5 Best Composter Reviews: Black Gold For Your Garden
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considered by some gardeners to be the best thing since sliced bread, is caused by the breakdown of organic materials. There are several different ways to do this from just piling stuff up and waiting for it to break down, to turning or tumbling your materials to get the process moving along faster. Compost is often confused with having the same purpose as fertilizer. Not so. Fertilizer will feed your plants, properly composted materials will feed your soil.
5 Best Composters
TOP PICK – Envirocycle 4.5 Composter
These beauties are made in the USA of food safe materials. They are available in a smaller 17 gallon size and a 35 gallon size. They are nice and neat and can be used on a back porch for easy access with kitchen scraps. You simply add your material in the proper ratio and rotate 3 times every 3 days. Once the compost is ready you can take the drum off and roll it to the spot where you will be using the materials. There is absolutely no assembly required.
Materials are food safe, BPA and rust free
Materials are UV and antioxidant protected for longevity
Available in black and pink (for the discerning composter)
Absolutely no assembly. Take the drum out of the box in put it on the base. Period. You can add plugs for the compost tea feature in the base according to your needs.
Easy to turn, just roll the drum with your hands
Opening conveniently sized for a shovel to fit
Only one side, no place for finished product and product in the process
What is compost?
Compost is an end product from the breakdown of decayed organic matter. It is dark and crumbly and should have an “earthy” smell. It acts as a soil conditioner or amendment.
There are many positive attributes to compost, but probably the most important is that it helps keep your plants healthy. It is a natural pesticide for soil and helps to attract beneficial life forms such as earthworms. It also helps your plants to make better use of the nutrients in the soil. Soil moisture is retained better. If you use compost regularly you may find that you are able to cut back on your usage of fertilizer and that would result in a cost savings. An original application should take placed approximately 2 – 4 weeks before planting in the spring. It may be applied again in the fall. Compost will release its nutrients slowly throughout the garden season, so no need to reapply. But, you may want to side dress your plants during their peak growing season.
How do you compost?
No matter what type of system you use there are a few basic rules to follow when composting. You need a proper mix of nutrients. Brown materials will supply the needed carbon for energy for the microbes. Green materials will supply the nitrogen that is necessary for the growth of the microbes. A general rule is 3 parts of brown to 1 part of green.
newspaper or cardboard
hay or straw
kitchen waste (vegetable peelings, etc)
A compost pile will get high temperatures in the center when it is working (up to 150 degrees F). For this reason some will say that it is safe to use meat trimmings and greasy foods. My opinion is to leave this items out of the compost bin. But, that is my personal opinion. I also like to keep diseased plants, weed seeds, etc out of my pile, but again, some will say this is safe due to the high temperatures.
The other things you need for a properly functioning compost pile are adequate aeration and proper moisture. You must either mix or tumble the materials at regular intervals. There is a simple way to troubleshoot your compost if you are having issues – If it is stinky like rotting eggs or a musty smell, add more browns. If your compost isn’t getting hot enough you can add more greens. There are actually thermometers to take the temperature of your compost pile .
A properly maintained system should yield compost in 6 – 8 weeks depending on your method used.
2) Worm Factory 360
Want compost but don’t want the work associate with turning and maintaining? The worm factory is for you. Let the worms do the work. The tower has a thermo siphon air flow design for the proper mix of oxygen. The worms are breaking down materials all hours of the day and night. There is a spigot to collect compost tea. It has been proven that this type of compost will have 10 times the nutrients of compost created in a traditional manner. Better for your plants, your yard, etc.
Maintain in less than 15 minutes a week
Uses approximately half food scraps and half fiber and paper
Indoors or Outdoors
Made in the USA
Worms not included – don’t forget to buy some
Must be maintained at 4 0 to 80 degrees or your worms will die
Takes about 3 months for first batch of compost
3) Lifetime 60058 Compost Tumbler, Black, 80 Gallon
This is a heavy duty, large capacity tumbling composter that is made to last. With a large 36″ x 36″ door it is easy to tip the barrel into a wheel barrow to move your finished product. The easy to rotate barrel has indentations for both hands for ease of handling.
Heavy Tip Free Stand
Large Tumbler – 80 Gallon Capacit
Double wall panels to maintain heat
Internal bar for mixing and oxygen
Made from HDPE and powder coated steel
Pin to catch tumbler after turning
Only one side
Assembly can be difficult and require more than one person
Requires some drilling during assembly
4) EJWOX Composting Tumbler 43 gallon dual
This 2 sided composter is ideal for having finished product on one side while you are actively making compost on the other side. The sliding doors open easy. It has a powder coated steel frame. With an economical price, what could be better. This tumbler has passed the PAHS (Patan Academy of Health Sciences) and ROHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) Test, but has not been tested as BPA free.
The stand is sturdy
easy to slide door
Small door opening
Assembly required – although it should be completed in an hour or so.
5) Greenes Fence RCCOMP36 Cedar Wood Composter, 23.25 Cu ft/173.92 gallons
Well, this is the way we always used to make compost. We had connecting wood “bins” that we turned and moved as it was ready. Except, we had to make the bins ourselves. What a delight to find them premade out of non rotting cedar.
non rotting cedar wood
only need a rubber mallet for assembly
you can vary the number of boards in the front of the bin to allow for easier access
expandable to a 2 or 3 bin system
May be tight to put together
Does not slide easily once together
Some of the edges could be sanded down smoother
No matter what method you use, you should start composting your kitchen and yard scraps for the health of your plants, our planet and yourself.