It’s that time of year again when everyone is itching to get their garden started. We have started all our seeds indoors, and even some outdoors, and now my thoughts have gone to composting, and how am I going to give these seedlings the best chance to make it through a tumultuous northern Nevada spring. Some of you may already be making your own compost, and others may be considering it.
Below I have compiled the top 3 tumble composters on Amazon. All three of these would be an ideal size for the home garden. Let me know in the comments how you make your compost, and what has worked best for you.
VIVOSUN Outdoor Tumbling Composter Dual Rotating Batch Compost Bin, 43 Gallon Orange Door 85.99
This composter is one of the bestselling tumbling composters on Amazon, and for good reason.
It has over 600 reviews with an average of 4.5 stars. It has a 43-gallon capacity, which is an ideal size for the home gardener. Like the other two composters below, It has 2 chambers that allow the user to make 2 separate batches of compost creating an uninterrupted flow of rich healthy compost. Made of galvanized steel and high-quality plastic, this has been rated as one of the sturdiest composters. One of the biggest negatives about this composter is it can be somewhat difficult to assemble, with 56 screws and nuts, it can be a bit tedious depending on your level of experience. Some things that put this composter over the top is the price, it comes with its own screwdriver, and a set of garden gloves to get you started.
FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter, 37 gallon, Black $89.99
This next composter is one I personally own. It has over 9,000 ratings and averages 4.5 stars.
It has a 37-gallon capacity, which is a bit smaller but has worked out nicely for my home garden. This also has 2 chambers to brew separate batches of compost, for an uninterrupted supply. Like the Vivosun, this composter was a bit difficult to put together. It has 60 screws and bolts and was a bit tedious at times. All in all, I am very happy with this composter. I have had mine since 2016, and have had no issues with it. It was a great value for the money, and when done properly I can get completed compost in 1-2 months. If my garden gets much bigger, I will consider buying another.
Miracle-Gro Large Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler $124.90
This last composter had much more mixed reviews. It had over 900 ratings with an average of 4 stars. It has a total capacity of 55.4 gallons, which is the biggest of the 3 tumblers, and certainly a selling point. This composter also has 2 chambers for a continuous brew of black gold!
However, many reviews were questioning the durability of the product, as the tumbler is held together with mostly plastic, rather than screws and nuts. Like the other two, it was also somewhat difficult to put together.
For those of you out there who are looking to get into growing your own microgreens at home, but don’t know much about it, the options can be overwhelming. There are numerous products out there to grow your own nutritious microgreens at home. If you are unsure about how easy of a process this might be or unsure of your love of microgreens and commitment level, a microgreen starter kit might be the way to go.
Microgreen kits can be relatively inexpensive, and easy to use. Below I have rated the top 3 microgreen kits on amazon, I will point out the pros and cons of each, and hopefully, help you get well on your way to your Microgreen Journey.
Window garden assorted indoor microgreens seed starter 11.99
This window garden microgreens starter kit is the least expensive and most popular of the 3 options on Amazon. It has thousands of customer ratings and averages 4.5 stars. This kit comes with 3 seed packets, 3 disposable pop-up bags, and organic fiber potting soil. This starter kit has everything you need to get started, it is convenient, easy to use, and will have you eating delicious microgreens within a week. This is a great option to get you started, and if you’re questioning what your level of commitment might be, the price point is ideal.
One pro about this starter kit is that it comes in many varieties. You can get an assortment of seeds, or you can get 1 kind of seed such as corn, broccoli, kale, or even cat grass. One con I see about this starter kit is the pop-up bags are not re-usable, but at this price point, if you decide that growing microgreens is your jam, you can move into some more permanent equipment options.
Window garden grow and serve microgreens kit 25.99
This microgreens starter kit also has a 4.5-star rating and has hundreds of reviews. This is another convenient and easy-to-use option for testing the microgreens water. This starter kit includes a 15”x6” acrylic planting tray, compressed fiber soil, non-GMO radish seed, and a 150ml spray bottle. This is certainly everything you need to get started. Although this seems a bit pricey for the one round of microgreens you will get out of it, this at least comes with some permanent equipment, such as the tray and spray bottle.
Hamama Home Microgreens Growing kit 39.95
This Hamama home microgreens growing kit is the most expensive of the 3 kits on Amazon, it has an average of 4 stars and also has hundreds of reviews. Each kit comes with a reusable tray and 2 microgreen seed quilts.
This is certainly an easy-to-use and convenient kit. Some pros of this kit are that the tray is reusable, and the kit itself is easy to use and set up. Some of the cons appear to be that the germination rate is only about 50%, the seed quilt refills are $13 for 3, and it’s a bit pricey.
Any of these starter kits would be a great introduction to the world of microgreens. I think you will find that growing your own microgreens is a delicious and inexpensive way to get your daily greens. Let me know in the comment section if you have tried any of these starter kits, and what you think!
There are certainly numerous options out there for getting your spring garden started. When I first began, I would go to the local nursery around May and get all the plants that I thought would be delicious to eat. I would then go back in June to replace all the plants that I had killed. It was a vicious cycle. So let's just say that I was not into starting seeds indoors in my early gardening days. As my skills improved and I fell in love with gardening, I began experimenting with starting seeds indoors. This has become an annual project and gets a bit more sophisticated every year. I used to start all my seeds at once, and my house would be filled with seedlings anxiously anticipating the last frost, so they could get in the ground. This all worked out pretty well for me, but I was just swimming in plants for a few months. I finally decided to do something revolutionary… I followed the directions on the seed packets. This allowed me to stagger my seedlings. I started my celery and kale indoors, 12 weeks before the last frost. 4 weeks later I started all my tomatoes and peppers, 2 weeks later I started Okra and Sage, and 2 weeks after that I started all my cucumbers. By the time the last frost date came around, I still had a large number of seedlings, but at least I hadn’t had 50 seedlings hanging out since the end of February.
I try to keep this annual project as cheap as possible. The majority of the cost is from quality seeds. I try to get organic seed whenever possible and I go with an organic seedling mix. My favorite is Sungro Black gold seedling mix, but there are other quality seedling mixes out there. I try to use things around the house as much as possible to start the seeds in, empty egg cartons, plastic clamshells that fruit came in, toilet paper/paper towel tubes, even eggshells are great homes for seedlings, and all of these except for the clamshells, you can plant right in the ground with the seedling. Once the seeds are planted, I do use a grow light. I didn’t do this for years, and it wasn’t totally necessary, but it certainly helps. This isn’t anything fancy either, just a 45 dollar grow light from Amazon. So with all this being said, this begs the question… Seeds or Plants? What is everyone's opinion and or preference, and if you do seeds, what are some insights and strategies that have gotten you to planting day? Do you use grow lights or heated mats? What kind of medium do you prefer, or do you skip seeds altogether and go straight for the plants? Let me know below.