There are primarily 3 ways to do composting at home:
- Compost Tumblers
- Compost Bins
- Worm Bins
This article compares compost tumbler and worm bin and highlight which is better for you.
Compost Tumblers vs. Worm Bins
Compost tumblers are best for batch composting (once a year).They are closed containers and come in different shapes and sizes. A compost tumbler features a rotating mechanism and some holes for aeration.
Worm bins use worms to decompose organic waste. A worm bin requires a controlled temperature (55-75°F) to function properly. This temperature is room temperature; you don’t need to make any special arrangement if you don’t live in an extremely hot or cold area.
Worm bins have holes all around to increase airflow and specific compartments for adding waste and withdrawing ready compost. Bin worms are best for ongoing composting.
Compost Tumblers vs. Worm Bins
Compost tumblers have more capacity than worm bins. Tumblers usually have a capacity of 3-10 cubic feet and are ideal for a medium to a large family with a medium to a large lawn. Worm bins are smaller in size and are ideal for people living in apartments or with a few plants at their homes. They come in different shapes and sizes but are considerably smaller than compost tumblers.
Compost tumblers need a lot more space as compared to worm bins. You cannot place them inside your apartment or home. You will have to adjust them to your garden or walkways. Worm bins are small, compact, and can be adjusted inside your apartment or somewhere in the kitchen.
Another feature to consider while working with worm bins is the temperature. Worm bins do not work well in the extreme winter or summer seasons. You will have to provide them with an optimum working temperature in this case. Compost tumblers are resistant to outer temperatures due to thick materials. They can maintain a constant internal temperature.
Compost bins can produce compost in 2-4 weeks; tumblers take around 2-4 months. Compost bins use microbes and worms to produce the compost whereas tumblers rely on microbes only.
Compost tumbler needs little time from you. You just have to add the compost batch, close the lid, and rotate it daily. Worm composting needs proper care, attention, and time. You need to make bedding for worms, feed them, make sure that the bin is not too dry or wet, and maintain optimum temperature.
Ease of Use and Functionality
Tumblers are easy to use than worm bins. You don’t have to worry about worms or maintaining a constant temperature. Taking out compost is also easier in tumbler as you just have to pour the compost using a shovel.
Tumblers are pretty effective in controlling odor. They come with a lid to ensure that no odor leaves the container, and no pests enter inside it. The latest worm bin models are now coming with filters and scents to reduce odors. You need to ensure that there is not too much moisture inside the bin so that the worms do not start giving foul odors.
Tumblers and worm-bins come in different colors and shapes. You can get different models in each category according to your likes and dislikes.
Mistakes to avoid while using Worm Bins
Overfeeding: Do not overfeed your worms. Worms can eat equal to their body weight every day, but temperature and moisture in the air can change their feeding habits. The best way is to feed them every 4 days.
Wrong Diet: The best diet for worms is non-acidic fruit and vegetable scraps. Grains, bread, coffee grounds can also do the trick. Make sure that all the items must be small and shredded so that they can break down faster, and it also helps in avoiding odor.
Wrong Composting Bedding: Use shredded paper or leaves for beading. It should not be too wet or dry. The best way is to squeeze a handful of bedding; if it feels like a wrung-out sponge, it is perfect.
We have already mentioned that you need to maintain a fair temperature and do not forget to harvest worm castings.