April 24, 2013 at 1:26pm

That contractor bag full of yard waste compost is going further than I thought it would when mixed in with the soil mix described above.  I still have quite a bit left after filling a 32 cu ft raised bed. :)

Comment by Adam Alexander on May 9, 2013 at 2:57pm

These bags of leaves that I had brought to me by a friend of mine who's a landscaper have lots of pine needles in them.  Anyone here have any idea if there will be any negative effect on the compost (other than the needles taking a really long time to compost)?


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