User Guide

Make aerobic compost with ease

Just follow these simple instructions:

Assemble your Earthmaker

No tools required!
Easy assembled by one person.
Assembly Instructions and a User Guide will be supplied with your Earthmaker.

Assembly Instructions in PDF format
Assembly Instructions in PowerPoint format


You don't need a degree in composting

Unlike tumblers (which need daily turning) and single bins (which should be regularly mixed and aerated) Earthmaker gets on with the job with minimal effort on your part. Just move material through about once a month.  
     It is not essential to read this guide for successful composting, but it is important to set your Earthmaker up properly.

User Guide in PDF format

Choose a site

When you have assembled your Earthmaker it can be easily moved to a suitable site. PROPER SITING IS IMPORTANT.
Position your Earthmaker conveniently in relation to your kitchen.
Choose a place shaded from hot midday sun. While radiant heat warms the top and assists composting, too much heat can soften the plastic and reduce its structural integrity.
Make a LEVEL site approximately one metre in diameter. A firm, flat base of brick, paving slabs or timber will stop the Earthmaker from tipping forward, allow for good drainage and easy removal of compost and prevent rodents from burrowing in (see Trouble-shooting Hints).
Planting herbs around the base is both attractive and useful.

Feed your Earthmaker


From the garden

Use grass cuttings, leaves (dry or green), tree trimmings and weeds (pre-sterilised if noxious – see below). If possible use a shredder or a mower to mince up larger pieces.
     NB: Avoid using weedkiller containing Chlopyralid on material to be composted (eg: lawns) - the resulting compost may distort some plants.
Do not overload the top chamber or force material in. Large amounts of grass cuttings all at once can make the mix slimy. Store any excess grass in a simple bin alongside and use it to layer over as kitchen material is added. Layering over in this way eliminates flies etc attracted to putrescent kitchen waste.
     Shredded paper, straw, cold ashes, untreated sawdust and vacuum cleaner dust can be added. If you have no lawns use leaves (green or brown), seaweed, twigs, weeds and/or pruning waste. Toxic chemicals must be avoided. Do not add heavy materials like soil, manure or mature compost - they have already broken down.

      Weed bulbs like oxalis and some seeds (e.g. tomato and pumpkin) may germinate. Placing them in a black garden bag and leaving it in hot sun for a few weeks should sterilise them. You can then add them to your composter.

From the kitchen

Use green vegetable and fruit food scraps (chopping them up aids ‘digestion’). Coffee grounds, tea bags, vacuum cleaner dust, paper kitchen towels are also suitable ingredients but avoid putting meat or fatty foods in your composter: they attract rodents and other unwanted wildlife.
     Anything organic can be fed into your Earthmaker. It is best to avoid large helpings of any one type of waste. A varied diet, well chopped and mixed, works best. But the Earthmaker is designed to encourage all organic material to eventually breakdown with minimal effort on your part.

      Important note:
Do not add a large amount of wet and heavy material all at once when you first start composting. EARTHMAKER likes to be loaded gradually, as too much weight in the top without anything in the lower chambers, can make it top-heavy.

Start the process

[1] Begin by filling the top chamber with food scraps and garden waste. The mixture will heat up and naturally compact down over a few days. Add the food scraps every few days and the garden waste as you mow the lawns, weed the garden or sweep the leaves.
[2] Mixing and stirring material in the top chamber can be useful - once a week is ideal but every 2-3 weeks is fine. Use the Push-Pull-Tool (PPT) carefully – vigorous action may dislodge shelves. Do not overload the top chamber.
[3] Every month or so remove the Pull-out Panel and gently push material down into the middle chamber. Start with the material in the front.
Replace the Pull-out Panel.

Continue the process

[4] Before emptying the top again it will be necessary to clear the middle chamber.
Use the PPT through the round access hole above the door opening to push material backward and down to the lower chamber.
When your Earthmaker has been in operation for a few months, micro-organisms and worms (which find their way into the material naturally) will be established in the grooves in the shelves. Do not wash the shelves clean as the older matter serves to kick-start new waste and speed the process.

[5] Before clearing the middle chamber, pull the mulch/compost in the bottom chamber through to the front using the PPT. Remove compost with a long handled shovel. Take care not to damage the lower shelf.

     Place your compost directly on the garden or around shrubs, or dig in for new planting. There should be plenty of healthy earthworms. If it is too rich for new seedlings dilute with potting mix or sand/earth.