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tomf
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Posts: 3227
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 12:15 pm
Location: Oregon

I am ready to make a composter.

I got two black 55 gallon drums yesterday and will be making two compost barrels. One will fill first and I will let it compost as I fill the next one. I have been reading that is the way to do it. I had a bin composter and was never happy with it. I found plans to make them out of 55 gallon drums.They will be mounted sideways so I can spin them. I am building a 25' by 25' greenhouse right now so I will get to it when I can, I was in the area where the place that sold the drums was so I picked them up. My question is have any of you done this with drums before and if so what should I know? How did it work for you, how sunny does the spot you pick have to be?
The things I do are an evolution and I am always learning. My way is not the only way of doing things, and I may and will change the way I do things as I learn better ways. So any advice that I give is in that spirit.

Ksk
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Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:57 pm

Re: I am ready to make a composter.

I am a big fan of these spinning drum composters. I purchased mine last spring but mine were a kit made out of weather resistant plastic with a metal frame. The primary reason I love this system is drums off the ground keep rodents to a minimum. In the desert, where I live, rodents, (pack rats, mice and snakes that follow them) will make a move to live wherever there is regular water so my bin (flat) compost was a disaster and I was pulling my hair out with the rodent population. Now it is very manageable.

The downside of spinning the compost is that the rolling action forms balls of compost. I dump the compost onto a plastic tarp and break these up before using the compost in the garden. It is a minor annoyance as compared to the alternative. If the drums smells slimy, I use my paper shredder to chop compostable brown paper bags for brown compost. I have my two drums in the sun 80% of the day and it works great. Avoid all day shade. Also, when you moisten the compost you can take the water that drips out the bottom and use as compost tea.

Lastly, you will want the system positioned in the sun during the colder months because if you can keep enough mass to generate the heat in the drum, it will work all winter instead of freezing into a lump.

User avatar
tomf
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3227
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 12:15 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: I am ready to make a composter.

Thanks good advice.
The things I do are an evolution and I am always learning. My way is not the only way of doing things, and I may and will change the way I do things as I learn better ways. So any advice that I give is in that spirit.

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