Planet Natural offers a large selection of bins and tumblers designed for home and garden use that are practical, functional and efficient.
for Home & Garden
Composting at its most basic. Made of recycled black plastic, so there’s nothing to rot or rust.
Best For: Growers with limited space. Neat appearance and low cost make this the most popular composter available. Ideal for kitchen scraps and a limited amount of yard waste (11cf).
Advantages: Low maintenance, for example, you don’t have to turn a holding unit. Lid keeps rain off the contents and helps deter animals. Black color absorbs heat – enhancing the decomposition process.
Downsides: Low maintenance means the process can take longer. Composting can take from six months to one year using this kind of container. Decomposition can occur quickly if aerated.
Purchase a kitchen pail or crock from Planet Natural and there’s no need to run out to the pile after each meal – just lift the lid and toss-in table scraps. They’re fitted with activated carbon filters to eliminate odors and look great too!
As the name implies, a rolling bin can be rolled to your yard waste, loaded up and then rolled away. A quick tumble every day or two mixes and aerates the pile, eliminating the need to aerate with a pitchfork or aerating tool.
The Bio-Orb is a large capacity, rolling composter that makes it easy to recycle yard clippings and organic scraps into rich, soil-building humus. Just fill it and roll it! The spherical shape maximizes heat retention for faster composting and allows for easy mixing and mobility.
Best For: Homeowners and others with sufficient space. Eliminates unsightly refuse piles and can be rolled out of sight when not in use. Use to recycle yard clippings and vegetable scraps. Ideal for an average sized yard or garden (13.5cf).
Advantages: Low maintenance, plus they make aerating the pile easy. Lid keeps rain off the contents and helps deter animals. Made of recycled plastic and easy to assemble. The spherical shape maximizes heat retention for faster decomposition.
Downsides: Fully loaded bins can become heavy and difficult to roll.
One notch up on the evolutionary scale from the spherical and enclosed bins, compost tumblers are designed so that they turn their contents easily.
A household size composter for daily amounts of kitchen and household throwouts — finished compost in 4-6 weeks! The Back Porch ComposTumbler is great for your deck, porch, right outside your kitchen door or next to your recycling bin.
Best For: Homeowners with limited space that are willing to invest in a tumbling system. Neat appearance and quick composting times make these units a popular choice.
Advantages: Energy-efficient design is relatively easy to aerate. Supplies bacteria with the oxygen it needs and consequently speeds up decomposition. Available in various sizes, small to large. Lid keeps rain off the contents and helps deter animals. Drums usually sit off the ground — less bending!
Downsides: Once these units are full and the decomposition process begins, you have to wait before adding additional materials.
With the right composting equipment turning table scraps into valuable vermicompost is a cinch! Planet Natural supplies everything you need to get started: worms, a container and “”bedding.” Plus books that tell you just how to do it. Now let’s rot!
Using redworms to compost is a convenient way to dispose of kitchen scraps and turns them into a rich, organic soil conditioner known as worm castings. If you supply the right ingredients and care, your worms will thrive!
As seen on The Martha Stewart Show! The Can O Worms provides a quick, odorless and space efficient way to convert kitchen scraps into rich, crumbly vermicompost. Contains 3 large capacity working trays — no need to purchase additional trays!
Best For: Homeowners and apartment dwellers with limited space. Use to convert kitchen scraps into rich, crumbly castings and worm tea, a nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer.
Advantages: Worm bins can be located anywhere from under the kitchen sink to outdoors or in your garage. Once up and running they require very little maintenance. Stacking tray design allows the worms to “eat their way up” to their food, leaving their nutrient dense castings behind.
Downsides: Temperatures need to be considered. Ideally a worm bin should be located in an area where the temperatures are between 40-80˚F. In cold climates, bring your bin inside during the winter to avoid freezing. In hot climates, keep it wet and cool. On occasion, unpleasant odors may waft from the container when it’s overloaded with table scraps. If this occurs, stop adding food until the redworms have had a chance to break down what is left in the bin.
Alternatives to Bins
Heaps or Piles
The lazy man’s entrée into composting. If you don’t want to build or purchase a bin, simply start heaping your organic materials in a corner of the yard.
Best For: People with adequate outdoor space and who are willing to invest time — if not in building a bin — then in turning their heap or pile.
Downsides: If not properly aerated, heaps can take a long time to decompose. Since they are not enclosed, they can also attract pests if you’re not careful.
Click on Step-By-Step Instructions to Build a Compost Pile for more information.
Uses shallow pits dug in the ground as opposed to above-ground structures. The pit should be no less than 18 inched deep, 3 feet wide and any length. This method produces high temperatures and relatively quick decomposition.
Best For: People who want to contain and shelter the compost pile. Minimal investment is required, except for time.
Downsides: Requires regular maintenance or anaerobic conditions can take over quickly due to poor ventilation. Only small amounts of organic waste can be used at one time.
Learn more about pit composting here.
Definitely an activity that’s best done in the fall. Simply put, you place a thin layer of raw materials, such as leaves, and incorporate by raking it into the soil of your garden. Over the course of the winter, the material will break down into “garden gold.”
Best For: People with large gardens who aren’t afraid to experiment.
Downsides: Using your garden as your “bin” means tying up the nitrogen which your plants normally would use. That means you have to do this in the fall when your garden is fallow.
Visit the UC Master Gardeners of Napa County for more about the benefits and concerns of sheet composting.
What products to compost
You will be able to source all of the essential elements in order to build a great compost pile without having to look too far! As long as your carbon to nitrogen ratio is optimal (25-30:1) your compost pile will be breaking down properly. Here are some lists of acceptable additions:
Carbon Rich Material "Browns"
Cardboard (free of dyes)
Stems & twigs
Nitrogen Rich Material "Greens"
Kitchen food waste
Weeds (that have NOT gone to seed)
Things to Avoid
Diseased plant material
Manures from carnivorous animals
As for the rhododendron and holly leaves, you can definitely put them in your compost pile. However, it is a good idea to really chop or shred them up, as they take much longer to break down due to their fibrous and waxy make up. It really depends on how quickly you are trying to create usable compost. It might be a good idea to have a separate pile going that you incorporate those leaves into and another pile that you do not. That way you can have a pile you know will rapidly break down into garden goodness and have yet another ready to use later on. Good luck!
Can I compost diseased plants?
There are nearly 7,000 estimated different species of rust causing pathogenic fungi. Although many of those would be destroyed when your compost pile reaches the ideal temperature (135-150 degrees Fahrenheit), some of them would not. Those thermophilic fungi would not be eradicated until the pile reached temperatures over at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit and at that point the heat would also cause a loss of nutrients and destroy most of the beneficial microbes. Therefore, it would be wise to avoid composting the infected leaves so that you do not spread the disease. You can opt for burning the leaves but do not bury them and be sure to also disinfect any gardening tools that came into contact with the pathogen. Here's a couple of links that will help:
what not to compost
Hi Jania -
There is an active ingredient in citrus call "limonene" that has the potential to kill your worms if added to your pile in large concentrations. For a small home wormery I would recommend adding citrus peels 1 at a time and wait until it is thoroughly decomposed before adding more.
Can I Compost Tomatoes?
Honestly, we've never really thought much about composting tomatoes... So, we wrote a blog post on the subject! Here it is:
Can I compost paper?
I think the basic rule of composting applies here… "When in doubt, leave it out." You certainly don't want to be adding toxic materials, if any, to your compost pile. As for composting paper, the following link will help:
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