There’s a long list of benefits of making compost and most gardeners can recite them on demand. It’s recycling at its most basic. Compost contains the nutrients and microorganisms that plants go nuts over and it can even serve as a natural pest control.
However, for all of these benefits, there are quite a few problems too. Composting requires constant management and labor to keep the organic materials aerated, and this is usually accomplished by manually turning the debris with a rake or shovel. An open compost pile can be a magnet for hungry critters and when it’s not turned correctly is can stink to high heaven. Plus, it seems to take forever to get useable compost.
These challenges and benefits have acted as a stimulus for companies who use technology to solve problems associated with drudgery. In the case of composting, one of the most interesting and simple solutions can be found in the Tumbleweed Composter.
Drifting Along With a Tumbling Tumbleweed…
The Tumbleweed Compost Tumbler is one of the best in breed of efficient composting tools. There are other brands of tumblers that are “barrel-style” and you rotate or turn them by “rolling” the barrel. One such model is the Envirocycle Composter. The Tumbleweed is a bit different in the sense that it is still barrel-shaped but it rotates more “end-over-end”. Below is a video of this “end-over-end” rotation!
There are 2 “models” of the Tumbleweed Composter!
Older Model: Tumbleweed 200003 58-Gallon Rotating Compost Bin, Green:
Newer Model: Sun Joe SJTW103 Tumbleweed Compost Tumbler, 58-Gallon:
Tumbleweed Composter Product Features:
• It has a capacity of 58 gallons.
• The unit weighs 25 pounds empty and will not easily tip over.
• The frame is made of galvanized steel which is easy to assemble and the center rod is made of stainless steel making it rust-resistant.
• The container is composed of 100% UV protected, recycled, dark-green plastic for better heat absorption.
• There are locking lids on each end of the container with four vents that allow oxygen in each time the container is turned.
Tumbleweed Compost Tumbler Video Demo:
This unit has many benefits that a serious gardener will appreciate, the most important of which is the speed with which the useable compost can be created. This is due to several design features.
The movable container allows the composting material to be easily turned daily, aerating the material which speeds up the process. So, instead of requiring many months for the decomposing material to become compost, this Tumbleweed unit can create useable compost in 3 to 4 weeks.
The four vents in each end of the container also allow more oxygen to enter each time the unit is moved. This blast of oxygen super-charges the composting process and eliminates much of the daunting aroma found in ground-based compost piles.
The color and composition of this revolving container also plays an important role in the composting process. When the sun strikes the dark-green plastic container, the heat is absorbed and helps to “cook” the organic material being combined in the container. This additional heat has the effect of speeding up the entire composting process.
Unlike some tumbling units, the Tumbleweed enjoys high customer satisfaction from an ease-of-assembly standpoint. The result of this exemplary design is an efficient, less pungent and more productive composting tool.
Tumbleweed Composter Customer Reviews:
Let’s talk about actual customer reviews for the Tumbleweed Composter. First, there is an “older” model of the Tumbleweed that has 54 total reviews. As demonstrated above in the rating box, the older model has an average Star Rating of 4.
Here are several snippets of actual customer reviews. We included one particular as it was quite “demonstrative” of an actual customer and their experience with the Tumbleweed:
I originally ordered this product from the Tumbleweed company (in Dallas) and I will say that I did not have a good experience overall in terms of shipping. After almost three weeks of the initial order I discovered that the composter had already made a whole trip back to Dallas before it got to me again. According to a representative at Tumbleweed, UPS had lost the package and because of that it was returned to the sender. She re-sent it via FedEx and I received it within 3 days as promised. FYI…
Now, about the actual product…the construction is amazing! Its a simple design (i’m a 28 year old man, by the way) but it will take you a little time. There are roughly 18 srews and non-slip nuts that you must use around the circumference of the barrel. This is to attach both ends to make it whole. Only tools you will need is a cross tip screw driver, space on your floor, and maybe pliers. Outside of that step, the rest was easy. I was very impressed with its size. I mean, its not yet full but once done I realized that the inside is huge! My wife was even impressed with its size and design and she’s not even into this kind of stuff.
This compost tumbler really works–compost is cooking fast, smells great and the tumbler is a lot tidier than our old open compost heap. The one drawback is that I have a lot of trouble turning it over (I’m 5’7″ with pretty good upper body strength); it’s easy for my 6’3″ husband; we both think that I’m just a little short to get the leverage I need. Smaller and/or weaker gardeners may prefer a composter that’s easier to rotate.
But we’d buy this one again in a flash.
New Model: Sun Joe SJTW103 Tumbleweed Compost Tumbler Customer Reviews:
2 Customers gave it a 5 Star:
I have had mine for about 6 months. I am getting another so that I can add to one while the compost develops in the other one. I live against a wooded area with plenty of animals and this is truly vermin-proof. It does get a little heavy to turn as you fill it over time, but that is the only drawback to the product, and that is not a product-specific criticism, just note that all tumblers will have this issue. It was a breeze to assemble, and I keep it on a mulch bed.
I purchased this product last month and we are very happy with the product. I love the ease of tumbling and how animal proof it is. With this cooler time of the year it is taking longer to get the compost into a finished product. I am planning on buying a second one next month so that I can stop adding to the current one and start a new “batch” of compost. This is a great product and I have recommended it to my daughter who is going to be growing an organic garden with her preschool this year.
1 Customer gave it a 1 Star due to the box being crushed but not due to the composter “working”:
Ordered three of these SunJoe tumblers when they were on sale and was disappointed to receive all 3 boxes ripped and beat up, with parts literally sticking out. Still have to make sure parts are actually there and assemble them before I can give you a review on how well they work for composting.
Thank you for visiting Compost Soup, and we hope that you have found our Tumbleweed Composter review helpful. Please leave any helpful comments and tips if you have experience using a compost tumbler!