I’ve had my compost tumbler now for about a year and this was my second harvest. That doesn’t sound so good but for the effort I’ve put into it I’m fairly happy. I could have harvested the first batch a good month or two earlier than I did. It was forgotten about for a while. This time I ran out of carbon materials. My solution worked but wasn’t ideal.
Last spring I built a lasagne garden bed which used up the last of my leaves that I normal use for composting. So I headed out to our local Master Gardener orchard which has free wood mulch for the taking. I knew this would take longer to break down than leaves but it was better than nothing. I wanted to keep that tumbler working! This time I really increased the green material to help break down the wood mulch. But it still took forever! It didn’t help that I wasn’t actively turning it and keeping an eye on it. I’m sure it would’ve been faster if I had been more proactive. But ya know…life is busy. Things come up. Luckily, compost will be just fine if left alone. It just takes longer.
I dumped it out this week and was surprised with how much compost I had after I screened it…3 cubic feet. I ended up with 15 gallons of bark and small twigs from the wood mulch that still need to decompose. I tossed most of that into my other tumbler that I’ve been adding to and some back into the one I just emptied. I’ll add a bunch of coffee grounds from Starbucks and a few more weeks worth of kitchen scraps and that tumbler should be ready to cook. Once that’s done, I’ll start loading up the tumbler that I just emptied. It’s really handy to have two. I’m just so thrilled with these tumblers! They have made composting so easy.