If you are curious to know the differences between a compost bin, tumbler, pile, and worm farm, then this is the right place to be! By reading through this buying guide, you are going to learn all about these four methods of composting, and which one is right for you and your needs.
This website is supported by readers. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
What Is A Compost Bin?
As the name implies, a compost bin is a type of bin that is designed to hold compost. Compost bins are designed to hold organic matter – orange peels, old food, weeds; among many other items – for a period of time, until that compost can then be used in the garden.
To accomplish this task, compost bins are closed systems. By being closed systems, this makes it very difficult for air and water to flow into the compost bin. If air and water was able to flow into the compost bin, then it would take longer for that organic matter to turn into compost and to, in turn, be used in the garden.
You can find compost bins that are made from a variety of different materials. Materials such as lumber, plastic, stone, ceramic, aluminum; along with many others. Most compost bins have a circular or square-shape, but the size tends to differ between compost bins. There are compost bins that are quite large, and designed for big outdoor spaces. But, there are also compost bins that can fit onto a countertop or table.
For an easy, effective, and extremely convenient way to produce compost quickly and safely, you can’t go wrong with a compost bin. Just know, though, that most compost bins are ideal for producing small amounts of compost rather than large amounts. That is, unless you spend the extra money and purchase a larger compost bin.
What Is A Tumbler?
A tumbler is a device that is meant to hold large quantities of organic matter that will then be transformed into compost. But, as the name hints at, tumblers are designed to tumble, allowing old composted matter to merge with the fresh organic matter that you’re pouring into the tumbler. That way, larger amounts of compost can be created in a shorter amount of time.
Most tumblers are held up on a series of poles. These poles hold the tumbler up, so that you can then push the tumbler around, allowing the contents of the tumbler to, well, tumble. If a tumbler uses weak poles, it can lead to the poles collapsing as the tumbler becomes more and more full.
Tumblers are designed to hold large amounts of compost. And, due to their design, they are designed to move around large amounts of compost. Since they work so quickly, this allows for large amounts of compost to be created in a relatively short period of time.
One of the nicest qualities that tumblers offer has to do with their closed-nature. Tumblers are completely sealed, which means that no rodents can get in. But, along with that, it’s very difficult for air and water to get in. The same is true of bins, but bins aren’t nearly as closed-off as tumblers.
What Is A Pile?
A pile is a pile of organic matter that is meant to turn into compost. Most compost piles are incredibly dense with organic matter, organic matter that has been piled and organized in a very specific manner, ensuring that the composting process is as speedy as it can be.
Since piles aren’t contained within a bin, for example, they often emit strong smells and can easily attract rodents and pests. Because of this, depending on where you are, there may be specific regulations regarding piles or they may be forbidden.
What Is A Worm Farm?
A worm farm is, essentially, a composting container that is designed to hold worms. Organic matter is placed into this container, and then the worms consume much of the organic matter. Soon enough, those same worms excrete what they’ve eaten. By doing this, the decomposition process happens much faster than it normally would, and this allows for greater amounts of usable compost to be created in a shorter period of time.
While worm farms are extremely effective, they can be slightly inconvenient. Most of this has to do with the fact that there are plenty of different things that worms can’t eat – citrus rinds, for example – which means you have to be careful when you’re throwing matter into the bin. But, if you can look past that slight difficulty, worm farms are one of the easiest, and most unique, composting methods.