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Parts for a Compact Compost Tumbler

Composting is a wonderful way to use waste material, create a rich additive for your garden and lawn, and save money by not having to go out and buy peat or other soil enrichers. While you don't necessarily need to purchase a product for storing your compost, you might find it makes the process simpler. Compact compost tumblers are a popular product because, as the name suggests, they contain the waste materials in a fairly small space and provide an easy way to mix the compost as it ripens. Each part of the compost tumbler serves a specific function.


The stand keeps the compost bin off the ground, making it harder for rodents and other animals to gain access to the materials inside the drum. The size of the stand varies from model to model.


The drum is the main section. It contains the organic material to be composted. Drums come in different sizes; with the larger drums, the compost tends to dry more quickly so less frequent turning is required. More elaborate models have an inner drum, which collects the finer material.

  • The drum is the main section.
  • More elaborate models have an inner drum, which collects the finer material.


Compact compost tumblers have a handle for turning the compost. This feature makes it easier on the gardener: no more standing over the compost pile with a shovel, turning your waste material by hand.

Special Features

While the drum, handle and stand are the standard features, some models have special features that make composting easier and quicker. Sifter screens allow the gardener to separate finer materials and use that compost as potting soil. Vinyl covers can be purchased to protect the tumbler from the elements.


Adding compost is one of the best ways to boost a garden's ability to thrive without the use harmful chemicals. Carbon-rich, or "brown" matter, includes items such as tree bark, leaves, twigs and paper. Microorganisms such as bacteria, already present in the decaying matter, work together to break the pile down. A well-balanced compost pile produces usable compost in several weeks to several months, depending upon the size of the heap. Straw, shredded paper and chunks of plain corrugated cardboard are also excellent brown-matter add-ins for your compost pile or bin. * While fallen, dead branches count as brown matter, fresh garden clippings, such as pieces from pruned shrubs, are green matter. The paper filter counts as brown matter, completely welcome in the pile. A compost pile that heats up as it should will kill any weed seeds present. Breads, pasta, dairy and meat products, bones, animal waste, and kitchen grease or oils should not be added to a compost bin. Also avoid putting any materials treated with potentially harmful chemicals into the compost pile, as these may either kill the microbes that help break matter down or they may introduce harmful chemicals to the compost and to the areas where compost is spread. Try these sparingly at first to ensure they break down in a reasonable amount of time. Get started by selecting a shaded area that's easily accessible, since you'll add materials and water to it from time time. Always cover the green matter with 5 inches or more of brown to help keep insects and vermin away. Sprinkle the pile with water if it feels too dry, or whenever you add dry brown matter. A tarp over the top of the pile isn't required, but it helps keep the moisture in. If you feel a compost pile or homemade bin is too messy or difficult to deal with, consider a pre-made composting bin such as the barrel-shaped style designed to either roll or turn on a spindle. Expect it to take several months before the compost in a pile three feet tall is ready. Compost is considered gold in the garden, and it has several uses: * Add fresh compost around garden plants in layers up to 3inches deep as a mulch.

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