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How to Use a Compost Tumbler | Tumbler Composting Guide

Do you want to create compost for your garden and move to a more environment-friendly life? Make your work simple with a compost tumbler! 

Tumbling composting bins mixes your new material with already hot compost matter. It aerates the mixture and introduces microbial activity, which breaks down any fresh materials to make lush compost. 


How to Use a Compost Tumbler Tumbler Composting Guide

Traditional methods require a pitchfork or a spade to turn the ingredients in an open compost bin. But most gardeners find this task hard. Ease the process with a compost tumbler.

What is a Compost Tumbler?

How to Use a Compost Tumbler

Source: Amazon

The majority of tumbling composting bins  have open bottoms, and their position is on the ground. These features present disadvantages like:

  • The open space dissipates heat and slows down the composting process. 
  • A pitchfork hardly gets inside the compost bin: it makes the turning of the compost difficult. 
  • A regular compost bin won’t keep rodents away from its content.

“A compost tumbler is an entirely sealed container made to combat these challenges. Turn your materials effortlessly, preserve generated heat, keep rodents away, and make rich compost with a tumbling bin”, comments junk & rubbish professional Luke Hancock.

Learn more: Best Garden Composter Reviews 2020

Compost Tumbler Considerations

What is a Compost Tumbler

Source: Amazon

How to compost with a tumbler? Composting usually takes more than 14 weeks. Make yours in a shorter time period by using a compost tumbler bin. Consider these factors before you purchase a tumbler: 

  • Only buy a tumbler that rotates easily.
  • A larger tumble bin is more efficient for composting.
  • The more material you add, the longer it takes to create compost. Make it in three months with a bin that has secondary chambers. Fill one chamber with material and compost your additional material in the second chamber while the tumbler is working. 
  • Consider using the compost tumbler in high-temperature climates. To maintain compost heat in cold temperatures, ensure the tumbler has excellent insulation. 

“Compost from a compost tumbler bin is different from compost in a heap. Heaps provide a conducive environment for worms that tumblers do not. Worms use their guts to churn material and add nutrients to the compost”, comments Allan the Gardener.

“Tumblers only rely on bacteria and fungi to make compost. Tumbler compost is suitable for use as mulch because it has a rough and loose character. It kills disease spores and weeds effectively”, he adds. 

To add worms to tumbler compost, and make it uniform and rich, put your ready compost aside, and let worms come in and do their work. Do not add worms directly inside your tumble bin.

Compost Tumbler Advantages

Woman using a compost tumbler bin

Source: Amazon

Tumblers make the turning process effortless. A compost tumbler is useful in many other ways:

It provides a fast output

As we already mentioned, it takes around three weeks to create compost with a tumbling bin. But prepare yourself. You need precision to turn and mix the materials.

Measure ingredients carefully to ensure your nitrogen and carbon balance is optimal. Monitor moisture and temperature levels as well. 

Lack of worms gives you a rough compost. However, it is as effective as mulch. Buy a compost tumbler with “how to make compost” instructions to get ultimate results. 

It seals the unpleasant odor inside 

The combination of significant amounts of soft sappy and grass clip material leads to anaerobic decomposition, which in turn releases an unpleasant odor.

A compost tumble bin seals the compost within and prevents the distribution of bad odor. It provides excellent aeration, which reduces the production of the bad smell.

Some tumblers also have drainage holes that allow the liquid to escape the bin. Collect the nitrogen-rich liquid and use it to feed foliar. 

It combats vermin

Certain tumble bin features solve your raccoon, rodent, and pest problems. Manufacturers make compost tumblers from very strong and durable material and they ensure the tumbler gets perfect aeration, which eliminates the need for air gaps. 

The slightly off the ground position of compost tumblers reduces vermin access to the compost and allows you to add taboo food material, such as fat, meat, and fish since the high tumbler temperatures speed up the breakdown process.

Read also: How to Get Rid and Prevent Maggot in Compost 

It protects your back

You might strain your back during the compost turning process. A tumbler protects your back by making the rotation effortless. Avoid a tumbler with a pivot around the central axle: it positions most of the compost at the bottom. 

Purchase one with a handle and a gear cog since it is easy to swing over, but it is more expensive. Place a wheelbarrow underneath the tumbler to unload the compost easily.

It is space-conscious

Compost tumblers are hot garden addition perfect for your urban or suburban properties. They are clean, and their design makes them an acceptable addition to your home. Tumblers are ideal for small spaces.

Compost Tumbler Disadvantages

Woman using tumbling composting bins

Source: Amazon

They are more expensive

Regular compost bins support zero weight because of their bottom hole. In contrast, tumblers hold wet and heavy compost materials for a certain period of time.

That’s why manufacturers use thicker materials and rollers or legs to support compost tumblers. These features are expensive to manufacture. It costs more to produce a tumbler than it is to make a compost bin.

The 9.5 cubic tumbler capacity

A compost tumbler’s standard size is 9.5 cubic feet to ensure the turning process is not difficult especially when the bin is full. Larger and smaller sized composters exist.

Turning a smaller drum is effortless but larger bins require gear and rod mechanical systems to turn the tumbler. 

Wrapping Up Tumbler Composting Guide

A compost tumbler provides several benefits. It enhances the turning process, protects your back, keeps vermin away, prepares compost fast, and takes up minimal compound space.

Purchase a large and high-quality tumbler bin, and fill it with compost material. Turn the contents regularly to make compost with bacteria and fungi.

Set your decomposing material on the ground for a period of time to enrich it with additional nutrients from worm churn. Now you know how to use a compost tumbler.

About the Author Dmitri Kara

Started as a jack of all trades back in early 2012, Dmitri Kara is currently a recognised expert in a wide range of domestic and commercial trades. Dmitri has appeared for quite a few reputable outlets such as, Metro.News,,,,,,, and many more. You can reach him at

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