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I would like to start composting on some scale-- I don't have a huge area to work with- I have a 20x22 veggie garden which also has to hold an 8x6 ish shed/greenhouse- still in the works no construction yet, a compost area, a compost tea area (maybe) and rabbit hutches (2 darlings for my 2 darlings). I would love to have somefeedback on some of the various compost methods or products on the market- Dh wants to make me a tumbler out of a metal drum, I am interested in getting the ComposTumbler myself and would love to hear if anyone has one or how the drum versus piles compares.
ALSO! Do I compost the rabbit droppings or can I just use them in the garden fresh?? I saw Gardening by the Yard (I LOVE Paul James- he reminds me very strongly of an uncle I have LOL!) and it seemed to me that he just puts the "rasins" right on his potted plants as fertilizer pellets- but I thought doo had to be composted for a while first...
I'm no expert, but I love Paul James too, so that counts for something, right? (lol) I do believe that the rabbit "raisins" can be sewn directly on the soil without having to age first. But that's just a guess.
I got the "back porch" size ComposTumbler almost two years ago. I have a small backyard and didn't think I'd have enough material to "feed" the composter on a consistant basis. I have been very happy with it, but I really wish I had gotten the larger one now. It cooks faster (I suppose because you get lots more material in there), and the batches are larger - and as it turns out, I have plenty of material to feed it. To help mine along - and because once it's cooking you don't want to keep adding new material - I created two cylindrical "bins" from some wire fencing I had. They are right next to the tumbler, and while a batch is cooking, I add material to first one bin, and then the other when the first one gets full. That way, when I empty the tumbler, I can add the material from the 1st bin, and it has a headstart on the decompostion process.
I have been using two Original ComposTumbler's (18 bushel) for 6 or so years now with great results. I have had good luck with them as far as not falling apart or rusting out. As each batch is done and the finished compost is removed, I wash the tumbler completely before filling it up with matrials. The shortest amount of time that I produced a batch of compost was 10 days and according to my records at that time, the temp inside the tumbler was at 185 degree's. My average is 12 to 14 days and I have not been lucky to get another ten days or that high temp. IMO when it comes to compost tumbler's, the bigger the better and with bigger size, it will produce more heat with the proper green and brown material ratio's.