Meet Doogle


He’s our compost tumbler. Combining our attempt at living more self sufficiently and our rental home has been tricky. Our real estate agent has been awesome, “sure you can have chickens”, “bees, no worries” ( there was a slight bit of miscommunication with the bees, but that’s another story). But I didn’t want to build a great compost on the ground if it meant leaving it behind one day. So a compost tumbler was for us.


I love those days that turn into adventures. And the day I bought this blue barrel was one. Sadly I didn’t take any photos at the Geelong Resource Recovery Center and Transfer Station, but it’s fantastic, definitely the place to go for any largish odds and ends you may need. There was baths, bikes, lawn mowers, book cases, tyres. Everything you could imagine for a recycled adventure.

I grabbed my blue barrel for $10 and took it home. The back of my car was filled with so many exciting things for my friends garden as well.

J cutting

The barrel sat in our backyard for a few days while we concocted a plan. We wanted a frame for it to sit on, one that we could spin the barrel easily, assisting in the decomposition process, and one that the wheel barrow could easily fit under, so that all we’d have to do was open the latch and turn the barrel, to get the compost out.


Luckily my parents were still in the midst of building their house and there were lots of off cuts and tools that were free for our picking.

Measuring the height we wanted and the width we needed to fit the wheelbarrow in, we came up with a super basic square design that absolutely does the trick.

latch wrong wheels

There’s a few things that Doogle 2 will have differently. The wheels are slightly too close to the latches and so we have a little trouble turning it in the mornings.

hinges door cut

From when information I’ve found, you need to add 1:1 green to brown, so food scraps, plant cuttings to leaves, ground covering. And it needs to always be damp, like a rung out dish cloth.

Do you have a compost bin?


12 thoughts on “Meet Doogle

  1. I have two. I fill up one and then the other and whilst I’m filling the second one the other is maturing. By the time the second is full its is usually time to empty the first. That is the theory anyway and it kind of works mostly….

    • We’ve just about to do the same, we’ve just bought our second barrel and are going to build a second stand when J gets home. I’ve heard 6 weeks is a good time for the rotations… I’m not sure, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.

  2. What a great idea building it so you can get the wheelbarrow under it. Smart. We had one but couldn’t get it to work properly so we now have three small bins we rotate through. But I think that was just us. I think ours also had some drainage in the base so that liquids could seep out and not make it too wet. You want it moist but not wet and some waste will produce more liquid than others. Although if you keep up dry matter as well you will probably get a good balance. I think the barrels require a bit more effort in getting the balance right which is probably why that system fell over at our place : )

    • It’s getting pretty wobbly, I think we’re going to need to make it a little more sturdy. Our’s has drainage holes too, it needs to be damp but not too wet, otherwise it’ll go like sludge.

  3. What clever people you are! Projects like this are what keeps life interesting. In one of our gardens, we had a compost heap but it turned to slime so I wasn’t ever game to try another. I think I didn’t have enough plant cuttings to keep the pile aerated. Good luck.

  4. Clare that is genius! I never would have thought to make my own. I didn’t realise you guys were renting. That’s so fantastic that the agent is so flexible.

  5. Pingback: Our Backyard. |

  6. Pingback: In My Garden… October 2013 »

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