Posted by admin on October 1, 2010
When gardening in a small backyard it is crucial that all the components be perfect, or as near to perfect as we can manage. With space at a premium we need to choose the best small garden composter suited to our needs. After reviewing both conventional small compost bins and backyard tumblers here are my top three garden compost bins for small gardens.
All of my top three compost bins for small spaces will give you great garden compost. All are ventilated, vermin proof and made of dark plastic. This gives all three the ability to produce fast, hot compost from your garden waste and kitchen scraps. Plus all should prove durable enough to last through the years of composting to come.
Your budget and just how small your small backyard is, will of course determine which is more suited to your needs. But all the top three small garden composters are a good place to start before making your decision.
The Envirocycle Compost Tumbler
This is a great little backyard tumbler. It comes in a choice of colours. In a small space black appears further away so that is the one I would choose. Also being black has the advantage of increasing the heat inside the drum, so helping to make your garden compost faster.
This is an ideal backyard tumbler for small gardens because it sits low to the ground so having much less impact in a small space. Because the design is low to the ground there also is less of an issue if you have a less than perfect place to site the bin. Whilst those on high metal frames will have to be placed somewhere completely level and out of the way to prevent knocks, this one isn’t going to go anywhere even if it does get the odd knock from running children or pets.
Being a relatively small drum which spins on its short axis, this is one compost tumbler which remains easy to spin no matter how full it gets. All that spinning means you never need to turn or mix the composting material in any other way.
One of the things I particularly like is that it comes with a decent warranty. Some of the more expensive tumbling compost bins come with far shorter guarantees which makes me worry about there more complicated designs. The Envirocycle compost tumbler has a manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years for the drum, 2 years for the base.
Another feature is that the material is 50% post consumer, recycled plastic which means buying the Envirocycle helps the environment that little bit.
Although creating compost in 4 to 6 weeks is extremely quick, I would emphasise that ideally (space permitting) you would need two of these bins to provide a year round home to all your organic waste.
The SoilSaver Compost Bin
This is as basic as manufactured garden compost bins tend to get. This is cheap but it is also durable, simple to install, and square which means it is even more suited to small spaces. Being a static bin, means this composter will not usually produce garden compost quite so quickly as the Envirocycle. But, it is well insulated and black so it will still produce quality compost within a few months.
The only point which needs ot be remembered about the SoilSaver compost bin is that it will only work correctly if sited on level ground. This is because it is square with sliding sides (making removing compost easy) and a locking lid (to keep out vermin). If you do not place this on level ground the corners will be under stress and the lid is unlikely to remain tightly fitted.
This is simple to put together and made from 75% post consumer, recycled plastic. So even though the name isn’t as ‘green’, this is actually the most environmentally friendly garden composter of the three.
This small composter is very cheap but strong and sturdy. So much so that it comes with a 25 year warranty, proving the faith the manufacturers have in their product. Again, space permitting you really would need two of these garden composters to ensure year round collection of your organic waste.
The Earthmaker Garden Composter
This looks like the ideal garden composter for a small garden because you should never need any additional compost bins. This system incorporates three bins into one. You add new organic waste to the top. Then once a month use a tool to slide the chamber base so that decomposing materials fall down into the lower chambers.
Once the system is set up, and you’ve been using it a while you should have a non-stop supply of finished garden compost in the bottom. At the same time you should also always have a space at the top in which to deposit more garden waste and kitchen scraps.
This is significantly more pricey than the two options above but if space is your paramount problem, it could provide an answer to your composting needs. This is a very efficient, hot, method of producing compost. Once established your waste should become garden compost within a month. The makers suggest you’ll be creating 10 gallons of compost every 4 weeks but obviously that depends very much on how much waste you have to put in it.
It is disappointing that there is no information available regarding any extended warranty either on amazon or other (more expensive) stockists. Though as it is made from sturdy plastic, without any complicated metal framework or wheels it at least looks very durable.
This continuous composting system is the one I would choose if I really could not accommodate two composters into my garden. However if your small garden isn’t quite that small I suggest the Envirocycle compost tumbler for easy use or the Soilsaver for no-nonsense, long lasting garden composting.
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