We have a composter but we need more compost than it can make. We've always wanted this composter but it's $257!!! So I did a little research and found that you can make you own compost tumbler very inexpensively!
Out of an ordinary garbage can!
Compost tumblers are suppose to make compost much quicker than the bin method.I've never used this type of composter before so I'll keep you informed about how effective it is.
We just happened to have this blue garbage can that we weren't using. You will also need either a drill or a large nail & hammer and bunji cords.
Step 1 - you will either drill holes all over the garbage can including a few in the bottom so that it can drain or use a very large nail and hammer and puncture holes in the can. The drill was very fast and easy. If you decided to go with large but fewer holes, you will have to adhere some screening over the holes to keep the compost in and "critters" out. That's why I went with the smaller holes, but it's up to you.
My husband decided to make the holes in a row but you can make them randomly too. After you have the holes drilled it's time to fill it!
You want a combination of "brown" and "green" material. We started with putting some of our compost on the bottom because it's nice and wormy but you can also just add some top soil or store bought compost. Then you start layering. Brown, green, brown, green. Finish off with a sprinkle of water wetting it all down.
"Brown" material is dried leaves, hay, sawdust from non treated lumber, shredded paper and woodchips. "Green" matter is grass clippings, kitchen scraps (not meat or dairy but veggies and fruit). You can also add coffee grounds and crushed egg shells. I won't go into how compost happens (you can always google it on your own). Let's just say that all this matter will decompose and turn into some wonderful stuff that's essential for a good garden. It's a little tricky at first figuring out the percentage of brown to green but I've read that in the tumbler composter there should be more brown matter than green. So I'm trying that first and I'll report back with the outcome.
Secure the top with bunji cords and start rolling. It needs to be rolled at least once a week. Which was me pushing it around the lawn with my feet - which Maxie thought was lots of fun!
I've read that I should have some usable compost in 3-4 weeks so I'll keep you posted!
The reason we need more compost is because we got rid of this messy patch of weeds. It used to be a small stand of crabapple trees. I had the trees removed a few years ago because I was going to build a greenhouse/studio space for myself but I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon. So we might as well put the land to good use!
We rototilled it and bought some cheap fencing to keep the dog out since he thinks we made him a nice soft digging area!
I still have to go back and pick out more clumps of grass and weeds but I'm so excited because I decided to grow...
Oats this year! I've never grown a grain before so this is an experiment. I'll also grow corn in this plot. Which will be the first time I've ever grown it in the ground like this. I usually grow it in a raised bed and last year I grew it in a container. I'll also put my pumpkins there as I've had a horrible time growing them in the raised beds - they just never do well. So I'm excited to have two growing areas this year!
I'm tired and sore from so much gardening but I'm so excited and invigorated by trying something new. I don't know if either of these experiements will work out but one thing gardeners have alot of is hope!