Compost Tumbler Update

It’s been 14 days since I filled my Tumbleweed Compost Tumbler with grass clippings and horse manure. With a tumble or two each day the contents became very hot (too hot to touch one day) and has turned to a nice earthy brown colour with a sweet smell. The heat generated in the bin will be enough to sterilise any weed seeds that get put in, so there is no limit to what you compost!


Turning the bin can be a bit of a challenge when it’s completely full, but as the days go by the volume reduces due to the decomposing material. After the 14 days there appears to be a ~50% reduction in volume, leaving me with 110 liters of great compost.

My next challenge will be finding enough material in the yard to fill the bin every two weeks. There is already a stockpile of brown material such as leaves and old lawn clippings to add to the bin along with kitchen scraps and horse manure, but the continued supply may be an issue.

Over the next couple of months I will experiment with different materials in the bin and see how they compost.

3 thoughts on “Compost Tumbler Update”

  1. So, then: you’re liking the compost tumbler? Did you add starter, or just rely on naturally-occurring bacteria to get the job done? There must be a significant advantage to be able to start with horse manure in the mix, yes?

  2. Daniel – The tumbler is great! No starter added to the first batch, just let the bugs in the grass clippings and the horse manure do the job! The second batch has a 10 liter bucket of the old compost to get it going.
    The horse manure has a very high nitrogen content which is needed to break down all the high carbon (brown) materials.

  3. I didn’t realize that they materials would breakdown so quickly. Is that happening because you are using horsemanuer as opposed to like grass clippings? I tried to compost last year with just some grass clippings and leaves, but it didn’t workout. I didn’t dig a hole or have anyway to trap the heat.

    Also, are you using worms in with this compost tumbler?

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