Ninelives
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Location: Lubbock TX.

Homemade Compost Tumbler

This cost me $0

This was made out of items I had laying around the house, 2 x 4 ,saw horse brackets, trash can 1/2" conduit, 3/4" PVC and bolts and screws.

Compost is sitting out there cooking away, this compost tumbler works really good.

[img]https://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu100/ninelives_9/Garden%202009/DSC01492.jpg[/img]
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vintagejuls
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Wow, great job Ninelives. How creative you are! 8)
~ Julie

Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well... Emerson

Ninelives
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Thank you vintagejuls :D
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2cents
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Is there any difficulty keeping the lid on when you turn it?

Ninelives
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No the lid stays on tight, I will get a pictures of how I have it made and post it in the norning, I drilled out holes for bolts to go thru, so the lid is bolted on.Foil tape to keep the bolts in place so they don't fall out when the lid is off.I am an HVAC tech, I have a fluke meter I will take an inturnal temp and post that also.
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Ninelives
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Compost is almost ready and it's only been in there less then a week, 2 or 3 more days and it will be good to go.Took these picture at 7:00am this morning.It really heats up during the heat of the day.

[img]https://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu100/ninelives_9/Garden%202009/DSC01520.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu100/ninelives_9/Garden%202009/DSC01519.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu100/ninelives_9/Garden%202009/DSC01518.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu100/ninelives_9/Garden%202009/DSC01516.jpg[/img]
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stvfarmboy
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That is a great idea. I have thrown around the idea of making my own compost tumbler, but wasn’t sure where I could get a metal barrel that I could use.

Does the garbage can lift off or anything so you can empty it? Or do you just dump it out into another container of some sort when you have finished compost?

Ninelives
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My wife gets these 45 gallon totes at Dollar Genreal for $10 and I just take the lid off the compost tumbler and dump it in these totes, works out really good, I just use what compost I need and store the rest.

[img]https://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu100/ninelives_9/Garden%202009/CompostTote.gif[/img]
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Ninelives
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My wife's favorite snack, Heirloom Radishes and Baby Carrots, she picked theses yesterday.

Edit: picked on may 28th,

I did'nt get a picture of yesterdays.

[img]https://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu100/ninelives_9/Garden%202009/May28th09_Heirloom_carrotsRadishes_.jpg[/img]
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Gary350
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Pretty good idea to fix the trash can so you can spin it to mix the compost. How well does it mix? That will make it easy to dump too.

Your in TX so you have plenty of summer heat to make the compost work. I have been keeping my compost in plastic trash cans and 55 gallon drums for years, about 1 month is the hot TN sun and the compost is ready to use. For years I have wanted to make a better system I have always though a 4 wheel trailer would be nice so I can move the compost where I need it before I dump it. My compost trash cans are heavy and hard to drag across my yard to the place where I want to dump the load. Your plastic tote idea is good too. I have used 5 gallon buckets as totes but most of my compost misses the bucket and goes on the ground.

Ninelives
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I wanted to add this picture to show how there is strenth on the pvc rod that it tumbles on, one board outside and inside screwed together on both sides.

[img]https://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu100/ninelives_9/Garden%202009/DSC01523.jpg[/img]
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Ninelives
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How well does it mix? That will make it easy to dump too.
I only fill the can up to the first drilled out hole or just above so it has rome to mix.
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Ninelives
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9 day black gold compost.

[img]https://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu100/ninelives_9/Garden%202009/June5th2009Compost_01Small.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu100/ninelives_9/Garden%202009/June5th2009Compost_04Small.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu100/ninelives_9/Garden%202009/June5th2009Compost_07Small.jpg[/img]

New Batch

[img]https://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu100/ninelives_9/Garden%202009/June5th2009Compost_NewBatch_03.jpg[/img]
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The Helpful Gardener
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Outstanding stuff Ninelives!

I now feel completely inadequate for spending as much money as I did on mine, and you are obviously turning out a nice product. And nine days? That's fast, really fast... not QUITE finished yet, but that's good enough for a mulch already...Any secrets you want to share? :)

HG
Scott Reil

Ninelives
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Living in West Texas we have some really hot days, When tumbling I can feel if it needs water, When It gets dry the weight of it is light, so I take the lid off and add water, When it get to what it looks like in the picture I dump it in my tote add a little bit of water and covor it and it finshes out in the tote.Then I will screen it through a piece of lath like what is used on buildings to put stucko on, what does'nt go through the screen goes back into the compost Wheel Burrow where I add green and brown for the next batch, as it sits in the wheel burrow it starts to compost I keep it wet to.

Cheers
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cynthia_h
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Beautiful compost. I've driven through Lubbock in August; it was quite..."warm" that day! But beautiful.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Ninelives
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I removed this post because it had nothing to do with the topic, Im new here, I will keep things on topic.
Last edited by Ninelives on Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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The Helpful Gardener
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Ahh, the screening part...I like, I like...finished drops out and unfinished goes back in the loop as innoculant. Nice! :D

HG
Scott Reil

Ninelives
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Thank you :)
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Blunt
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I not positive but youre wheelbarrow tire may be a little low on air :mrgreen:

I really like you're composter. I was going to buy a large one for composting dog manure. But 4 or 5 of those from 30 gal black trash containers should be sufficient to keep up with my supply. Hopefully for a good long time even in coastal maine. were not quit as sunny as Texas. Just need to break it down enough to dump out back in a long term pile without causing a big stink :lol:
If you have a fertile mind. Does that mean it is full of compost?
What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?

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Noobee
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Thank you for the great pictures of your composter. That REALLY helps me to understand how you created it. I've thought about getting started on making compost for quite a while now. Your design makes it look quite doable!!

perennialgardener
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Wow, what a great system! Thanks for sharing all the pictures and results!

cynthia_h
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Great tag line, Blunt:

"If you have a fertile mind. Does that mean it is full of compost"

I lived in Berkeley--home of the famously weird and wacky--for almost 17 years. :shock: :x (Yes, I'm weird, but not quite *that* weird--I don't think...)

One of the happy little moments was seeing a bumper sticker which said:

:arrow: A rind is a terrible thing to waste.

Thank you for the reminder! :D

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Blunt
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cynthia_h glad you liked the line :lol:
If you have a fertile mind. Does that mean it is full of compost?
What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?

wolfie
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2 questions:

how do the bugs/worms get into the trash can to break down the compost?

isn't it unsafe to put dog feces in the compost?

thanks from a newbie!
Shan -
Who is learning to garden and loving every minute of it!

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gixxerific
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Great idea really. Funny I fell upon this post actually.

I composted last year in a black trash can much like the one you have. I didn't mix it as much as I should have. I just did it again today added some already half composted stuff with fresh greens and brown i had all over. Just threw them in the can today a little late but what are you gonna do. Last year I put a 4" PVC pipe in the middle with holes drilled in it for air in the middle in the can.

Today after filling it I turned it on it's side and rolled it while shaking the can to mix it up. I already had a little in the can that was just mush and stinky. Actually I was thinking about how I could turn it upside down to get all that bottom moisture mixed through out. You have the answer. Thank you for your ingenuity I may have to steal that idea though I'm sure it will be heavily modified, that's what I do. 8)

Dono

white118
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I think that I will start my bin this weekend with a water drum with a good turn top with maybe some holes on top to let water run in with some PVC pipe through it with holes and a good stand made of 2x4's I will post a picture when it's built. :P

Can I throw my old weeds in the bin for compost? I would think that the seeds would still live and you would be planting weeds in your garden that you pulled out. :cry:

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gixxerific
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white118 wrote:Can I throw my old weeds in the bin for compost? I would think that the seeds would still live and you would be planting weeds in your garden that you pulled out. :cry:
I myself do not put weeds in my compost, I actually just toss them out in the yard our on my wood pile to cook than throw them in the yard. Not a great analogy but I think weeds in the compost is like eating your own barf, something in there was bad in the first place why ingest it back in. :roll: :lol:

Dono

rot
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seeds die in the heat

..
Sufficient heat will kill the seeds that come with weeds. Maybe in a regular turned tumbler you will kill almost all if not all of them. Any surviving weeds will come out of the ground easily once sprouted because you've composted the ground.

Further mitigation from weed seeds can be achieved by removing flowers or buds. Get your weeds early to minimize that work.

Rhizomes are another matter. For bermuda grass or something like it, I leave in the sun for a week or two to desiccate. Others will drown in a bucket or something but I've never tried that in this dry country.

Just gotta know what you're dealing with when it comes to weeds. Some folks use the weeds as a source of greens for their bin or pile.

two cents
..

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gixxerific
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Really the main reason I don't put weeds in my compost is because I don't have any in my garden, well very, very few that is. I mulch heavily in spring with grass a few times that usually keeps them at bay. My neighbor has a million weeds in her garden. I keep telling her to mulch with grass or whatever. But she say's that were the weeds came from in the first place. Some people don't listen. I told just don't cut the grass when weeds are present. Of course my yard is virtually weed free as well. Yes I was born with a green thumb. :wink:

Dono

Blunt and wolfie dog manure is NOT good for the garden or you. Please skim through this link from Minn Extension.

https://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/h238manure-dog-cat.html

white118
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Good info on the cat and dog poo. I don't even like it when the dog and cat poo in the yard let-alone in the garden.



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