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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 11:17 am
Posts: 315
Location: Dallas,TEXAS
1.) If a 32 gallon bin isn't large enough then you can always make another, provided you have the space. A lot of people maintain two or more piles/bins in order to stage compost that's close to finished in one and newer stuff in the other. It's not necessary to do this, but it does keep things a bit more efficient.

If space is at a premium and you can only acommodate one, then I'd recommend that you find the largest trash can you can get at a good price. I'd always rather have more compost making capacity for my needs than too little. Others here might be able to help you guage how much compost you'll need to create for your needs if you'd care to elaborate on that.

2.) I'd put as many holes in the can as you can while keeping it structurally sound. Say, half inch holes spaced every 6 inches or so? If it were me I'd try a conservative amount and add more if I felt it was needed. Never tried what you're attempting, but I know others here in the forums have. Might help to run a search on bin and drill and holes for more info.

3.) Sun or shade, stuff is going to compost one way or another. If kept in the sun then you'll be helping with heat somewhat. However, the heat generated by the microbes is what's really important in terms of breaking down organic matter, not externally applied heat. One thing to consider is that if you place it in full sun you might be cooking off moisture content more than in shade. All said and done, either way you go on this issue will be fine.

Keep us posted on how it all works out!

~Dave


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 10:19 am
Posts: 85
Location: Franklin,TEXAS
My sister makes compost in a trash can; everything as you say except she doesn't have hers mounted to a tumbler device - she just rolls it around the yard about once a week. Her compost is lovely.


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 Post subject: Making a compost tumbler
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 1:13 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Burleson, TX
I'm with you on the price - I figure if I can make something that does the job I need doing, and for less, the better off I am. It's just not as "sexy".

I use a 55 gallon black plastic drum with removable (steel) lid - several 3/8" holes drilled into the bottom and lid. You might find a drum to be a bit sturdier than a garbage can. I, like another poster, simply roll mine around the yard - not too vigorously, as my back is prone to slip out. But, it's exercise!

I just added dry molasses to the current batch, so it should start cooking.

Mark


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:17 am
Posts: 31
Location: Gainesville Tx
And those soldier fly larvae get in thru the holes and make quick work of your compost!


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 Post subject: I too, have trash cans.
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 11:06 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Norman, Oklahoma (Zone 7)
So I have this compost pile. It's huge, it's big and I love it. I don't have a shredder but I'm patient. I just rip stuff up and throw it on the pile, layer something else on top of it and wait. Coffee grounds seem to heat it up, sometimes a little urea. :lol:

But my neighbor just gave me three huge plastic heavy-duty trashcans. I thought- aha! I can chuck the partially composted matter in the trash cans and start a new pile! They will cook up and break down in the trashcans while I begin fresh with the heap.

So: :idea: How can I roll the trashcan around without losing the lid?
:idea: How can I put holes in it without a drill? Are the holes necessary or can I just place the lid ajar while it is stationary?

Thanks for your words...
Sasha

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"A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls." Proverbs 25:28


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 11:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:17 am
Posts: 31
Location: Gainesville Tx
You really need some air in the can. I guess you could just leave the lid off until you roll it. I just roll mine slowly holding the lid on as best i can. But if I actually want to turn it upside down I use twist ties or little zip ties thru holes I put in thru the lid and can. I bet someone has a drill you could borrow. I put big holes all over the can and then small for holding the lid on. And if I can use a drill anyone in the U.S. can! Plus my can is round so it's easy to roll. I have a thermometer sticking out of a hole and it reads 100. I think I will throw in a handful of alfalfa pellets to see if it heats up more. I know dried mollasses would heat it up but I'm out.


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 Post subject: homemade composter
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 7:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 7:24 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Indianapolis
I am using an old dryer drum. Altho is it smaller than a 55 gallon drum
I think it would make a good idea. It has the tumblers already there to
mix up your stuff. You just have to cover the end and put a door or make
it so the end comes off. Let me know what you think.

Keith (photobug63)


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 Post subject: tumbling and bumbling
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2004 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 11:06 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Norman, Oklahoma (Zone 7)
Let me just say- I love composting and compost and all that is involved. And it mystifies to daylights out of my husband.

I really can't picture how you use a dryer drum. Is it still in the dryer unit? Do you grab compost like I grab clean laundry- except yours is probably in the backyard?

I think I could get a hold of a drill somewhere. I'm think of the trashcans as winter storage for the mostly-finished compost...and starting a new pile over the winter. Thanks for the tip about twisty-ties. That would work to hold the lid on. All compost-related stuff s great for homeschoolers, by the by...

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"A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls." Proverbs 25:28


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