3-stage compost system- am I nuts?

Hi all,
I’m putting in several new garden beds, and I want to start composting. I’d love your advice and feedback on my plan:

Stage 1: plastic bucket in the kitchen to collect food scraps

Stage 2: continuous composter in the back yard to stockpile food/yard scraps

Stage 3: compost tumbler to finish

Am I over complicating this?

That does sound very ambitious, stage 1 is great but do not put any potato peelings in (caviar for rats, they love the sweet skins) and if you are going to be very organised your scraps should be cut up to the same size so that they degrade at the same time. A continuous compost heap in the back yard with at least 2 bays is great but a tumbler (unless you are going to make industrial quantities) is probably not needed, we turn ours just twice a year and get an ample amount for a tenth of an acre garden. Here is a fab link https://www.growveg.com/guides/how-to-compost-easy-steps-to-success/ One other tip, banana skins, they are wonderful! They act as a compost accelerator and they make it smell lovely!


Hi there, CrazyBusy - you are not nuts. Many of us throw away a lot of potential nutritious soil. There are things to take into account. If you have a kitchen ‘caddy’ for your waste, you need to keep it fresh or it will become a stinking nightmare. Your ‘bucket’ will need a tight lid. I use what some call ‘daleks’ down the garden - I’ve got seven- plastic compost bins of about 220 or 330 lrs. To keep the rats at bay you might think about chicken wire under the base. It is 90% successful against rats and moles (who are after your worms). Though they look good and are ‘highly-promoted’ by advertisers, tumblers might be a bit of an expensive luxury with questionable benefit over straight composting. As SusieH says, it will need turning from time to time and you need to keep it moist - not wet - or very little will happen. A lot of your material might come from dead or dying leaves/shoots on the plot and from plants at the end of their season, grass cuttings etc. Mix in some torn up cardboard (without any remnants of plastic tape) or shredded paper etc - it will sweeten and balance your heap. Look on the 'net for ideas about ‘balance’ between green and brown constituents. Too much green makes slime - too much carbon (brown) and activity slows. It’s really not rocket science but it does involve a bit of thought. Don’t spend before you have researched. Many of us have wasted cash before we got to the bottom of ‘compost mysteries’. If you make a high, open pile, watch out for steam as it’s getting hot - perhaps too hot - and turn it. If you’re aiming to get your compost hot, don’t introduce extra compost worms (who will greatly benefit the end result) until it cools or you will cook them. I wish you well in your quest.