Compost tumblers as soil mixers

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by veener, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. Hello,
    Wanted to get anyone advice as to whether compost tumblers, specifically the 55 or 60 gallon ones, work? I am looking to produce appx 200 gallons of soil every 2 months. Is there an even more practical approach? Do these work insofar as allowing oxygen to aerate?
    I did 3 kiddie pools to get 200 gallons, and THAT was work... so almost anything else seems more practical!!

  2. I used a 10x8 tarp to mix 55 or 60 gallons (~1/4 yard) it took about 15 minutes and seems to work fine.
  3. Yeah, that would work fine Im sure... and the pools did to an extent as well. But when you think about the floor space that would take, and the amount I want to make- along with the frequency I want to make it- one must understand my situation. The three kiddie pools I used last time took up the entire room that is now going to be a large veg room. I was hoping to get some of those 55-60 gallon tumblers on stands to make it more vertical, rather than spread out and horizontal like 3 kiddie pools. You know?
    If I had a GIANT house and a whole other room, I suppose I wouldnt mind the kiddie pools.... but there has to be more and better options?!?
  4. [quote name='"jerry111165"']Take a gander at this thread. I believe Weedroid was using the compost tumblers that you are referring to successfully.


    I second that!
    WD was so confident in his compost, compost tumblers, and soil that he felt there was nothing else necessary for his grow!

    Great thread to read, reread, and rereread!
  5. For what those compost tumblers cost, I could buy a used, or cheaper yet, rent a cement mixer.

    Trust me on this if it's 15cf+, or cy territory. Have the T shirt. LOL

  6. But taking into consideration that renting costs money everytime, transportation of it, lack of ability to have indoors well..... i just dont see the cost benefit when I intend on doing this every 1.5-2 months, if not more.... Am I confused as to the cement mixing market? lol
  7. when it comes to cost, there is no better way than a conventional compost pile.
    Thats the way i do it...
  8. I intend on doing this every 1.5-2 months

    One word, No-Till. Mix soil that you can re-use, over and over and over...

  9. Jerry- I have read of you doing this somewhat.... I dont have complete confidence in things I havent done personally, but am always looking for new ideas and processes. Do you have any proof in the pudding as to the quality and quantity of a no till method? FYI- Im in the woods of Maine as well!
  10. As for a conventional compost pile- It gets cooooolllld here, and a compost pile is only in the summermonths. Hence me wondering if a few 'compost' tumblers indoors would work well? Thanks for the input guys!
  11. The compost tumbler works just fine, they just happen to be cost prohibitive for many.

    Compost tumbler + worm bin = excellent humus.

  12. The only "proof" I could show might be in my organic journal - and I'm afraid I haven't posted many pics lately, but I think there's a bunch towards the beginning if you wanted to nose around in there. There's a link in my signature.

    After using the very same soil for around/almost/not sure 2? years now? I can honestly tell you that I have the same, if not better results using the same pots of soil.

    Bacteria/microbes/fungus - ie: soil life becomes established - soil mixes become better with age. I've grown around a dozen batches or so of plants in the same pots of soil and should be able to continue using it for many years with no decrease whatsoever in plant health or harvest weight.


  13. You could probably find a used one in the $200+- neighborhood, especially a newer one with a (heavy duty), plastic drum and electric motor. The older and larger ones had steel drums and gas engines. Need a truck to move them around.

    This is for mixing up soil mix, not making compost, although I guess you could do the initial mix for the compost.

    Did this at a horse track in Fl for the flowers and landscape plantings. The main ingredients were dump truck load sized (~3cy) and that cement mixer saved a boat load of shovel work combining everything.

  14. So with one of these cement mixers you speak of, wetdog... can I mix up my soil, let it sit, then mix again 2 days later and do that for a whole month? I didnt know if that would aerate it enough vs a compost tumbler with holes and what not?
  15. No, it's mainly a labor saving thing when mixing.

    Mixing again every 2 days? I'm nowhere near that industrious. Once or twice .... maybe.

  16. Veneer - i think it's getting a little confusing. Can you tell us what you are trying to do? Are you trying to come up with an easier way to physically mix the soil, or store it? How often? How much? A lot?

    You really need to keep in mind that organics is absolutely nothing like hydro. If you make a quality soil mix, you can definetly recycle it, re-use it in a no-till setup, re-amend it - etc. the bottom line is that you do not need to chuck it and make brand new soil all the time. Plants will only use a very small amount of the nutrition that's in a good quality soil - if you re-amend it here and there you can continue to use it forever...

  17. Well, I am a coco turned soil purist... I just got done making my first large scale size soil mix, following LDz soil mix ALMOST to the T,with a few minor additions.
    Mixing up 200+ gallons was A LOT of turning- and I am ambitious,I turned it on average every 3 days with it in mind I am aerating the soil, giving oxygen to the aerobic bacteria, making the mix more homogeneous, etc etc. I am trying to supply the most high quality and consistent results to my medical patients, therefore, I want my mixes quality and results to be the same every time. I just am skeptical of re-using soil and getting those same results everytime. I need to keep up with demand, hence a good yield, and need a high quality result....
    All in all, I am trying to find a way to mix the soil in a space saving sort of way, and also store it in the same container..
  18. Wetdog - do you mix in said cement mixer and let it 'cook' in there as well for a month or two?
    Thanks for the info guys!!!

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