Has anybody had experience with the plastic compost bins that are advertised in the gardening catalogs? I would like to start a compost program, but am not strong enough to turn a large compost pile. These look easy to use, but I would like to be sure that they are worth the investment before I purchase one.
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 8:39 pm Posts: 532 Location: Lavon,Texas
Are you talking about the ones with a crank to turn the barrel? I can't speak about them, because I built my own out of cedar, but I would think they would work. A little expensive though. Maybe someone else will post their experiences, good or bad. If not, give it a try and let us know how it works.
Converting one person at a time to Organics, the only way to go!! [ ME ]
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2004 6:31 pm Posts: 13 Location: Chattanooga, TN
I'd like to know too. I've just injured my rotator cuff and can't even lift a fork, much less turn the pile. I think I could get my 10 year old to turn the handle on that plastic bin.
I'm also wondering if I could do the same thing with a large plastic garbage can with a tight fitting lid (have 3 of those). Just turn it on it's side and the compost gets tossed around by rolling it back and forth a bit.
"Clearing toxins from homes makes families healthy" I did it, and my migraines are gone!
Yes, I did have one of those very expensive twin tumblers that you see advertised but I never got compost in two weeks like they claim. I had very little excess space and needed something to contain my compost, more efficiently than a pile. It does work but you have to remember one of the rules of composting: a volume of 10 composts into a volume of one. In other words, you don't get much compost when you only have 10 bushels to start with.
I moved to the country last year and didn't need it any longer. I sold it to Sue Price, who at the time was president of the Dallas Organic Gardening Club and she loves it. Sue is well into her second life after age 50. She has no problem turning it and because it sets on a rack about 3 feet off the ground, filling and emptying are simple tasks.
I have two plastic compost bins - one is called a "Garden Gourmet" and it is made from re-cycled tires. It is black, has ventilation slats along the sides and a trap door at the top to put compost in and a sliding front bottom panel to get the finished compost out. I use this one for my "hot" composting. The other is a barrel-shaped plastic affair that is rollable - it fills from the side, and as such is sort of inconvenient...that is why I use this one for slow rot. The Garden Gourmet is open at the bottom, so it is in direct contact with the ground - and because of this, it is full, teeming, chock-a-block full of earthworms and anole lizards. I really like my Garden Gourmet. I also have a chicken-wire enclosure for my "chuck it in there" compost.
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2003 11:47 am Posts: 10 Location: Texas, Zone 8b
I just received the "Biostack" compost bin offered by Smith & Hawken stores. The bin is kind of expensive, ~$90 and I received it as a gift. I've only had it for a few weeks and my overall impression is favorable. The plastic components are very light, yet also pretty stiff and rigid. I filled the bin and watered really well. I noticed just a very slight bulge from the sides of the bin. It looks SO MUCH better than my old chicken wire/scrap wood bin. My wife is much happier with the appearance. I am much happier with ease of use. It was hard to give my old compost pile a good turn in my chicken wire bin. Again, the bin bulges just very slightly, not even an inch. Most people probably wouldn't care about that.
Even though I don't like to spend a lot of money on my composting, I am impressed and am considering purchasing another bin just like this one. I've only had it for a few weeks. My only real complaint is that the advertising for the bin touts the "black plastic" as a big advantage for heating up the pile. I think that might be a bit of a stretch. The black plastic definitely doesn't hurt, but I'm not so sure that it really helps all that much.
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 11:36 pm Posts: 2 Location: ,
I, too, am looking to replace and old pair of scrap wood and wire bins with something more attractive and perhaps a little more convenient. My old location is also in the way of pool construction scheduled for this spring, which also will make it too far from the garden with too many fences to go over or through.
Anybody know of a good quickly set up bin available in the the Dallas (White Rock) area?
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