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Garden Composters, Compost Bins
More and more gardeners and homeowners are using attractive composters, to turn yard and kitchen waste into rich compost. A garden composter converts waste and scraps into compost much faster than an untended compost pile.
Homeowners, schools and businesses are also using composters, even if they do not have a garden. It's all part of the "Go Green" movement. You'll be surprised at the wide range of materials you can compost, and keep out of the waste stream. See: What Compost Materials to Use and What to Compost
The information below, will help you to decide what composter best meets your needs.
Compost Barrels or Compost Tumblers
Compost Barrels, also called Compost Tumblers, are the most popular style of compost makers on the market. They are designed to be attractive in your backyard or garden. They convert yard waste and kitchen scraps into usable compost much more quickly than a compost bin or barrel.
Compost barrels and tumblers are designed to roll or turn, which helps to mix the compost, which speeds up decomposition.
Color Selection: The most popular models are black, dark green and blue. Black is popular in northern climates, where the weather is not as warm. Black absorbs more heat, to help speed up decomposition. If you live in the southern areas of the U.S., and the composter is to be located in a sunny area, you may find black is a little too hot in mid-summer months.
Compact Compost Tumbler - This compost maker is one of the two most popular compost tumblers.
The Compact Compost Tumbler can make fast work of your kitchen waste, along with your yard and garden organic materials. Compact Compost Tumbler quickly recycles organic materials into nutrient-rich compost.
This compost tumbler produces a 9.5 bushels (approx. 11.8 cu.ft.) of compost in as little as two weeks (ideal conditions).
Other popular models include: Twin Barrel Compost Tumbler 2, Original Compost Tumbler, and the Back Porch Compost Tumbler. The Back Porch model is on wheels for portability.
Sun Mar Composter - This unique composter produces a continuous flow of finished compost. Your don't have to wait for an entire batch to be complete.
Add material by sliding the input door open. Rotate the drum to mix and aerate the compost. Finished compost is removed by opening the output port, rotating the drum and allowing compost to fall from the inner drum into a bushel basket or other container.
Models include: Sunmar 200 Composter, and the larger Sunmar 400 Composter.
Tumbleweed Composter- This tumbling style composter holds 8.0 cubic feet of compost. The barrel sits on a stand, and turns easily. The tumbling action mixes and aerates the material for faster composting.
Compost Bins are for simpler, more passive composting. The bins sit directly on the ground. Bins usually do not have a bottom, and they do not turn or move. Many gardeners will let the compost material sit and decompose by itself. Some people will use a shovel or tool, to occasionally stir and turn the material. Some gardeners will place a screen under the unit, to keep pests from burrowing under the compost bin and into the material.
Because the compost material is not turned (as often) as a barrel type composter, it takes longer to convert yard waste into rich, nutrient-laden soil.
Soil Saver - This is one of the more popular "bin" style composters. Open the lid and add materials. As the material decomposes, the finished product is on the bottom. A convenient door at the bottom of this unit is opened to allow you to extract the finished compost. The Soil Saver Compost Bin holds 11.4 cubic feet of raw materials.
Covered Bridge Compost Bin with Lid- Here's a big sized bin for gardeners who want to produce lots of compost. It holds 18 cubic feet of material. The brick imprint on the unit, looks attractive anywhere in the yard. And, it is reasonably priced.
Shepherd Compost Bin - If you are looking for a large, very long life compost bin, the Shepherd Compost Bin is for you. This bin is manufactured from 12 gauge, corrosion resistant PVC coated welded wire. And, it holds a big, big 30 cubic feet. A "chimney" is built in the middle of the bin. This unique design allows more oxygen to the center of the pile, for faster decomposition.
The manufacturer offers a limited 22 year warranty!
Australian Worm Farm - The worms in this worm farm will work hard for you. They ingest plant matter, and "cast off" nutrient rich worm castings. It takes a lot of worms to manufacture enough castings to meet most gardeners needs. So, you pay a steep price for store-bought worm castings. This worm farm will produce a constant supply for all of your gardens. It also captures the liquid "worm casting tea", which you can use on indoor and outdoor plants.
For more on composting, see Composting and Mulch at The Gardener's Network.
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