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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Post  buttaflie143 4/15/2011, 12:25 am

Has anyone tried the 60 Gallon Dynamic Spinning Composter?

Composter 60_gal10

If so, what do you think? Its on sale right now for $98.
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Post  westie42 4/15/2011, 1:20 am

Have not tried the rotating barrel myself some like them. Have heard that you mite need to use chemicals added to get a good timely production from them. On the ground bins or piles get lots of good help from the soil below including worms and decay aiding bacteria things the barrel can not access. You mite look at garden web and Dave's forums to see what is also said there.
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Post  Furbalsmom 4/15/2011, 11:50 am

I checked out two compost "starters" available locally, and neither had any chemicals listed. Unfortunately I did not write it down, but the ingredeints list included things like blood meal, manure and I forgot what else.

As long as you check the ingredients list on the compost starter, and you are comfortable with what is in it (things you would normally compost and organic boosters like blood meal or bone meal) I think they would be great to use without concern.
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Post  buttaflie143 4/15/2011, 12:10 pm

Furb,
You lost me. I am trying to decide on what kind of composter unit to purchase in lieu of buiding one.
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Post  myhouseofBOYS 4/15/2011, 12:53 pm

@buttaflie143 wrote:Furb,
You lost me. I am trying to decide on what kind of composter unit to purchase in lieu of buiding one.

apparently there is some controversay that composters not located on the ground will need a "starter" (like a yogurt starter, powdered bacteria or similar?) to help your "stuff" decompose" since you aren't utilizing the natural worms and bacteria in the soil on ground composters have. Personally I'd deal with possibly needing a starter if there weren't enough bacteria or whatever present and be able to roll/tumble my compost then have to turn it. The turning is what makes it compost faster from my understanding and I know turning would be a bigger chore than tumbling/rolling a trash can type thing around.
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Post  buttaflie143 4/15/2011, 12:59 pm

What do you recommend? Building one is not an option for me.
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Post  nancy 4/15/2011, 1:27 pm

buttaflie - see if your county or locality has a compost bin sale. Ours sells earthmachines 2x a year. The bin itself is $35, then you can also purchase a kitchen bucket and a turner. The line for ours can be up to an hour long. I want to get another one this year. The county division is soil & waste I think. Good luck finding what you want!
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Post  Glendale-gardener 4/15/2011, 5:04 pm

I have a spinning bin and I like it a lot. The one you pictured looks even nicer because of the handle. Mine gets a little hard to spin when it's really loaded up!

I heard that about possible needing a activator with a bin like that, the one I use is mostly blood meal I think.
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Post  camprn 4/15/2011, 5:11 pm

@Glendale-gardener wrote:I have a spinning bin and I like it a lot. The one you pictured looks even nicer because of the handle. Mine gets a little hard to spin when it's really loaded up!

I heard that about possible needing a activator with a bin like that, the one I use is mostly blood meal I think.
I use dried blood as an activator as well, I don't need a lot of it either. Wink
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Post  Furbalsmom 4/15/2011, 7:09 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:I checked out two compost "starters" available locally, and neither had any chemicals listed. Unfortunately I did not write it down, but the ingredeints list included things like blood meal, manure and I forgot what else.

As long as you check the ingredients list on the compost starter, and you are comfortable with what is in it (things you would normally compost and organic boosters like blood meal or bone meal) I think they would be great to use without concern.

Buttaflie wrote:Furb,
You lost me. I am trying to decide on what kind of composter unit to purchase in lieu of buiding one.

Sorry for the confusion, I was responding to Westie's post about concerns regarding the chemicals needed to work your compost in a rolling bin. Most "starterts" to get the compost working are just natural ingredients that are safe to use.

The composter you showed in your opening post looks like it would do a good job and at 60 gallons, looks big enough to make it worth using.

The Earth Machine, which is a good buy especially if your county office has them for sale, does not roll, so you have to go in with some kind of tool, like a pitch fork, and turn the compost manually. That too much work for me. I am definitely a wimp.

Hope this helps. I too want a rolling composter.
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Post  NHGardener 4/15/2011, 9:29 pm

@buttaflie143 wrote:What do you recommend? Building one is not an option for me.

I had one of those earth machines several years back, but I wasn't in love with it. I've never had a mixing one. But in my pondering over what type of composter to get, I just had my pile on the ground, and the chickens were tearing it up everytime I put it back into a nice pile. So finally the other day my husband just took some chicken wire he had lying around, stood it upright and made a 3' wide tube out of it, and now I'm throwing my compost in there. To mix it, you just move the tube over and shovel everything back into it.

So that's my idea. It's kind of a build, but a completely easy one.

Altho your pictured one is very pretty...

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Post  Goosegirl 4/15/2011, 9:58 pm

I've read that you can just use a few handsful of regular soil or a bit of your last batch of compost as your activator for the next batch. It has all the good microbes in it that you want growing and eating on your new batch of greens and browns. It's kind of like your sourdough starter!

GG
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Post  scubadoo 4/15/2011, 10:28 pm

Well said, Goosegirl! and, you made me hungry for bread to boot!
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Post  westie42 4/20/2011, 5:55 pm

There is a new discussion called compost 101it focuses on tumbler discussion quite a bit. My gut feeling nicely follows with this forum. https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1738p30-compost-101#58552
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Post  ErinAdkins 4/20/2011, 7:48 pm

I went to the local dollar store and bought a big 39 gallon trash can. Came home and drilled 1/2 inch holes in it so air can get in. Went to my local lowes and bought a compost aerator (a metal stick with a pointy end and tines that stick out). My compost is breaking down nicely. It doesn't stink and the aerator works great. I just plunge it in, twist it around, pull it out. Easy peasy.
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Post  Cincinnati 6/28/2011, 8:17 am

@buttaflie143 wrote:What do you recommend? Building one is not an option for me.

If you still are in the market:

I have a Mantis ComposT-Twin. I have had it for a little over a year. It churns our compost in about 3 weeks if you rotate it every day or so and chop everything in it. I have a stockpile 8ft in diameter by about 3 ft high from it. This fall I will build my first SQFT garden bed and will use mostly my homemade compost.
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Post  camprn 6/28/2011, 8:54 am

@Cincinnati wrote:
@buttaflie143 wrote:What do you recommend? Building one is not an option for me.

If you still are in the market:

I have a Mantis ComposT-Twin. I have had it for a little over a year. It churns our compost in about 3 weeks if you rotate it every day or so and chop everything in it. I have a stockpile 8ft in diameter by about 3 ft high from it. This fall I will build my first SQFT garden bed and will use mostly my homemade compost.
Good for you! Composter 311672 Hooray for homemade compost! Oh, Composter 396615 to the Forum!
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Post  1orangething 6/28/2011, 10:31 am

Do you have a Sams club near you? I got a great one there for $85. It looks great and turns easy . Best part is that it doesn't turn by a handle
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Post  quiltbea 6/28/2011, 11:24 am

Composter preferences:
I have both the black tumbler that you turn by hand....
Composter 05-22-10
It holds 6 Cu ft and can get pretty hard to turn for me but I'm 69 and not as strong as I was when I was younger. When its about half full, I have to stop filling it.
url=https://servimg.com/view/15016226/769]Composter 05-22-11[/url]
My green monster with the handle, on the other hand, is so easy to turn, I was amazed. This was taken when I was just filling it.
Composter 06-11-12
At the moment its over half full and its still so easy to turn that handle, I love it. Whenever I go into the garden to water or check crops, I give the handle a few turns and forget it.
Another advantage of the green monster is its height. I can open it, turn it over and empty it into my wheelbarrow with minimal effort.

I also have a compost pile within some fencing where I put the big stuff until I can chop it smaller or want to add to one of the composters.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 6/29/2011, 12:08 am

I guess now I have to get my neighbor's green monster, huh? He has been trying to get me to take it all spring/summer. I am stubborn and trying to keep things going the old way...lol.
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