What To Put In A Compost Tumbler To Start


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For sustainable living, it is important to work closely with the environment. People are improving their lifestyles and are opting for eco-friendly and organic products. A compost tumbler is a key part of creating an environmentally-friendly garden.

Many people are thoroughly familiar with the concept of composting. Nevertheless, as compost tumblers get increasingly popular, the idea can tend to get confusing. A compost tumbler is different from a composting container. Many people are turning to tumblers these days from containers. It is very natural to wonder how to use it properly as well.

What To Put In A Compost Tumbler To Start

The compost eventually decays and breaks down to smaller particles with the action of microbes. It will ultimately turn into dust, which is an excellent organic fertilizer for your plants. But you need to keep a check on what you put into the tumbler. The materials you put in will eventually turn into your fertilizer. You should keep an eye on what you put inside the compost tumbler to help the compost heap breakdown evenly and quickly. Here is a detailed guide to help you get started with your compost tumbler and what to put inside it:


The location will decide the moisture content and warmth it will get from the environment. It affects the rate of decomposition and can delay the process considerably. Here are some factors that determine the moisture and warmth of your tumbler:

  • Choose a well-covered area to limit the amount of moisture that penetrates the container. Compost tumblers have high moisture organic content inside them.
  • Moisture from the atmosphere also plays a role in decomposition. You need to identify a location that provides optimum moisture from the soil and has a healthy air supply.
  • When you begin composting, add some fresh groundwater to prevent the heap from getting too dry. With a favorable location, this moisture content will be retained by your heap.
  • Opt for an indoor location to prevent overexposure from the sun. If the tumbler gets too hot, the bacteria can die. This will prevent any further decomposition. If the organic matter gets too dry, it can end up slowing down the process as well.
  • Avoid choosing a very cold location, as well. If the shade is too cold for any microbes to survive, you can cover the tumbler to contain its heat.
  • Keep on reviewing the moisture level in the compost! You might need to add water or dry leaves to increase or decrease the moisture content, respectively. Make sure that the water is sprinkled throughout.
A compost tumbler
A compost tumbler. Source: https://www.planetnatural.com/compost-tumbler/

Green Waste

The green waste consists of all biodegradable elements from the household that is high in Nitrogen content.

  •  Use all biodegradable garbage from your kitchen. They are organic, very high in moisture content, and provide lots of nutrients to your heap.
  • Use all leftover foods and scrap from your kitchen. However, don’t add plastic or artificial matter as it would hinder the decomposition process.
  • Collect all animal droppings from your pets except cat and dog feces. These are very high in Nitrogen.
  • To maintain the balance, you can also add horse manure.
  • Visit the garden next. Collect all the grass that was cut recently from your backyard. You can also collect leaves from trees directly or the ones that have fallen off the trees.
  • For best results, you can mince, chop, or even shred all the green waste. This will break it into smaller pieces and will help the bacteria to break them down and decompose faster.
  • There are also some green horse manures available that you can use to balance other things.

Avoid too many greens

Avoid adding too many greens as they will add a lot of moisture to the heap. You can use Green Manure Seed Mixture to add green horse manures to your pile. This product will help you add greens to your pile for healthy manure.

If you hover about it technically, the greens in your compost will enhance the nitrogen level. Since nitrogen is an insulator, you won’t receive the required intensity of heat. What it will do is increase the time of manure formation. So, you can clearly witness that adding too many greens won’t be a perfect idea for composting.

Brown Waste

 Brown waste stands for organic things that are rich in carbon content.

  •  You can put eggshells and nuts from your kitchen.
  • You can put in all paper products such as used paper, newspapers, and paper bags.
  • All dried leaves and straws can also be used.
  • Cardboard is a natural product that you can add to your compost pile.
  • You can add shredded grass and green leaves to maintain the proportion.
  • There are also some brown straws available that you can use to balance other greens. These serve as fodder mainly but can also help in creating your compost tumbler.

Use Grandpa’s Best Timothy Hay Mini Bale to add more brown straws to your heap. This will considerably add more browns and will help in maintaining a healthy ratio.

Why add brown waste?

Adding brown waste to your compost will help you balance the pile. They will help in increasing the carbon content of the heap and are essential for a vigorous compost. Brown waste will also soak up all excess moisture and will prevent a slimy and smelly heap. But if you reside in a place that is usually warm, using too much brown will give you a dry pile.

You have got the best options with newspapers and dry leaves, which come under the umbrella of brown waste. They are easily combustible and turn your compost warm.

Maintain the ratio of browns and greens

Maintaining the ratio of browns and greens in your pile is imperative. They both add certain nutrients to the heap, but if either one of them is in excess, you might get negative results. A recommended method is to maintain three parts of browns to a single part of the greens. Some experts also recommend using an equal amount of greens and browns in the beginning. Increasing the number of greens will turn the compost wet, and you won’t get the required heat from it. This helps you figure out the rate of decomposition that is best suited for your environment.

Keep an eye on the compost by checking it periodically. Look for any foul smell since it indicates a compost imbalance. You need to adjust the heap accordingly by putting in more browns or greens, depending on the requirement.

Read : When is Compost Ready?

Slow-composting Things

Smaller items fall into this category. When you use small products in your pile, they tend to decompose faster.

 Old rope, latex, hair, nutshells, and tree branches can be shredded or cut into smaller pieces as you add them to your compost. These will facilitate a faster decomposition. On the other hand, scraps like meat bones, eggshells, and many others will take ample time to break down. You should add these items only if you require a large quantity of compost. Otherwise, stick to the flimsy items and save some time for yourself!

A compost tumbler recycling green waste
A compost tumbler recycling green waste. Source: conserve-energy-future.com

Add A Compost Accelerating Product To The Mixture

To get the best results, consider adding a compost accelerator to your pile. This is a product designed specifically to introduce microbes and bacteria that jump-starts the decomposition.

Adding the accelerator is a crucial step for compost tumblers that are closed and are not located in the ground. For such cases, microbes might take some time to get in the pile. This step helps you initiate contact and makes the process considerably faster.  You can use Compost-It Compost Accelerator for your heap. This product will make the composting process considerably faster and will help you save time.


A compost tumbler is an excellent solution to making compost. It is a unit that handles all your organic garbage easily. The tumbler also keeps your surroundings clean. You only need to wait for two weeks to get a nutrient-rich compost. When you use a compost tumbler for the first time, it might seem complicated. However, a lot of people have trouble with the compost. They end up with a rotting, stinking, wet mess that seems daunting to deal with.

In reality, compost tumblers are much simpler than typical compost bins. Once you follow this guide thoroughly, you will discover how easy the process is. Compost tumblers typically aim at providing you with the required results under the best conditions within only two weeks under ideal conditions.

Read : What Not To Put In A Compost Tumbler

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Last update on 2024-05-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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