Product Type: Just Green garden chemicals
Newest Review: ... As the tumbler is so cumbersome, it does really need two people to do this so that you don't have to turn the air blue when you start t... more
Tumble head over heels for this composter
Just Green Compost Tumbler
Member Name: SpiderDreams
Just Green Compost Tumbler
Advantages: Quicker breakdown of waste to compost, easy emptier
Disadvantages: Needs a decent amount of space, not great for kitchen waste
When I moved into my first house that had even just a hint of garden I leapt on the chance to let my green-fingered-ness shine! This soon developed into avid garden-ism and so along with that came wanting to produce my own compost.
I have a very science mind so I did end up getting several items to see which worked better. The Tumbler was one such item!
Firstly, this is probably bigger than you realise - especially if you are only a small person like I am! It consists of a large barrel-like body of strong rigid plastic, tapered slightly at the base which rounds out. The lid fits on top and then you turn it like a screw to "lock it in place".
The body is full of holes that are about the size of a 50p piece or maybe even larger than that and the whole thing is supported on two leg frames!
It comes unmade (of course) and I have to say is a little fiddly to put together. There is a bar that goes through the body of the tumbler and then two "L" shaped pieces fit to either end of this bar before they slot into the finishing piece that makes up the leg frames.
As the tumbler is so cumbersome, it does really need two people to do this so that you don't have to turn the air blue when you start to struggle!
The weight when empty is all in the top so it will usually swing down like a giant pendulum and hang upside down! Make sure you are not standing too close when this happens or you will get walloped!
It is definitely preferable to have it on grass or soil. Sitting on the patio will mean you are constantly sweeping up the bits of garden waste etc that fall out of it through the holes. If you place it on grass or soil, this is not noticed as much.
You need to remember this thing spins on its axis, so you need to have it located in a place with enough space on either side for you to turn it.
Until it has enough stuff it, it will keep hanging upside which drove me crazy but that's just a personal quirk I have.
Like with all composters, it still needs you to add the waste as an "ingredient" style so equal parts brown and green waste to get the mix just right. Kitchen waste can be added, but depending on your personal preference you may want to avoid this, as I said small pieces fall out when you turn it. The last think you want is food waste all over the floor attracting pests!
So to use, you need to turn it so it's the right way up, unscrew the lid and dump in your waste. Replace and lock the lid and then gently give it a few turns. This is to aerate the contents which, speeds up the composting process.
Despite the urge it is best NOT to give it a big swing and watch it barrel round and round. Firstly, the legs don't really stand up well to that and it can damage the axis.
A few turns are all that is needed. Then when you have more waste add and repeat.
The holes are designed to let air in for circulation and also to allow insects in. This is necessary, insect life will go inside and busy around helping to break down the waste. Worms even get inside, not exactly sure how they manage it though!
The design of this composter is to allow the waste to be mixed and aerated which is meant to speed up with the composting process and I can say, if you get the mix of waste right, it really does speed it up! My tumbler produced rich dark compost in 27 days! There were some pieces that hadn't broken down fully, such as egg shells, they take longer to break down as do very woody twigs etc.
Another great point about the design is the removal of the compost, take off the lid and tip it up. The compost falls out nicely and can then be shovelled up and put around the garden. Much easier than trying to scrap it out of those little trap doors on the large conical compost bins.
~Points to note~
* You do need a decent space to keep this composter so do keep this in mind before purchasing
* Turning it does become a little difficult with the more waste you add, and trying to keep it from slipping out of your hands and spinning round to hit you in the head
* As mentioned it does spill compost and waste through the holes when you turn it, so not great for putting kitchen waste in.
Great if you want to produce compost quickly or if your garden generates a lot of waste, however if you want to compost kitchen waste I would recommend you get a wormery to work alongside this. Also, if you have a small garden I would opt for a more conventional composter.
Summary: Well recommended for garden waste and very quick to produce compost. Not good for small gardens.