The Best Composter Is The Cheapest!

Yup, that's right! Those fancy compost tumblers that can cost hundreds of dollars didn't perform as well as a simple and affordable $40 composter according to a test of some popular home composters I found on youtube. (Video below). It got the hottest out of all the composters tested, likely due to it's better air circulation.

It's basic, it's easy to use (I got one shortly after writing this) and really cheap!

Geobin Composter

The Geobin Composting System is a simple to use composter from Presto Products. It's not exactly what was shown in the video but made from the same company. Seems like an updated design.

The Geobin 3' tall and you can adjust the diameter up to 4' but it's recommended to keep the diameter between 3-3.5'. It consists of a mesh plastic perimeter and stakes to hold it in place.

The Geobin is very similar to the homemade chicken wire and garden stake composters except it's a smaller mesh. This still provides good air circulation but restricts a lot of the sunlight from hitting the material which can lead to weed germination. This can be a problem with chicken wire compost bins too. Since it's made of durable plastic, you don't have to worry about anything rusting.

There is no bottom on the composting bin so your material will come in direct contact with the soil which will help microbes and even worms get in to speed up composting. When you aren't using it, you roll it up for easy storage.

The GeoBin composter is sold at home centers but it is currently cheaper to buy it from Amazon since the product qualifies for Free Super Saver Shipping. Since the sides of the composter roll up, it comes in a nice small package.

There are plastic poultry fence products you can purchase to make something similar. A 3' x 25' roll should be enough to make 2 compost bins. You'll also need some stakes to hold it in place. These 4' garden stakes are made of steel with a plastic coating. You should be able to drive them in pretty far to keep your bins in place. They come in an affordable pack of 20 so you should have some left over after making your compost bins.

One of the complaints of the GeoBin was that the stakes weren't quite long enough and they didn't hold on to the ground well. If your GeoBin falls over or moves easily, I think you can use these 10" tent stakes to grip onto the GeoBin mesh or maybe some garden staples which are cheaper but not as long. Drive them into the ground to help keep them from moving or blowing over in a strong wind. There are 10 in a pack. The included stakes can be used mainly to hold the sides up.

Since this isn't a compost tumbler, you're going to have to find another way to stir up the compost to help aerate it. They make a tool for that. It's called a compost turner or compost aerator.

The compost aerator has two wings that fold up as you push it down into the compost. As you pull it up, the wings spread out again to help you mix up your compost. Since the compost is already getting plenty of air through the design of the GeoBin composter, you only have to turn it every few weeks.

Another good product to have is a compost accelerator such as Ringer Compost Plus to help speed things along. This is an important component if you're new to organic lawn care and might have killed a lot of the necessary microbes by using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides in your garden. After you have a good batch of compost, you can use some to start your next batch without using an additive to your compost. There are opinions that this may not be necessary. My opinion is that a few bucks to make sure you have the right microorganisms in your first batch of compost seems like a good idea.

It seems like everyone is jumping on this "go green" bandwangon to try and make money with fancy equipment and compelling marketing. The reality is that people have been making and using compost before there were expensive compost tumblers.

What was odd was that the open compost bins got hotter than the enclosed compost tumblers. With them being open and getting more air you would think the opposite would be true but the heat comes from the microbial activity in the compost. Without sufficient air, you won't get good microbial activity.

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