What is a Compost Maker?

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  • Written By: Nychole Price
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 February 2020
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A compost maker is a type of container used to make compost. It keeps rodents and bugs out of your compost, while preventing odors from escaping. Kitchen scraps, yard clippings and leaves are placed in the compost maker. The aeration, and ease of turning that the compost bin provides helps the bacteria to do its job while providing the proper carbon to nitrogen ratio. Compost makers come in various styles, including bins, tumblers, barrels and buckets.

Composting bins are used for simple composting projects. This style of compost maker doesn't have a bottom and sits directly on the ground. Many gardeners prefer to put a screen underneath the bin to prevent rodents from digging under the bin to access the scraps. The compost bin doesn't turn the material so it takes much longer to convert the scraps and yard waste into usable soil. The process can be sped up slightly by turning the soil with a shovel.

Tumblers are used by people who need to make compost quickly and in large amounts. The average compost tumbler can produce 11.8 cubic feet (3.6 cubic meters) of compost in just under two weeks. The tumbling action of this compost maker combines and aerates the scraps and yard waste for quick composting. The speed of composting will vary depending upon weather conditions.


Barrels are popular compost makers among people who also want to make compost tea, a natural organic fertilizer. The round barrel turns on a base, mixing and aerating the compost. As it turns, liquid from the compost collects in the base. This is referred to as compost tea and is used to fertilize indoor and outdoor plants. Barrels can hold up to 7 cubic feet (2.13 cubic meters) of compost.

Compost buckets are used by people who need to compost a small amount of material. On average, this compost maker can accommodate up to 5 gallons (18.9 liters) of material for composting. They make just enough soil for a small garden. The only downfall to using a bucket for composting is that it is very difficult to turn the material as it decomposes. It is recommended to used a bucket with a latch or lock to keep out pests.

All compost makers can make a high quality, nutrient rich soil. The type of compost maker one chooses will depend upon the amount of kitchen scraps or yard waste he generates as well as how much soil he desires to produce.


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