Soil and Compost forum→Compost Tumbler Ventilation Holes

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Mar 23, 2021 5:33 AM CST

I was hoping you all may be able to help me with a question I have regarding a compost tumbler I am trying to make out of a rain barrel. I am currently trying to find more information about if it is necessary to drill aeration holes (with a drill bit) into the rain barrel, and if so, what size holes and how far apart? I'm finding mixed answers online, and some of the commercial tumblers sometimes appear like they do not have any holes in them from the pictures.

Name: Thomas Mitchell
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
Mar 24, 2021 1:19 PM CST
So when I built my indestructible compost bins 20 years ago, I heard that air air air was the big thing compost needs. I used a plastic coated fence for the sides of my 4' cube bin. Love it. It works great and lets a lot of air air air into the pile. It also lets out moisture moisture moisture. So I use cardboard on the inside of the bins to help maintain moisture moisture moisture. So far I haven't seen any problem with the pile needing more air air air, but the top is open open open.

Thus I suggest to you, that the answer to your question is, most likely. I'd also suggest trying to make compost in the barrel first. If the pile gets a pond scum odor, the pile went anaerobic and needs more air to go back to less smelly aerobic. If you don't have any plans for using the rain barrel to hold water anymore, I'd probably just drill some to start with, but you should be able to drill them with compost in the barrel anyway. I'd also call them drainage holes at the bottom of the barrel so that excess moisture can drain out. Maybe 1/4" in size. Maybe every five inches around the barrel, skip 6" and drill another row of holes around the barrel. Also will help to let out heat as the pile will heat up.
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