Tumbling Composter: Some Assembly Required


As I excitedly ordered my tumbling composter, I failed to read the inevitable fine print. You know…some assembly required. I kept a watchful eye for the UPS driver, ready to pounce on that box. My kitchen scraps were taking on an odoriferous scent and still the composter didn’t come.

I eventually dumped the scraps in a bucket in the garage, and covered them with potting soil. It’s funny but two weeks ago I would have tossed those scraps or ground them up in the garbage disposal.  Now the scraps had a real purpose. My garden was counting on me.

UPS At Last

The day my husband, and resident handyman left for a business trip, the box arrived. I came home that afternoon to a damaged box on the porch, with one of the parts sticking out of the side. Oh-oh.  I was afraid to open it. The good news: no harm done. The bad news: so many parts. I was facing eight panels, two end pieces, six leg pieces and a bag with 56 washers and screws. I unpacked all the pieces, then left the room.

damaged box

Lindy sits on the directions

Lindy didn’t think she could help, either.

My son, in his sweet and gentle way, asked me if I would be moving it as it was blocking his path to the living room. Okay. I can do this. I fumbled around with my husbands various tools, found what I hoped would work and got down to the business of building a composter.  It went together beautifully, and was over half done when I called it a day.  I finished assembling it with my son’s help on Thursday. At last the fun could begin.

compost assembly instructions

Some assembly required

assembled tumbling composter


I had a bucket of “brown” from the pumpkin patch ready to go and a decent sized bucket of “green” to go with it. Into the bin they went.  I closed the door, gave it a spin, and smiled. Who knew rotted apples and dead leaves could bring about such happiness?

Do you compost too?

The Compost Recipe

I’ve seen several variations on the mix, but here are the suggestions from tumblingcomposters.com:

The composting process works best by mixing moist greens (nitrogen rich) with dry browns (carbon rich) in a ratio of approximately 2 parts greens to 1 part browns.

Greens are:

  • kitchen scraps
  • grass clippings
  • garden and house plants

Browns are:

  • leaves
  • straw or hay
  • saw dust
  • twigs

Do not compost:

  • meats/fats/bones
  • dairy products
  • trash/plastic
  • wood ashes
  • invasive plants or weeds

Serves several plants.