The best compost bin for you depends on your circumstances. For the best one-two combination, our favorite compost tumbler along with a sturdy, odor-free kitchen pail are the front-runners, but enclosed bins and open-air bins are also extremely useful (especially if you have a lot of yard waste) and may be more appropriate for your situation...
At a minimum, the best compost bin designs…
If you’re just now getting your compost piles ready but are itching to start your garden, there’s no need to wait!
Good pre-made compost can be purchased to give your plants the nutrients they need while your homemade composting operation is getting underway.
Let’s review each of the best compost bin designs and how they address these points…
The following chart compares each of the best compost bin designs (click the links in the far left column for more about the best-reviewed products; click the links in the far right column for our dedicated pages for each type)...
|Best Compost Bin Designs||Weather||Animals||Heat- Retention||Aeration||Size||GA Web Page(s)|
|Enclosed Compost Barrels/Bins||Keep out rain and wind||Keep out most animals||"Cold" composting||Manual turning with shovel/ fork||Med.||Composting Barrel & Bin|
|Compost Tumblers||Keep out rain and wind||Keep out all animals||"Hot" composting*||Build in bin rotator||Med.||Tumbler composter|
|Open-Air Compost Bins||Keep out wind (made to let in rain)||Keep out some animals||"Hot" composting||Manual turning with shovel/ fork||Large||Composting Barrel & Bin|
|Worm Composting Bins||
The compost derived from worm composting bins is superior to “normal” compost in several ways. It produces worm excrements (called castings) that combine the dirt and organic material consumed by worms, which provide readily-available soil nutrients and have a texture that is unrivaled in terms of drainage and water and nutrient retention.
Their primary downside is the amount of compost that can be created per bin. The best advice is to combine a “best of both worlds” approach: use worm compost (also called vermicompost) selectively to improve your garden soil where it’s needed most while more liberally using the more abundant compost from your cold and hot pile bins.
|Kitchen Compost Pail/Bin||Intended for indoor use||n/a - intended to store kitchen waste until dumped into compost pile||Small||Kitchen Compost Pail|
*Our favorite compost tumbler is insulated, which allows hot composting. Most tumblers are not insulated and are only used for cold composting.
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