How to Choose the Best Compost Bin for Your Garden

Looking for the perfect compost bin to start composting at home? Hopefully these tips will save you a lot of time and frustration in picking out the right compost bin for all of your gardening needs!

What is Composting? Why do You Need a Compost Bin?

Composting is a great organic way to make your own fertile soil for gardening. If you live in the suburbs or the city where neighbors are in close proximity, a compost bin becomes absolutely essential to have.

I learned the hard way that a simple pile in our side yard was NOT going to work.

Within a week, I had a great pile going – only to realize some of the paper scraps we had used in our compost pile had made its way into our neighbor’s yard. Thankfully, we have patient and understanding neighbors – but we definitely needed a better solution quick.

It became obvious to us at that moment we needed a compost bin that would help us make compost for our garden that wouldn’t be a nuisance to our neighbors or attract any unwanted pests.

So, because we wanted to get serious about composting I spent A LOT of time researching and reading reviews. Hopefully the time I spent will help you decide on the right decision for you!

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Here’s the Requirements I Have for Choosing the Best Compost Bins

how to choose a compost bin

In my research for deciding on the best compost bins that would work well for us, I knew it was important to make sure each one had all of the features we needed.

Your requirements of course may be different, but I think it is helpful to know what you need before you buy something. This way you will have a good idea of what is going to work – and what isn’t – without making a big investment.

#1. Ease of Use:

For me, this was a very big factor. If something is not easy to use, it is likely we might give up on it or quickly become frustrated. I also wanted something that our three kids who are aged 8, 10, and 15 could use safely with supervision. It’s good to get the whole family involved when your goals are to be sustainable and eco-friendly!

#2. Size – How Much Space is Needed?

I love to garden and grow things – but our dirt here where we live is mostly clay. While some plants don’t mind growing in clay soil {here’s looking to you dandelions!} – the majority of fruits and vegetables and flowers I like to grow require good well-draining soil.

This means in order to  improve soil conditions around here, we need a LOT of compost! However, I found in researching composting tumblers that if it is too big you risk not being able to easily mix the compost because of the weight on the axis point. So, finding the right balance of size definitely is an important factor to consider.

#3. Won’t Attract Pests:

This one is another very important thing to consider. I completely overlooked this when I casually started a compost pile in our yard. Raccoons, coyotes, groundhogs, and even bears are all present where we live.

We have enough cats that I’ve never had any worries about rats or mice – but I definitely do not want to have a bear in my front yard – or any animals that would attract coyotes. Finding an animal resistant compost bin was definitely high on the list of requirements!

#4. Budget Friendly:

We stick to a tight budget around here since making the commitment to become debt free. I only have so much money in the budget each month to put towards the garden and improvements around the house, so it’s imperative to make sure we don’t go over the budget.

For me, this meant only looking at compost bins under $175. Fortunately, I found a lot of great options that fit this description.

Once you narrow down what factors are important in choosing a compost bin, it becomes a lot easier to find the right one for you when choosing the best composter for your garden needs.

Our Top Choices for Compost Bins & Compost Tumblers

1. Envirocycle Compost Bin

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Dubbed “the cutest composter in the world”, the Envirocycle Composter impressed us for a number of reasons. Made from BPA plastic in the U.S.A., this composter is available in two different sizes. There is a 17 gallon composter and a 35 gallon composter.

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Because it is a compost tumbler style bin, you are able to make compost faster by tumbling the bin every three days. Many product owners recommend having 2 or 3 of the smaller ones if you want a constant supply of compost. There are also a lot of glowing reviews about the experiences with the customer service of the company.

Another benefit of this composter is that you are able to make “compost tea” if desired. Compost tea is a great way to supply existing dirt with additional nutrients

All in all, this is a great choice to get started with composting hassle-free – there is not even any assembly required!

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2. Dual Body Tumbling Composter by HOTFROG

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This small but sturdy dual compost bin by HotFrog boasts that compost can be made in as little as 2 weeks. While that itself may depend on what types of materials you are composting and whether or not you use a compost starter, we are impressed by the dual capacity of the 37 gallon compost tumbler bin.

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Reviewers have said it is easy to turn, and the small footprint of the compost tumbler allows it to fit easily on a porch, patio, or side yard. It is also made of BPA free plastic, which is always good to know when you are making compost for a vegetable garden or herbs.

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While there are a lot of other composting systems out there, after reading all of the reviews, these are the only two I found that I think will meet all of my requirements. Sadly a lot of the others just seemed like they were going to cause more problems and wouldn’t be much of a better solution than anything we could build ourselves.

Here is What You Should Ask Before Buying a Compost Bin:

Is it something I will reasonably use? There is nothing worse than buying something that does meet your needs or is a royal pain in the neck to use. This is why I really like the tumbling compost systems – there is not a lot required other than turning it every few days.

Most people who fail at composting only fail for one big reason: They fail to find a system that works for their unique needs. It’s important to be honest with yourself on whether it is something you will put the time and effort into using!

Is it sturdy enough for my needs? For us, we wanted something that would not be a nuisance to neighbors. If you live in a rural area, you likely won’t need to worry about this as much.

However, if you live in the suburbs or have neighbors of any sorts, it is definitely a good idea to make sure you invest in something that will be pest proof! No one wants to attract rats, mice, raccoons – or even bears {yikes!}.

If you ask these 2 questions honestly you are much more likely to find the right compost bin for your garden needs that will keep you and your plants happy for a very long time!

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I hope you find these tips and resources on how to choose the best compost bin for your helpful!

Of course, if you have any questions about choosing the right composter for your gardening needs, feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments section below.

We’re always happy to help answer any questions you may have!

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