How to Use a Compost Tumbler

There are lists of reasons to participate in composting. One incentive is to enjoy a healthy garden that produces satisfying fruits of your labor. Many people take nature’s gift of hearty soil for granted. It is preposterous to think that garden soil can be used over and over without having any repercussions. Each time we gaze at our beautiful gardens it is imperative to realize that the splendor has drained the soil of its nutrients, and they must be replaced. It’s common knowledge that our natural resources have been abused for centuries. We must all strive to change those ways of living.

Adding compost to the garden replenishes the soil and prepares it to produce once again. Not to fret, there are many types of compost tumbler available today that make this concept a snap. We need to discontinue the practice of using chemicals as an attempt to do the job of composting. Aside from the pressing issue to rid our environment from toxins, chemicals have never restored lost organic matter to the garden — only compost can handle that task. Additionally, anything that is composted and put back into the earth will help lower the production of methane gas that swirls out of our landfills.

For simplicity in composting, it’s wise to select a compost tumbler. A novice gardener will find it supportive, and at the same time it’s an adequate tool for a municipality. There are different features offered in tumblers. Many sit on wheeled frames for easy mobility. Some have to be rolled in order to turn the compost, and others have a hand crank. Either way, this method is less time consuming and physically easier than turning the natural fertilizer with a pitch fork. A few generous cranks will turn the fins inside the drum and advance your production. Some tumblers are made of the same materials as approved food containers. They have insulated cells that retain heat. This is essential to break down food scraps and yard debris. Handy features such as being lightweight, portable, and sealed for pest control add to the popularity of the compost tumbler.

The art of composting is not overwhelming. If you have a covered container and a compost tumbler this system becomes a routine very quickly. Set the container on the kitchen counter and collect used kitchen paper, tea bags, fruit and vegetable peelings, coffee grounds and the filters. Toss in bread, egg shells, feathers, and corn cobs. Don’t forget to include the dust from your vacuum cleaner, brown paper bags, saw dust, newspaper, and cereal boxes. Every few days just dump the container into the compost tumbler along with soft yard waste. Flower heads, grass clippings, and leaves help pave the way to a healthier garden and environment. Secure the lid on the tumbler, give it a few cranks and walk away.

Make sure the compost tumbler isn’t stuffed too full. It needs room to mix when the handle is cranked. Oxygen is necessary for rapid results. Crank the compost tumbler 2 or 3 times in each direction at least once a week. It’s better to take a minute for cranking each day, but the decomposition will still take place if you miss a few days here and there. Some compost tumblers have an aeration system that helps decompose uneven ratios. However, it doesn’t hurt to be aware that there is somewhat of a recipe. It makes the process move along faster and produces better quality compost. A simple guideline is to have equal amounts of green matter and brown matter. These will level out the nitrogen and carbon for a more even decomposition. There’s no need to get all crazy and start measuring everything. A quick glance is enough to determine if there is far more of one color than the other. Many gardeners find themselves really involved in composting and become fanatically precise. This is what makes them happy, but it’s absolutely not required.

There are bits of matter that are not recommended to be used in compost. Obviously, do not include anything that has been chemically treated, such as plastic or metal. Definitely skip bones, charcoal, and dog manure. Walnut shells, grease, and meat are not advised, and neither are dairy products and rhubarb leaves. In the fall there is an abundance of brown leaves, so keep in mind not to put too many of those in the compost tumbler at one time. The compost shouldn’t become dry in the sealed tumbler, but if this should happen add a bit of water — don’t drown it. Compost is ready to use when it’s crumbly and has an earthy smell. Work it evenly into the topsoil of a garden and fill pots for other plants. Leave a bit of product in the compost tumbler to give your next batch a boost. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Additionally, we participates in various other affiliate programs, and we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links.