Organic Gardening Made Easier with TOTER Composter – Black Gold On Wheels | Review

It may be cold and the garden is asleep BUT this is the perfect season to plan for and fantasize about what incredible plants and supremely useful tools you are going to need in your garden and yard next season.  There is a level of satisfaction in being able to grow your produce as organically as possible with little to no pesticides or herbicides and home “cooked” compost. Making your own compost can be back breaking work. Collecting kitchen scraps is the easy part. It’s the turning, watering, mixing and shoveling that can make you question your decision to garden organically. Oh, how easy it would be to sprinkle fertilizer out of a can, but would you feel good about it. There is a product that not only makes this process easier it’s attractive AND easy to move!

When you think of Toter you may already know them for their garbage and recycling bins.  If you don’t, then look around next time you go to the mall, price club or big box store – you are sure to find a Toter trash can some where.  Well, now they’ve come up with a tool which will make the organic gardener, and those aspiring to be organic gardeners, grin.

Thanks to the Toter Corporation I received a Toter Composter for the purposes of review.  My first thought when I saw this baby was how pretty it was.  For a glorified garbage can on wheels it is really good looking.  The composter is the size of a typical garbage can like what you’d take out to the curb on trash day.  The large sturdy wheels are placed in such a manner that even when fully loaded it is easy to tilt and move the bin wherever you need it – even across a bumpy yard.  Just like the Toter trash bins this has a large hinged lid with a handle running the full width of the mouth.

It’s what’s inside that makes the Toter composter impressive.  When you open the lid the first thing you see is a turnstyle type handle inside a tapered, perforated cone.  These sit on a wide grid metal grate that has a sturdy broom like brush underneath it pointing upwards.  The composting material sits on the grate above the collection area.  The tapered perforated cone allows aeration of the mix.  The handle is attached to the brush and turns it so it scrapes the completed compost from the bottom of the “pile”.

Beneath the lid is instructions on how to use the composter from day one.  The measurements are made for the included little compost collecting bucket* for use indoors.  The recommended ratio of brown (carbon rich) items and green (nitrogen rich, ie. organic, non fatty, non citrus kitchen waste) items is 3:1.  When I first started using the composter I was really, really, really tempted to use it as a sifter for my already made compost.  I thought though I should be fair and use it as it’s intended.  I followed the instructions filling it with a 3:1 ratio of brown to green and waited for 4 weeks before I touched it.  It’s at this point that the process starts to feel like traditional compost making.  There is no easy way to turn compost; it has to be done by hand with a spade or a fork.  Since the composter has a metal grate at the bottom of the composting compartment I didn’t want to use a garden fork that would get stuck in the mesh and possibly pull it out.  Instead I opted to use one of my daughter’s little spades to pull and turn the compost until it was well mixed again.  After this I had to wait another 2 weeks before trying again and seeing if any compost was ready to be “swept” into the collection compartment.

Upon my first loading of compostable materials to the bin I chose to use shredded newspaper.  This turned out to be a mistake, not because of the type of material but because of the process I chose to follow.  As in traditional composting I layered my items instead of mixing them all up.  What this did was allowed the strips of paper to become compressed together essentially blocking the grate from allowing any compost to fall through.  I was disappointed, but I learned my lesson.  If I use strips of paper again I’ll make sure to mix them well with the rest of the organic matter to prevent the matting from occurring.  Since then I’ve been using my little girls child size garden spade and hoe to turn the compost on a regular basis to make sure everything top and bottom gets evenly mixed. It’s still a bit of work, but a lot easier that trying to bend over to turn a big pile sitting on the ground.  After I remedied this situation I was able to start collecting and using home made organic compost from the bottom compartment.  The locking, hinged door in the bottom of the bin allows for easy access.

I was able to take it to the garden behind my house, the flower beds in front of my house and all around the property without much effort.  Now that cooler weather is coming the compost is probably going to stop forming.  It would probably be best to empty the movable bin before the winter and put it in a garage or outbuilding for storage.  You can put that right on the garden and the freezing and thawing will take care of breaking it down completely before spring comes.  If there is still some organic matter in the bin you want to keep that from freezing and expanding inside the container.  Bring the bin inside a heated garage or at least one that stays above 35 degrees Fahrenheit – if your pipes don’t freeze then the bin won’t either.  This is probably what I’ll do since I do continue to collect compostable materials through the winter and the thought of trudging through snow and ice to get to the stationary bin at the back of the property does not sound very appealing.

You can order your own Toter Composter with countertop unit directly from Toter Corporation or from Home Depot, Lowe’s or Amazon.

*This was cute, but did not keep the odors down like it was supposed to nor did it keep from staining or retaining the smell of decomposing plant matter.  Though this was a handy add-on it didn’t meet the mark of it’s own claims.  I must mention that this little bucket was not a Toter product.

34 thoughts on “Organic Gardening Made Easier with TOTER Composter – Black Gold On Wheels | Review”

  1. Sandra Watts says:

    I really want to start composting. I just hate wasting things so this would make me feel better.

  2. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    We don’t compost or anything like that, so I always find it interesting when I learn more about the process.

  3. Megan Elford says:

    This composter would be perfect for us. We have a small backyard, so we don’t want to do anything in the ground because it will attract animals. But with one like this, we wouldn’t have to worry about that!

  4. I am telling my husband about this as we do a lot of gardening and this procuct looks perfect for us.

  5. We don’t compost but this looks very interesting for those who do.

  6. Kungphoo says:

    We did this in our old house.. i was not a fan of it, we inherited it from the previous owners..

    1. Was it with one of these composters or one which sits directly on the ground?

  7. I love it! Sounds like it works really well.. I cannot wait to get back to Spring, and my garden!

  8. This is great! I want to compost. But it needs to be clean like this because we are close to a city (rats!)

  9. Maggie says:

    we currently live in an apartment with zero space for a garden but I am planting one this year at my parents house! It will be a first!

  10. Liz Mays says:

    I’ve never seen a composter that was so portable. This is really a nice change of pace.

  11. Carly says:

    How cool is this? We need one for our yard!

  12. Yonca says:

    This composter looks like a good product! Thanks for the informative post!

  13. Wow that looks like a great composter! We made our own but I think we should look into buying one. Thanks for your review!

  14. Crystal says:

    My husband has a compost pile at work bigger than my house. It’s great for my garden!

  15. Rosey says:

    I like that it goes everywhere on those wheels with ease. We’ve got a fairly large yard so wheels on things that might get heavy are a must.

  16. Kori says:

    We’re going to start planning our garden in the next few weeks in terms of raised beds and such. I don’t know if composting is in our plans though.

  17. Carla says:

    this a very convenient way of composting. Here is Dubai we have bokashi something like one. great for balcony gardening.

  18. sojourner says:

    I could definitely use one of these. I’m planning to grow vegetables this spring.

  19. It looks cool, but I am still concerned the animals would get to it here in Chicago the animals know how to open the trash cans lol. Talented I guess.

  20. Marya says:

    This looks so awesome!!! I’d love to have one!!

  21. Lisa Rios says:

    This composter looks really great & I think it is something we wanted to try as we do Gardening every weekend with our kids. Great way to make the gardening easier. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Debi says:

    I have been wanting to start composting. I need a good bin like that.

  23. marty says:

    There are a lot of people composting in my area . In fact in a few months it will become mandatory in some parts! So I would like to get ahead of the game

  24. I did composting before with my Dad, and we did the ‘pile’ in the backyard. It created the richest soil I’ve ever seen in my life. I got my parents a bin-like composter, and they did NOT use it at all. Hmmph. It didn’t look as nice as this one though.

  25. Great idea to have a compost pile in a trash tote. We don’t compost, but I know many that do.

    1. It’s more than just a trash tote. I tried that once and it didn’t work very well because there was no drainage, no ventilation and it was too deep to try and turn. This bin works a whole lot better.

  26. I don’t compost but I did start gardening for the first time ever last year. This might be the next step for me. Thanks for the review.

    1. Composting can be very rewarding because you know how your garden is being fertilized and you are recycling in your own back yard. Nature is a beautiful thing especially when we learn to harness it’s power.

  27. William Kwok says:

    I don’t really compost. If I did, this might come in handy but I learned a lot from the article. When i do my own gardening, I think I might start composting.

  28. Lindsey L says:

    This is a great post. We are wanting to start composting!!

  29. Angela Stevens says:

    I have been composting for about 15 years now I have two composters but would love to try this kind

  30. Sue M. says:

    I live in an apartment so generally don’t use a composter but this sounds like it’s a very good one!

  31. Sarah L says:

    That’s a great portable composter. Others I’ve seen have to stay in one place.

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