One Month to finished compost? My experience so far with compost tumblers
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  1. #1
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
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    One Month to finished compost? My experience so far with compost tumblers

    I have three tumblers in action right now, along with two food quality barrels - one filled with weeds & grass for loading tumblers, and one filled with Alpaca Poop.

    I put my first 35 gallon tumbler into service on June 25th:

    https://www.amazon.com/Mantis-CT0900...ompost+tumbler

    I put my second 80 gallon tumbler into service on July 2nd.

    https://www.amazon.com/Lifetime-6005...ompost+tumbler

    And I put my 65 gallon tumbler into service on July 10th.

    https://www.amazon.com/Lifetime-6002...ompost+tumbler

    I added a shovel of the pacapoo in the two originals on July 5th and in the initial feeding of the 65 gallon tumbler.

    In each I used the weeds I'd pulled from around the house and in the garden, plus lawn clippings. For the browns I added sawdust from around my sawhorse, and shredded (by scissor and hands) cardboard. I need to go get a ton of the fallen leaves in the woods. And I may get a load of wood chips from the local sawmills. The carbons (or browns) are the most difficult for me to lay my hands on.

    I tumbled the beasts daily until putting the 65 gallon one in service, and then switched to weekly - I'd found the error of my ways, wasn't given them time to get started tumbling daily.

    On July 17th, I added two scoops of wood ash to each, and on July 19th I added 2 cups of rock dust to each of the larger ones and one cup to the 35 gallon one.

    I last tumbled July 25th, will tumble again tomorrow.

    But, yesterday I took a look inside:

    In the 35 gallon tumbler I'd filled it 2/3rds full, and now it's at 1/3rd full and very close to getting there, but still has clumps in it I'm thinking I'll break up.

    The 80 gallon tumbler is looking pretty good, down to about a third full versus two thirds. And the 65 gallon one is doing pretty good as well, down to about 1/2 full versus two thirds.

    So, I'd really say that one month would certainly be nice, but it looks to take 2 months in reality. I may get better over time. And my brother is arguing that I need to double the number of tumblers to get the production I may need.

    I keep a constant watch on Craigslist for more. I'm not going to order new ones anymore. That 65 gallon one I picked up off Clist for $30 versus the around $150 I paid for the new ones - out of what I felt was necessity.
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

    "'He jests at scars who never felt a wound'" c.s.lewis - 1940

    The Ten Commandments: http://www.godstenlaws.com/ten-comma.../#.UdAz65yynZg

    The Bill of Rights: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/fou...ill-of-rights/

    The Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html

  2. #2
    us
    Old Tom Cat.

    Jan 2013
    N.of , I-285...GA
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    Neat Post DSA.
    DeepseekerADS likes this.
    As I am finding , In life we begin having the Blissful happiness & the Wonder & innocence of a Child, then fall Quickly, then spend the rest of our lives trying to reach that point where we began ,through Pleasure , Fame, & Materials but Only 'Through true faith in Jesus , can we find Prefect Happiness or true Meaning in our Short lives on this Beautiful Earth filled with both the Light of Pure goodness & The Darkness of Pure Evil. D.

    That Said, I judge No Man.
    Davers

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, EQ800, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
    13,110
    17611 times
    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!
    I tumbled them a little bit ago. Gotta be more careful around them, got a not very nice 2" gash on my forearm off one of the tumblers. I always was a klutz! Something as simple as spinning a tumbler.

    It is past the "month" mark, and while they look pretty nice, there's still plenty distance they have to go yet. I officially debunk the "month"!

    But then, what do I know, my first adventure. I have no doubt I'll be harvesting some good soil, but I'm figuring I'll have to empty the drum, Screen it and put the rejected material back in the tumbler for the next generation.
    Nitric, kingskid1611 and AARC like this.
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

    "'He jests at scars who never felt a wound'" c.s.lewis - 1940

    The Ten Commandments: http://www.godstenlaws.com/ten-comma.../#.UdAz65yynZg

    The Bill of Rights: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/fou...ill-of-rights/

    The Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html

  4. #4
    us
    WP

    Mar 2014
    Dallas,GA
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    I don't know if it would be cheaper? And I was young so I don't remember all details....My dad would make them out of old dryer drums, he got somewhere...Paint them black, Two 4x4 posts and made a door on the drum. It's been a long time and don't remember what he used on the ends...probably just wood.and old pipe to mount it to the posts....

    Him and my grandfather would put everything in their compost piles, dead fish or scraps from cleaning,food scraps, yard workings,etc....

    Then after playing with the drums they just went back to piles and a pitch fork...But like I said I was young and had no interest at that time. so I don't remember details...

    OHHHHH...You probably know this...But some stuff will generate enough heat to actually burn..everything probably has to be just right..
    Last edited by Nitric; Aug 10, 2016 at 10:57 AM.
    DeepseekerADS likes this.

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, EQ800, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
    13,110
    17611 times
    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!
    I had a pile last year where I'd just throw on whatever. That pile actually worked out quite well, got good dirt from it this year. Most of it is placed around the berry plants.

    I've loaded my tumblers trying to keep the browns & greens equal. And, I threw in several shovels of last year's compost to get the reactions going. A big bunch of the greens I added were running weed vines. The vine runners themselves haven't broken down. So those will be sifted out and put back in for the next generation. And the next one afterwards if they still don't break down. They're about 1/8" in diameter.

    My strawberries are beginning to take off. Planted 12 last year and two died. Replaced those two, and with the runners now I have 22 strawberry plants It's rather obvious I should have given them more room. Next year will be year three, and I ain't seen nothing yet.... The other ones which haven't sent out runners will be doing that by the end of this season. Next year....
    Nitric likes this.
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

    "'He jests at scars who never felt a wound'" c.s.lewis - 1940

    The Ten Commandments: http://www.godstenlaws.com/ten-comma.../#.UdAz65yynZg

    The Bill of Rights: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/fou...ill-of-rights/

    The Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    Feb 2015
    Oklahoma
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    Well on your way to some exciting worm crap. I just pile but that takes a long time although I have always enjoyed the outcome.
    DeepseekerADS likes this.
    Tell me and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand. - Tribe Unknown. Those that lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. - Blackfoot

  7. #7
    us
    ARC

    Aug 2014
    Bahia Espiritu Santo de Tampa - La Florida
    JW 8X V.2 - ML X2 - VP 580
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    My girl is an avid gardener...
    Built her a compost area for her to pile her peels and grinds scraps and such.

    From what I have observed in the last few years of running this pile for her is ... moisture.
    Not wet... but slightly moist.. and some air flow.
    This speeds things up almost to half of the normal time.

    Her garden plants are thriving like crazy from one and one shovel fulls of the compost... decent soil... and pure sand / dirt.
    DeepseekerADS likes this.
    Have permission... Fill holes... Dispose of trash. - The Random Chat Thread - http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/ev...l-welcome.html

  8. #8
    us
    WP

    Mar 2014
    Dallas,GA
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    Deepseeker! Just read if you pee on it it helps too! Sounds insane! But I'm not joking! Anyhow, I was just searching the net....My grandfather use to mix a little Lye(?) in with it. And that's what I started out searching when I ran into this........

    Should You Pee On Your Compost? | Care2 Healthy Living
    DeepseekerADS likes this.

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, EQ800, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
    13,110
    17611 times
    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!
    Well Nitric my friend, I'm fully aware of that, and I'm too bashful to talk about it!
    Nitric and boogeyman like this.
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

    "'He jests at scars who never felt a wound'" c.s.lewis - 1940

    The Ten Commandments: http://www.godstenlaws.com/ten-comma.../#.UdAz65yynZg

    The Bill of Rights: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/fou...ill-of-rights/

    The Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html

  10. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    Cat teaches man, not everything here serves him.

    Feb 2011
    S. Fl.
    Minelab Excal II, Garrett, Tesoro
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    I'm still trying to get the Mr. to pee, in the backyard.....
    needless to say, the front yard is no where near the compost bin, and he sure ain't made no dirt!

    I can't believe how long it takes to make dirt!
    I be digging up that Everglades/Belle Glade black muck.....
    and making floatsam/phosphorous/algae mixture, in the old fish pound.

    Good luck with your making dirt venture......
    DeepseekerADS likes this.
    Yesterday is history, tomorow a mystery. All we have is the here and now, it's a special gift. That's why we call it "The Present"

    Pity the poor agnostic dyslexic insomniac who lies awake at night wondering if there really is a Dog.

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/patharp?ref=si_shop

  11. #11
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, EQ800, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
    13,110
    17611 times
    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!
    Ooooo.....

    I'm due to spin the tumblers today, it's been 7 days since I looked inside. Probably won't look a lot different.
    pat-tekker-cat likes this.
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

    "'He jests at scars who never felt a wound'" c.s.lewis - 1940

    The Ten Commandments: http://www.godstenlaws.com/ten-comma.../#.UdAz65yynZg

    The Bill of Rights: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/fou...ill-of-rights/

    The Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html

  12. #12
    us
    Apr 2005
    1,053
    583 times
    tumblers are a good idea but, I am going to take it a bit further and build a biogas digester. That way I can use the gas as fuel and the liquid as fertilizer. Similar process but you can capture methane gas to run a gasoline or diesel engine(diesel engine requires 15%propane mixture) to power my house and to provide heat. Can purchase natural gas stove to cook on and a natural gas heater and or water heater. Can run a generator to furnish electricity and also0 use heat from the generator to help heat the house. It is as simple as saving your grass clippings or buying hay, adding manure will get it started and the liquid from the process is pure natural fertilizer, like liquid compost. Go to youtube to see videos if you are interested. Good Luck. rockhound

  13. #13
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, EQ800, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
    13,110
    17611 times
    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!
    Spun the tumblers today.

    Looks like the 35 gallon one kicked butt, I'll be emptying it next week, which will be the 24th. So that is 2 months on that one. The 80 gallon one looks like it'll be ready the week after, in 2 months as well. Looks like my first effort will have been a solid two months to dirt for each of them.

    I tumbled the first two daily until July 10th. That didn't really allow the activity to begin. Just maybe I can cut 2 weeks off the process. I'll sure see what can happen.
    Last edited by DeepseekerADS; Aug 17, 2016 at 03:58 PM.
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

    "'He jests at scars who never felt a wound'" c.s.lewis - 1940

    The Ten Commandments: http://www.godstenlaws.com/ten-comma.../#.UdAz65yynZg

    The Bill of Rights: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/fou...ill-of-rights/

    The Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html

  14. #14
    us
    Jul 2015
    Southwest PA
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    I use a 55 gallon metal drum. I poked a few holes into the sides of it with a nail to keep air going into it. I throw stuff into it like grass clippings, paper without any wax or plastic coatings, kitchen scraps, and lots of leaves from trees and let it sit over winter. It doesn't hurt to stir it once in awhile, but I only did that sparingly when warm outside. (above 50 degrees f) Next spring I put the contents into the soil when I turned the soil. It's better in the soil than on top as it washes away easily on top and when in the soil it helps it to hold water better. I start on next years right after I've emptied it of 90% of the contents for mixing with the soil so this goes on through the summer and fall. It's important to have older decomposed soil in the drum for the bacteria to start on the newer materials to be composted. I used to lightly water it when necessary before my lid rotted enough to allow rain to enter and keep it moist. It's probably too wet this way, but I don't care as it isn't needed until next year anyway.

  15. #15
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, EQ800, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
    13,110
    17611 times
    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!
    All three tumblers were ready, and it was smothering hot here the middle of August. So I let them go till Sept. 19th and emptied the 35 gallon one. The quantity mass result was a whole lot less than I expected. I filled them all to 3/4 full originally. I got a good 5 gallon bucket of black soil out of it, left a couple gallons in to kick start the next generation. And then filled it back up to 3/4.

    I put all that dirt around the strawberries and saw them greener at the end of the first week.

    It's time to empty both the others, but the 85 gallon one first. I'll use that dirt around the strawberries again. Next year is the year for them to mature!
    releventchair likes this.
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

    "'He jests at scars who never felt a wound'" c.s.lewis - 1940

    The Ten Commandments: http://www.godstenlaws.com/ten-comma.../#.UdAz65yynZg

    The Bill of Rights: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/fou...ill-of-rights/

    The Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html

 

 
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