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Tumbler compost bin

All this talk of compost bins is making me rack my brains for a solution to my compostless situation. Has anybody any experience of a compost bin called Tumbler? They are raised off the ground, tumble around an axle on legs and are ventilated by small holes in the side.  I only have a tiny space behind the garage where I could fit one of these. They are not new and I'm sure they are not a patch on a proper bin open to the ground but perhaps better than nothing. Bin is a freebie, any comments, good or bad,  or suggestions welcome!


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 6,290
    I haven't tried one but a friend had one and advised when full, it was very heavy to turn.
     Something to bear in mind if you're not big and tall! On another compost thread, one poster advised that he just had a dustbin with a tight fitting lid and when full, he just rolled it round his garden to mix the contents. Far cheaper than getting a Tumbler one.
  • Thanks Lizzie, do you know if your friend got any usable compost from it or just gave it up as a bad job? I would'nt have to buy it but would have to buy a dustbin, although that doesn't sound a bad idea.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,496

    If you can get a free tumbler, just do that.. and maybe only half fill or 2/3 full?  You'll still  need a second bin for fresh, because if you keep adding fresh to a tumble bin it will never completely cook it all like dark compost soil.  You'll have to stop adding new material for a month or two, at least.  Fill up your bin while the tumbler cooks, and then dump that in for a fresh tumble batch.  I wish someone would give me a tumbler.
    Utah, USA.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    edited June 2020
    When I had no garden but a tiny back yard, I was given two tall chimney pots.  I found two big plastic plant saucers that fitted into the tops, and stood potted plants in them.  No-one could see that all my kitchen scraps and annual weeds from the yard went into the pots, one to fill and one to rot.  They made lovely compost, despite the fact that it was impossible to mix it.
  •  Sorry I could not reply before the website went down but it's great to be back!  Thanks Blue Onion that's very encouraging. I need to at least give it a try, and Josusa47 thank you, that's very interesting and it's got me thinking, - where there's a will there's a way as my Dad used to say!
  • NicJTNicJT Posts: 22
    Hi flowerpotgirl, I have a tumbler.  I'm not that impressed to be honest.  When its full my husband has to turn it as its really heavy and although it is great to keep animals out I've been composting in it for 2 years and am yet to have compost!  This maybe me getting the green/brown ratio wrong and I've now read up and will hopefully have got the knack now but I used to have a massive stand up composter and apart from the animals in it (which wasn't good) I did exactly the same and got compost.
  • Oh dear, but thanks for that NicjT. I did say all comments would be useful! So are you going to persevere with it? Do let me know if you have any better luck, I must admit wildlife is one thing but rodents I don't want to encourage so close to the house! 
  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 3,870
    I have a Tumbler (broken legs now) and another bin-type composter and they take ages to break down. I stir mine very few weeks to mix it and once nearly full, I don’t top it up any more and leave it for the rest of the year to cook. Don’t put potato bits in it though - I had a small harvest last year! 
    I am thinking of tipping one out to make a traditional compost pile this summer, so I can turn it and vary the mixture more easily. 
    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 6,290
    @flowerpotgirl, have you thought about a wormery instead? I understand it gives small amounts of compost and liquid fertiliser.
  • Yes, Lizzie 27 I had but I'm really hankering after some normal compost although I have not dismissed the idea completely!  Thanks for replying. 
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