How to Assemble a Compost Tumbler
Compost is the secret to a thriving garden. Purchasing a compost tumbler kit speeds up compost production while making assembly a breeze.
You can order worms for the compost bin from any number of online garden stores. The kit we are building can hold 1,000 red wiggler worms. One pound of worms can consume a half-pound of food scraps each day. That’s why you get so much compost from so few worms.
Attach the water collection tray to the leg base using the supplied screws. Next, insert the water collection liner, making sure to line up the drainage holes. Insert the drain valve through the tray and liner and attach it with the plastic washer.
Soak the included coir brick in one gallon of water. Add a handful of the included vermiculite. Also add a small amount of vermiculite to the water collection liner. Spread the wet coir bedding material in the bottom tray. In the second tray, use damp shredded newspaper for the bedding.
Put all of the worms in the bottom tray and place the tray in the base. Stack the second tray on top of the first. Finally, the lid goes on top to keep the worms in and the dry air out. As the worms compost all of the food in the first tray, they will move up to the second tray. Additional trays will become necessary as the worms multiply.
Feed the worms a mixture of different food scraps. Almost anything works except for meat, dairy and exceptionally fatty foods. Popular items include fruit and vegetable scraps, moldy bread, pizza crusts, and table leftovers. Do not overfeed the worms. If food lasts longer than one week, it is likely too much. After about a week or two, add food to the second tray.
For worm composting to work its best, the bedding must be kept moist but not wet. If the bed gets too dry the worms could die, and if it gets too wet the worms can drown. Before adding additional bedding, soak it in water and wring it out. Also, keep the bin away from direct sunlight.
Once the worms have moved out of the bottom tray you will be left with pure compost, known as worm castings. Remove the bottom tray and sort through the compost to pick out any stray worms. Use the compost when planting vegetables and flowers, or as a top-dress fertilizer on existing plants. Scratch the compost into the soil.