You assessed the issue very accurately. The compost bins and tumblers are limited in size; I would fill a small army of them! And the money could be better put to use for plants of a larger size or something like a great bench or trellis or whatever. I’d recommend simply putting four heavy stakes in the ground (maybe those metal ones with "hooks" on them, usually painted green?) and encircling them with a pen of heavy wire, tougher than chicken wire but larger gauge than hardware cloth. Sort of a square pen, maybe 6 feet on a side? You leave one side like a flap, so you can "open" that side up and work from there. El Cheapo but effective. Remember that the heap needs to stay aerated (turned a bit) to rot quickly, and moist (not soggy, but water it regularly) and will cook faster in sun than darkness. Decomposition, depending on those factors and also on what mix of nitrogen-rich and carbon-rich raw materials you add, can take several months or a year or longer. Here’s a composting piece I wrote w/some good links to follow: http://awaytogarden.com/composting-basics Oh my blog on the right side you will see a sidebar about composting–three of my favorite reference sources–so be sure to look there, too. Oh, and welcome!
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.