How was your experience with this page? Coffee grounds and tea bags as longs as the bags are made from paper are excellent additions to your compost, so don't just throw them out.
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Enter Location. Update location. Learn more. Refine by Top Brands. Deliver To Home. Retailer Walmart. Brand Find a brand. Coast Of Maine. EasyGo Products. Encap LLC. Expert Gardener. Jolly Gardener. Mad Farmer. Medina Ag Products. We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers. All avid gardeners know that quality compost is worth its weight in gold.
You can save money and help the environment by making your own compost out of garden waste and kitchen scraps, but to do so, you'll need a garden composter. If you're new to the world of composting, deciding which composter to buy can seem like an impossible task. Bin or tumbler? Metal or plastic? Round or square? You have so many options available to you that it's tough to know which is best without doing hours of research.
Read our shopping guide to find all the information you need about garden composters and how to select the perfect one for your needs. Or, if you're ready to buy with confidence, check out our top recommendations. Once you've situated your garden composter, the first step is to add the organic materials you want to compost. Now, the bacteria get to work. Microbes break down plant matter and produce carbon dioxide and heat. Bugs, such as worms and slugs, are your friends.
They eat and excrete the material in your composter and help turn it into compost more quickly. Turn your compost every three to seven days to increase the amount of oxygen the material is exposed to and speed up the composting process. When the material has turned into brown, crumbly compost — which takes between three and 12 months — it's ready to use.
Natalie owns and operates a family farm in Northern Kentucky where she raises poultry and grows vegetables. Out of sheer necessity, Natalie has accumulated a wealth of knowledge regarding land management and preservation, agricultural landscaping, a myriad of fencing materials and applications, and small engine mechanics. Although she loves her chickens, Natalie is planning to expand into raising American Guinea Hogs and Shropshire Sheep.
She spends much of her free time designing and building furniture and home decor in her wood shop. Composting is environmentally friendly, since you're recycling your own garden waste and certain kitchen scraps rather than sending it to a landfill. When you compost your garden waste, you don't end up with overflowing trashcans come garbage day. Composted material will actually help lower highly acidic soil. Acidic soil prevents plants from accessing water and absorbing nutrients, so gardeners will have a hard time keeping plants alive.
Instead of adding lime or other fertilizers, add compost! You can find two main varieties of garden composters on the market: compost tumblers and compost bins. Quickly and easily turns compost without using a fork, durable sealed construction lasts longer and speeds up composting process, harder for pests such as mice and raccoons to access.
A compost tumbler makes composting much easier, as you don't need to turn your finishing compost by hand with a garden fork. Compost bins look like large square or round vats with open bottoms. The compost sits directly on the soil. Large capacity, tend to cost less that compost tumblers, excess moisture usually drains itself into the ground. More work to turn the compost, easier access for pests, compost tends to take longer to be ready.
To expedite the composting process, these materials need to be shredded, chopped, or placed in a wood chipper. For most people, composting is a chore rather than a hobby, so you want a garden composter that's relatively easy to use. The tumbler is by far the easiest type of composter to use, since you simply have to crank a handle a few times to spin the drum and turn your compost.
Thanks to their heavy construction, compost tumblers are generally more durable than compost bins. Most garden composters are made from either plastic, metal, or wood. Plastic and metal are better choices, as they're better at regulating the heat required for composting.
If you opt for a plastic composter, make sure it's sturdy enough, as flimsy plastics won't stand the test of time. Dark hues will help the compost bin heat up, especially in the colder months. The capacity of a garden composter dictates how much compost you can make at any one time. Compost tumblers tend to have smaller capacities, usually between 30 and 80 gallons. Compost bins have larger capacities, usually between 60 and gallons. Unless you have an extremely large garden or routinely peel vegetables to feed an army in the kitchen, something in the range of a to gallon capacity should be more than enough.
If you want a garden composter with a large capacity, you'll probably need to go with a bin-style composter. Shape isn't too much of an issue with compost tumblers, but if you choose a compost bin, you'll need to get in there with a garden fork to turn your compost.
In this case, it's easier to have a round bin rather than a square one, as unturned compost is more likely to get stuck in the corners. Chopping the material you put in your compost bin into small pieces will help it break down faster.
According to Natalie, "Compost bins placed away from the home or out of sight will receive less attention. It takes concerted effort to care for compost. This small composter has room for 28 gallons of waste but is compact enough to fit on a balcony, patio, or anywhere that has just two feet of space available.
The Miraclo-Gro Small Composter has a single chamber design. It cures compost in as little as 4 to 6 weeks and only needs to be turned every 1 to 2 days. Just beware that the oxygen holes which help aerate the organic material for faster decomposition sometimes allow debris to fall out during mixing. A basic outdoor composter is an easy way to advance your gardening game.
The Redmon compost bin boasts an affordable price tag but has a capacity of 65 gallons. There are generally two types of residential outdoor composters—a tumbler style and a stationary bin like this model. One common complaint is that the lid of this budget compost bin tends to blow off in the wind, so you may need to secure it. For a composter that is easy to fill and simple to maintain, the Envirocycle Composting Tumbler is a great option for a single chamber composter. Available in either a 17 or gallon drum size, users love how easy it is to assemble this composter.
It arrives in two pieces that only requires you to set up the base and place the drum on top. With a single chamber inside, there are no nuts and bolts to connect internally to create an internal partition. The rollers in the base make it easy to rotate the drum regularly to mix the composting materials inside.
Another feature that is often mentioned is the fact that 4 drain holes in the base collect the liquid created during the composting process. Reviewers have also been impressed with the customer service of Envirocycle and report that the company stands behind its products, even after years of use.
This expandable worm composter is delivered with 4 trays, which is usually an adequate size for the needs of 1 to 4 people. However, you can expand this vermicomposter to a total of 8 trays for higher volumes of waste. The important thing to remember when composting with worms is that they have specific environment requirements. The composter needs to have sufficient airflow, enough moisture, and the right temperatures. The manufacturer recommends that you keep your worm composter between 40 and degrees Fahrenheit.
For many climates, this may mean that you need to bring the composter into the garage or even into the house such as in a basement during very cold or very warm months. However, the additional work to maintain a living composter like the Worm Factory is well worth it when you consider the efficiency with which this system can process organic waste.
Everything from kitchen scraps to paper waste can be processed by the worms into high-quality compost that will help your plants thrive. Keep in mind that it will take several months before you see returns.
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