When starting to compost, one must ask, which exactly is better the compost bin or the compost tumbler? Really, it all depends on who you ask and what their current lifestyle is like. For instance, does this person have the time to commit to their compost and garden? More importantly, do you? Whatever your answer will be may well dictate whether you’ll go with purchasing a compost bin or tumbler. Let’s take a few factors into considerations to help you decide:
Compost bins are easy to use and are just as easy to put together with little parts or none at all. Popular compost bins like the Garden Gourmet and the Expandable Worm Tower, both which can be found on Composters.com, require little parts and take no more than 20 minutes to put together. Those who use bins find it both therapeutic and satisfying to be personally turning their compost with a pitchfork; no one ever said that a little bit of the outdoors could hurt you! For composting bins like the Expandable Worm Tower, it’s the worms that do most of the work. All you would have to do is take the finished compost that the worms have produced (known as worm castings, black gold, or even just rich soil), distribute it around the soil of your garden, fill up the trays with more organic matter and dirt and repeat!
As easy and efficient that compost bins are, they can get a bit messy at times. What if you happen to have a compost bin unlike the Expandable Worm Tower or Garden Gourmet where it’s easy to evacuate the finished compost? You may have to manually dump the finished compost into a wheel barrel, where it can get a bit chaotic and messy. Unless you have no other commitments and plenty of time on your hand, compost bins may not be the way to go.
A bit more expensive but perhaps worth the extra cash, compost tumblers are ideal for those who don’t have as much time but would still love to have the resulting rich soil for their garden. What’s great about having a compost tumbler is that there’s no need to manually turn the compost. The whole point of a tumbler is that you can easily rotate it via a crank or just by spinning it, therefore aerating the compost inside. The con about tumblers, however, is that they too can get messy especially if you have to roll it around the yard when the compost it not yet ready. Additionally, you may have to purchase the compost tea collector separately, depending on the model.
When it comes down to it, it’s really about personal preference. I’ve mentioned repeatedly that things could get messy, but that’s the beauty of composting; you’re allowed to get down and dirty! Whatever the decision you make, be sure to take your lifestyle and commitments in consideration to ensure a successful composting experience.