Video: Home Made Compost Tumbler - Off-Grid

Video: Home Made Compost Tumbler

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Video - Home Made Compost TumblerVideo: Home Made Compost Tumbler
Photo – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfi-bSs6EQ0

Every good gardener recognises the need to add nutrients to the soil for strong, healthy plants. Good compost will help the soil to retain moisture, improve its structure and much more! Home composting is a brilliant way to recycle some of your household waste and benefit your garden at the same time. Compostable waste that goes into landfill creates methane (a potent greenhouse gas) and makes up around one third of all waste!



This design for a home-made compost tumbler fits the bill perfectly – the maker has made free detailed plans and the materials are readily available. A compost tumbler will reduce the time needed for your compost to be ready – this could be as little as six weeks in warm weather! – and it saves a lot of work turning the compost.

Many beginners make the mistake of putting all of their compostable material into a closed bin or a heap that doesn’t allow air to circulate – the results are likely to put them off composting for life! Decomposition that is anaerobic (without air) leads to a smelly, slimy mess that won’t be very healthy for you or your plants.



The process needs oxygen to work well and the aim is to produce a friable, soft compost that can be handled easily. Some gardeners say it’s “sweet-smelling” but that may be going a bit far! Another important factor when making compost is to use a balance of “browns” (eg leaves, straw, plant stems) and “greens” (eg kitchen waste, grass cuttings).

There is growing concern about the use of plastics in the home and garden, especially where food and crops are involved – this is due to the release of potentially harmful chemicals as they break down or when they are heated. Aerobic compost can become surprisingly hot and for the best results the centre of the mix should be at around 130ºF! Plastics are classified with a system of numbers for recycling so they are easy to identify; food grade plastic (code 5, as used in the featured design) is the safest and PVC or BPA (code 3 and 7) are to be avoided. For a full guide to the system, please see the link under “further resources” below.

Another good idea is to have two separate batches of compost going at the same time – one full bin or tumbler that is turned regularly and one to be filled before transferring the contents to the tumbler when it’s been emptied. This way it’s easier to add the right proportions of ingredients to your compost mix and have a regular supply for your garden.



Okay, here is the video:

Further resources:
Detailed plans for this design: http://dixiegrilling.com/tumbler.htm
http://www.the-compost-gardener.com/benefits-of-compost.html
http://ecovillagegreen.com/903/what-do-the-plastic-recycling-numbers-mean/
http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/compost-ingredients


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