My Home made compost tumbler
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(Christchurch, New Zealand)
My home made compost tumbler
For years I have made compost the traditional way, in a bin or heap. Some time ago I tried using a compost tumbler and it made compost much quicker. I built my own using a blue plastic 55 gal. drum.
Here are the steps I used.
1. Place the drum on its side and mark out a rectangle
which will be cut out to form the opening and the lid.
2. Put hinges, hasp and staple fittings in position and
drill the holes where the bolts will hold them to the
barrel and lid. (Photo 2)
3. Using a jigsaw cut out the shape of the lid.
4. Nut and bolt the hinges etc. onto the barrel and lid.
5. Drill holes in the ends of the drum to provide extra
ventilation (Photo 3)
6 Fill the barrel with compost making material with as
much as you can fit in. (garden waste, newspaper,
cardboard, old compost animal manure etc).
7 Give it a good dose of water. I know it sounds yuk but
add some urine because it is a great source of natural
nitrogen plus other goodies. Don’t let it dry out but
don’t make it sloppy.
8. Secure the lid and roll the barrel along the ground for
about five revolutions, and then back. Do this daily.
If you have limited space you could put a shaft
through the centre of the barrel from end to end,
suspend it off the ground between two posts, and
rotate the barrel that way.
9. My full barrel of compost materials reduced to a third
of a barrel of compost in three weeks. I use it either
as a mulch where it further composts or put it in my
worm farm. They make a real good job of it.
All the best with your experiments