Pros: Easy to use and transfer.
Cons: Not as good as a rotary composter.
This is a compost bin. It stores plant material and kitchen waste inside and allows it to naturally decompose.
How it works.
It does not have a bottom, which is normal for compost bins. The walls are composed of 12 rectangular pieces. You attach 4 of them to make a square to make a stack of 3. This forms the box that is 32 inches high. There is a square lid that goes on top.
I will have more details about composting in my epinions guide when I write it, but in the mean this is my summary of how to compost. You grab any green and brown materials that are around your house/yard and put them into the box. Water it down slightly and turn it every week. If you want to add kitchen scraps then that is ok as long as it does not contain dairy, meat products, or fats. Also avoid putting in diseased plants or poisonous plants. Over time the material will decompose into a dense dark soil like material called compost. This is used primarily for mulch or soil amendments.
This box works differently then other compost bins. Normally with a bin in order to turn the pile you need a pile turner or you have to do it by hand (kind of like mixing cookie dough in a bowl), or you transfer the material to another compost bin.
This unit allows you to transfer the material in 3 stages. First take off the lid then the first set of 10-inch high walls. Place that first panel on the ground next to the compost bin and start transferring material from the old location to the new one. Before you start to overflow, take off the second set of walls and put it on the first. Transfer more of the material without over flowing the transferred panels. Then do the same with your third panel. Lastly put a little water in the pile (or water as you go) and put the lid on. Wait 1-2 weeks and turn the pile again. This way you thoroughly mix the material and aerate it.
How fast can I get compost out of this?
Depends on how diligent you are. If you turn the pile weekly (which includes putting in water and kitchen waste) then you can have compost in 2-4 months. If you have the set it and forget it mentality because you are too busy (or injured like I am) then compost will take around 6-12 months. Keep in mind that the pile will compact by itself so you will need to add material the first few times you turn the pile. If you start a pile with half compost and half new materials then this problem will be greatly diminished.
Who is this for?
Anyone with yard wastes and wants to preserve the environment by recycling. Also this is a must for active gardeners. It is a lot cheaper to use this as a soil amendment than to have to go buy it as long as you don’t mind the work and time involved.
You have a couple of alternatives available. One is just use chicken wire and use that as your holding pen for all of your composting needs. I currently have this experiment going and I’ll be able to give a through analysis sometime in summer of 07.
Nothing really to clean. The box is entirely made out of plastic and nothing I know of (except a lawn mower) can damage it. Nothing is growing on it that a water spray hasn’t taken off.
It is plastic and fairly durable, as long as you do not run a lawn mower on it (which I did…oops.) The main issue is the individual rectangular panels do not fit perfectly. I frequently have to reattach the panels back together when I turn the pile. The lid does not stay on perfectly but I think that is because of my minor mowing accident.
Assembly the tear down
It is easy to assemble and tear down if you are moving (or giving it to your son-in-law). Each tier consists of 4 10-inch high rectangles that connect to form a square. This has 12 panels. The lid is one piece but it does fold in half.
There are three major things that you need to be aware of if you decide to compost. They are the smell, insects, and rodents. These usually are not a problem as long as you follow a few simple rules. Cover any kitchen waste with dirt/compost when you put it in. Do not put meat, fat, or dairy in the bin. Makes sure you put the bin in a spot in the yard that is away from where you sit and relax.
If you are on a budget then I recommend spreading your plant matter around some plants and trees and treat it like mulch or pile it up. If you have chicken wire or spare wood lying around then you can use that to make a homemade bin. You do not need anything fancy just make sure it is breathable.
But if you have the money then I suggest getting a rotary composter like the compost tumbler. It is a lot easier then shoveling the pile like you have to do with this model.
Length: 28 inches
Width: 28 inches
Height: 32 inches
This is a stackable composting bin. It is composed of three stacks of panels and one lid. It is fairly easy to use but does require a bit of lifting when you are transferring the pile. But if you want a fairly inexpensive, yet durable, compost bin (at least one you don’t have to make yourself) then this is a good buy. But if you get a chance go out and buy a compost turner, if you can find one.
If you are interested in reading my online journal that I have worked on for a year or so it is located here.
Other gardening/lawn maintenance tools.
Black and Decker cordless Hedge Trimmer
Craftsman Self-Propelled Lawn Mower.
Life time compost tumbler An awesome compost tumbleer for an awesome price, better than others I've looked at.