My Review of the Tumbleweed Compost Tumbler

Tumble Weed Compost Tumbler PictureI’ve been composting kitchen scraps for years and it’s amazing how much it cuts down on the volume of trash that ends up on my curb (and ultimately the landfill). I’ve been using one of those ugly black half barrel looking compost bins and it works pretty well but if you don’t have the space in your yard or the energy to dig and turn the pile by hand then a great alternative is a Tumbling Composter.

Tumbling or rotating composters are great for small yards since they can sit on a patio or porch. They can also be back savers as you don’t have the chore of leaning over a pile of compost and manually turning it with a garden fork or compost turner.

I’ve done a lot of research to find the best tumbling composter and in my opinion the Tumbleweed Compost Tumbler leads the pack.

What to Look For in a Tumbling Composter

When buying a tumbling composter there are some basic features to look for. The following is a good list of questions to have in mind:

  • Does it hold enough material to satisfy your needs.
  • Does it maximize aeration of the composting material to speed the composting process?
  • Is it made of sturdy materials that will stand up to the elements for years to come?
  • Is it easy to add & remove material?
  • Is it easy to turn when full?
  • Is it a good value for the cost?

It’s All in the Rotating Barrel

The Tumbleweed composter is not the prettiest composter on the block but the vertical design allows for a large capacity in a small footprint. The slim size makes it perfect for small yards and patios and the green color will help it blend into any trees or bushes nearby.

But it’s the rotation of the barrel that makes this composter really shine. By rotating the barrel the material inside falls over a “Breaker Bar” in the middle. The breaker bar breaks up the tumbling material which, according to the manufacturer “creates an aerobic action that offers a quicker and odorless form of composting”. See, in order for kitchen scraps and yard waste to break down into compost you need to mix it around occasionally to break it up and get air into the material (if you’ve ever tried composting and gotten a slimy stinky mess it was likely caused but a lack of aeration). This usually requires manual labor with a garden fork or compost turner and it’s not a fun chore. The Tumbleweed composter makes it easy and kind of fun so your compost will get lots of aeration and will reward you with faster, better results.

Built To Last

The Tumbleweed Compost Tumbler is made from 100% UV protected recycled plastic so it will last for years in the elements. The galvanized steel frame is rustproof and the internal breaker bar is sturdy stainless steel. You’ll be turning veggie scraps into rich compost for years to come with this sturdy workhorse.

Vented, Animal Resistant Lids

The lids on either end of the barrel keep animals out and allow excess moisture to escape. Compost should have a water content of a damp sponge. Too much water can cause the compost to turn slimy and the vented lids will allow any excess moisture to drain.

A nice side benefit is that you can place a container under the lid and collect the liquid that drips out. The liquid is referred to as “Compost Tea” and is an awesome fertilizer. Dilute it at about 10:1 (Water:Compost Tea) and fertilize your plants with it.

How to Use a Tumbleweed Compost TumblerTurn Turn Turn

Like I mentioned earlier, the rotating barrel makes turning your compost easy and fun. The more you turn it the faster and better your finished compost will be. The manufacturer recommends giving it a tumble it several times every two days.

I’ve seen a few comments from owners who complained that the barrel is hard to turn when it’s full but if you follow the directions from the manufacturer you won’t have any problems.

Since I know most people tend to skip the instructions I’ll include a diagram here so you’ll already know the recommended way to rotate the barrel before you even get your composter up and running.

Some Assembly

The Tumbleweed Compost Tumbler ships unassembled but assembly is quick and easy. With a screwdriver and about 15-30 minutes you’ll be good to go.

What Does it Cost and Where to Buy

You should be able to get your hands on the Tumbleweed Compost Tumbler for less than $200. I’ve found that usually has the lowest price since they offer free shipping. Just make sure when you buy from Amazon that it tells you it ships for free. Sometimes when it’s out of stock Amazon will switch to one of it’s alternate sellers and they don’t always offer free shipping.


The Tumbleweed Compost Tumbler is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a quick, easy, low-maintenance way to compost kitchen scraps and yard waste. It’s a great option for urban composting or anyone with a small yard or patio.

Click here to Buy a Tumbleweed Compost Tumbler

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