Article by GardenEaze
The compost tumbler is an efficient and fast way to make high quality compost. The basic principal of these neat devices is to keep the material within the barrel well mixed. On a compost heap, this mixing process requires quite a lot of manual effort as you essentially need to fork through the pile, turning it as you go. The compost tumbler allows you to do this quickly and easily, by just giving the barrel a turn once every day or so. They work so well, the best ones that is, that you can go from raw material to compost in a few short weeks.Here we are going to take a look at a very popular compost turner, the Envirocycle Backyard Compost Tumbler.
Compact in size, this composter is made of durable, recycled plastic with a lockable lid that is intended to prevent small animals from getting into your composting material.
The EnviroCycle’s main purpose is to make turning and aerating straightforward and easy enough to accelerate decomposition. With a regular compost heap, going through the process of turning it several times a week is an effort. So plenty of folks put the chore off and as a consequence, their experience with compost making is slow. With it you can turn the heap in ten seconds and without opening the lid. Our friend report that they’ve spun their compost tumbler for about a minute and a half a day (which is maybe a little excessive) – and that they’ve had good success with their composting results.
The best position to operate this compost tumbler from is to stand facing one side. From the side, you can easily push one side down while pulling the opposite side up. However as the load you put into the barrel, it gets heavier, and the harder it’ll become to turn. Fortunately, when the compost tumbler gets a little too hard to turn, you can just rock it back and forth and get most of the same benefit of completely turning the tumbler over and over. At the bare minimum, change the side of the heap you leave at the bottom.
The all-important aeration is provided through small holes that have been drilled into the drum, which is indented just enough to give the user a decent chance of gripping and rolling the tumbler, which is recommended by Envirocycle to be done at least three times a week.
A unique feature of this particular compost tumbler is the ability to collect “compost tea” in its base. As the decomposition process occurs with the compost material, nutrient-rich liquid plant food is produced and up to 5 gallons of the stuff can be collected in the base. This is an extremely useful feature that we wish more composter units had.
The EnviroCycle tumbler includes a base to gather and store liquid compost tea draining from the composting material. This occurs through two slits in the tumbler that are left resting over the base or in a similar fashion through the door.
Two stops in the base container permit draining, and one stop can permit drainage directly to ground. If the container becomes full you must replace the stops to empty the liquid properly. There is a design problem here, because when full and level you won’t take the screw cap from the pouring spout without spilling contents. Lean the container back and rest the front on a brick to pour before opening the spout.
The unit does not have to be stored on its base (but do choose a level surface). The base has a hand hole underneath to make moving easier.
Height 77.5 centimeters, width 65 centimeters, depth 51.5 centimeters. We calculate the max tumbler volume at 179 Liters or 6.3 Cubic feet; Note: we measured the maximum base contents, with entry holes open of course, to be 12.5 liters. When the base is up-ended with holes closed it probably holds nearly twice that.
With the small size and correspondingly small price of the Envirocycle Backyard Composter, this could be a perfect compost tumbler for the new compost-making hobbyist or for someone who wouldn’t mind buying several units to keep a steady supply of compost coming in.