Troubleshooting and Helpful Tips
One you have learned how to make a compost tumbler and successfully started composting, you may find yourself running into a few snags. This is normal. The most common problems and their solutions are as follows:
If your compost resembles a rotting, slimy mess, it is too moist. One solution is to add more dry brown material such as straw, hay, or dry leaves. Another solution is to leave the lid off your barrel for a day. Be sure to tumble well when you reinstall the lid. You can also try draining a little compost tea and using it to spray plant leaves indoors.
If your compost is too dry, add approximately one cup of water and tumble several times to mix it in. Alternatively, you can add green material such as grass clippings or garden cast offs.
Periodically check your ventilation holes to clear away any blockages that may occur. This helps maintain the delicate balance of air and moisture needed to create good compost.
When determining the exact height of your compost tumbler frame, think about how you will empty the barrel. This design allows you to easily tip the barrel and pour compost directly into a wheelbarrow when it is ready. However, think about the height of your wheelbarrow when building your frame and adjust accordingly.