Fertilizers and healthy soil are very important to plants. It has been a trend that uses eco-friendly fertilizer in planting. More and more people are trying to compost and turn the household waste hill into eco-friendly fertilizer so that they can use the compost to grow their small or large gardens. This can save money on garbage disposal, and fertilizer, and also protect the environment. Are you trying to make your own compost from garden and household waste? It doesn’t make a significant change in your daily habits to start a compost. You just need to start with the right compost bin.
There are many composting options that can be used in any kind of situation. Here’s the guide to help you pick the right composter for your needs.
What Is A Garden Composter?
A compost bin is a container for making compost. You can place and stir the fresh green waste, dried materials, and water in it. After a period of fermentation, microbes and worms in the soil eat this waste and break it down into the most basic parts. This creates nutrient-rich, healthy organic soil for planting. Depending on the type of compost bin, you can keep adding more waste or make a batch of compost in the bin at a time.
There are many composting options available for any situation. Here’s the guide to help you pick the best composter for your needs.
Why Do You Need A Garden Composter?
Here are some reasons to own a garden composter if you aren’t convinced yet.
It is much cheaper to make your own compost than to buy it.
Composting is an environmentally friendly option because you are recycling your garden waste and some kitchen scraps, rather than sending it to the landfill.
Compost can be used to reduce the use of controversial chemical fertilizers.
Composting your garden waste will ensure that you don’t have overflowing garbage cans on garbage day.
Compost improves soil quality and reduces toxins.
Best Garden Composters
1. FCMP Outdoor Two Chamber Composter
- With two separated chambers for different composting process.
- The openings are large and removable.
- The octagonal shape makes mixing easy.
- Poor instruction, but it’s fairly easy to put together for most people.
2. Miracle Gro Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler
- Octagonal chambers of 18.5 gallons capacity
- Speed up the process with internal mixing bars
- Heavy-duty alloy steel structure
- Very easy to mixing the compost
- A bit complicated to assemble for some people.
3. SQUEEZE Dual Chamber Outdoor Tumbler Composters
- The frame is made of sturdy alloy steel.
- Good air circulation design.
- Attached visual thermometer
- Easy to use
- Not easy to assemble without a user guide
- The openings are on the small side.
4. VIVOSUN Dual-Batch Tumbling Composter
- Produce high quality compost with quantity and speed
- Increase oxygen with adjustable air vents
- Galvanized steel and PP plastic are resistant to corrosion, degradation, and deformation
- Take effort in assembling for some people.
5. EJWOX Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler
- Dual-chamber design allows for continuous composting.
- Easy to turn the compost with the aeration system
- The sturdy powder-coated steel structure is resistant to rust.
- The sliding doors are on the small side.
What to Consider When Buying Garden Composters?
Garden Composter Types
There are two main types of garden composters available on the market: compost bins and compost tumblers.
Compost bins are the most common and traditional type of composter. They are large, square-shaped, or round, stationary containers with open bottoms. They are meant to be placed in your yard and are not to be moved.
These bins can be used to store a wide range of materials, including yard waste and kitchen scraps. It allows you to add materials to the top at any time, turn the pile occasionally, and then harvest the compost from the bottom. Hence, they are also called “continuous”. They are usually sealed with a lid to prevent other critters from entering the bins. The excess moisture is more likely to drain into the ground. This type of compost bin is ideal for gardeners who need a place to dispose of their kitchen scraps, garden wastes, and weeds, then forget it.
As compost bins tend to have a large capacity, it takes longer to prepare compost, such as harvesting once or twice a year.
A compost tumbler is a sealed container placed on a frame. It has a handle for rotating or spinning the compost. You can easily turn composting materials without using a pitchfork. The durable sealed drum can hold the heat during the composting process, speed up composting, and prevent pests from accessing.
Compost tumblers work faster than compost bins and can produce compost in as little as a month or two if you have the right conditions.
Although a batch composter is the most efficient way to make compost, it must be turned every day and checked for adequate moisture. You can stockpile materials for the next batch while one batch is being composted. Stockpiles can be open, closed, or continuous.
You can not fill the drum too full, which makes it difficult to rotate the compost.
Compost tumblers are smaller but more expensive than traditional compost bins and must be composted in their entirety before you can use them. This type of composter is suitable for gardeners who want to compost faster and are willing to work harder and plan more.
There are outdoor composters for the backyard and indoor composters for the kitchen countertop. You need to think about the purpose of your compost, which determines the size of the composter and the location of the compost bin.
If you want to start a small garden and have a small nook to place the composter, a dual-chamber tumbler composter or a combination of a 3-gallon indoor composter plus an outdoor compost bin can meet your needs. They allow you to add organic waste to the pile whenever the indoor bin needs to be emptied.
If you just want to toss the green waste away, you will need a portable and durable 3-gallon compost bin in the kitchen, so that you can give your compost to a community container at any time. Also, you can install a garbage disposal to handle this waste.
The composter’s capacity you need depends on how much organic household waste you have each week.
Outdoor compost bins usually have larger capacities, and typically can hold up to 200 gallons.
The capacity of compost tumblers is usually under 50 gallons because too much capacity will need more strength to stir up the compost.
While indoor composters will hold only a few gallons. They need to be emptied frequently into larger outdoor containers.
A 50-gallon container should be sufficient if you have a small garden and a 5-member family.
Most garden composters can be made of either wood, metal, or plastic. Think about what elements the composter will be exposed to before choosing the right material. How long can it last?
Outdoor composters are usually placed in gardens and it usually takes months to make a batch of compost. These bins should have resistance to weather, insects, and decay. Composite decking boards, cedar boards, and pre-treated boards are great choices.
Metal and plastic are better options for composting tumblers because they can better regulate the heat needed for composting. But they must be -resistant to weather, corrosion, and rust, also need to be strong enough to last longer.
Indoor composters should be rust-resistant and easy to clean. Stainless steel and sturdy plastic could be the best options.
Easy to use
Most people consider composting a chore, not a hobby. Therefore, you need a garden composter with a simple operation.
The tumbler is the most simple type of composter, as you just need to turn the handle a few times to spin your drum and turn it.
Compost tumblers are more durable than compost bins due to their heavier construction.
As you will need to use a garden fork to turn the compost, it’s better to use a round bin than a square. Because unturned compost is more likely to get stuck in the square corners.
You should ensure that your composter is far from the living area just in case of any odor, and add a lid so that it doesn’t attract pests like rats, flies, and other creatures.
What Can I Put Into The Composter?
Things you can put into the composter:
- Green materials: uncooked vegetable scraps, fruit peels, and overripe fruits, green grass clippings without seeds, green leaves.
- Brown materials: sawdust and wood debris from organic wood, dried leaves, dried grass clippings, paper scraps, newspaper, cardboard scraps, and wasted paper teabags.
- Vegetarian animal waste from rabbits, cows, and eggshells.
- Water: first time and twice a week.
Things you cannot put into the composter:
- Animal products: dairy, meat, and bones.
- Cooked foods, leftovers
- Diseased plants and chemical-treated wood debris
- Non-vegetarian animal waste from dogs and cats.
How to Make Compost Successfully?
These tips will help you succeed in composting.
- Add only organic materials after you have located your garden composter. Do not let one material dominate your compost pile. It is better to have a mixture of materials.
- The bacteria can now get to work. The bacteria break down plant matter to produce heat and carbon dioxide. The temperature of the compost pile’s center can be between 100 and 140 degrees F. At this point, heat-loving bacteria get to further break down the material.
- Add some worms. They will eat the compost and excrete it. This will help you turn it into compost faster.
- Turn it every three to seven days to increase the ventilation and oxygen content of your compost. This also speeds up the composting process.
- Be patient. It’s ready for use when the material is transformed into brown, crumbly compost. This process can take between 3 and 12 months.
- Maintain the moisture. A compost pile should contain a moisture content between 40% and 60%. Too little or too much moisture can slow down the process of composting and affect microbial activity. It should feel damp but not wet to touch, a little like a sponge. Add dry materials like paper, cardboard, or woodchips to your compost pile center if it is too moist. Add a little water if it is too dry.
- Add a lid but keep ventilation. A lid can protect the compost bin from the rain and other creatures, but your composter should never be fully sealed if you want to make it faster.