Frequently Asked Questions

Will my order fit in my car?

We've found that in reasonably sized vehicles, yes it will! Make sure to have an open back seat and trunk, and if you can, having your back seats down to create an large trunk-like space will guarantee everything will fit! Here's a picture of an Earth Machine in the back of a standard sedan to prove that!

Will it attract rodents?

Keeping in mind some basic composting tenets (which the Rottwheeler spells out quite nicely), especially not putting in dairy or meat products into the compost bin, the main thing the rodents in your area may be looking for in the compost bin would be shelter. Making sure to not let food scraps of any kind sit on top of the pile with a nice turn and sometimes adding some water to the pile will go a long ways in keeping rodents out. We also sell a rodent screen to keep them out more permanently, pictured below fitted onto the Earth Machine (ours are custom designed to fit each other).

Do I need to turn the pile?

Yes, turning and aeration together is key to any good compost. This is a crucial step to helping the breakdown process occur faster, and on top of that as outlined below, is also a major part of keeping rodents out of the pile.

How will i know it's ready?

How do I start? Day 1 Set-Up

How long will it take before I see finished compost?

Assuming proper aeration, and proper basic composting techniques as outlined in the Rottwheeler are followed, you can expect usable compost within 2-3 months usually. It doesn't hurt to let it sit longer than that to allow the compost to "settle".

Year Round Compost Tips

Will it smell?

An earthy scent is to be expected, but a well-built compost shouldn't produce overtly unpleasant scents. If it does, the issue is either too much "green" material (resulting in an ammonia-like smell) or too little air (resulting in a rotten-egg smell). Try aerating the pile (our Wingdigger would come in handy for this!). If the smell persists, turn and rebuild the pile with more "brown" material.

The videos below may be helpful to you especially if you are new to composting.

Simple Instructions

Here's Jeff Brown from BrandBuilders giving simple instructions on how to put together your composter and how to compost - 7 minutes 40 seconds

Easy Backyard Composting

Dive Into Compost with Terri Cain

Dive Into Compost Presentation by Terri Cain, CT Master Composter, Sustainable Guilford Taskforce, Guilford Community Garden Co-Founder and Manager - 19 minutes

Advanced Composting

Here's Domingo Medina explaining the science behind advanced composting. - 10 minutes