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Compost for 1st time SFG

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Compost for 1st time SFG

Post  Susie9 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:03 am

Hi Everyone!
I've just introduced to SFG book last week, and I'd like to try this for the first time this spring.
And we're wondering what you guys suggest for compost for the first year?
It's too cold to start composting now, but I want to start planting as soon as the weather wams up. I'm in PA. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Compost for 1st time SFG

Post  RoOsTeR on Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:18 am

Welcome susie9!
Here is a great thread for you to read on Mel's Mix:

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7452-mel-s-mix-how-strong-is-your-backbone

The key will be finding at least 5 different types of compost for this year, and start making your own compost as soon as you can Very Happy


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Re: Compost for 1st time SFG

Post  quiltbea on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:34 pm

You can start simple for composting. Just enclose an area 3 x 3 or 4 x 4 with chicken wire or pallets or plastic fencing with an opening in the front. Just toss in your residues. You probably have old leaves around in the bushes and among the trees. Gather them up in bags and dump in your compost pile. Even now you can bring out your kitchen scraps and add them. I do it in the middle of winter. I just make sure I cover the scraps with some dead leaves.

Go to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts and ask for leftover coffee grounds. They'll probably be happy to let you have them. Add those. Start right away. The sooner you begin the sooner you'll have your own compost. It will degrade even in the winter and you not even turning it. The bottom will be rich and ready come spring. You won't have as much as you will in the growing season, but they'll be some compost at the bottom.

Just get started!
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Re: Compost for 1st time SFG

Post  Furbalsmom on Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:47 pm

Suzie9

I really enjoyed reading ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING and hope you will enjoy it too. The book is full of simple explanations and instructions.

As nKedrOoStEr and quiltbea suggested, reading the thread on Mel's Mix and starting your own compost for the future are great first steps.

Have fun and keep us posted on your progress.
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Composting now

Post  tomperrin on Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:57 pm

I agree. Start composting now. We add veggie kitchen scraps & coffee grounds daily. There are still a few leaves around to mulch and add to the pile. If horse or chicken manure is available grab that. Old straw, green weeds and more. You'll be surprised at how quick a compost pile can be made. I just made a deal with my neighbor to get all his grass clippings this summer.
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Re: Compost for 1st time SFG

Post  llama momma on Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:36 pm

With this warm weather check out any existing flower beds for weeds and add them to your compost heap.
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Re: Compost for 1st time SFG

Post  plantoid on Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:30 pm

One thing " Perennial pernicious weeds " those that if you try and compost will still come back .... old country boy tip from me

Put the weeds in a bucket of water for a wee while ( 10 days or so ) till they start to rot then add them to the compost heap keep them under the water by using a weight and keep the bucket filled with water .
It's safer than burning them .
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Re: Compost for 1st time SFG

Post  camprn on Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:37 pm

@plantoid wrote:One thing " Perennial pernicious weeds " those that if you try and compost will still come back .... old country boy tip from me

Put the weeds in a bucket of water for a wee while ( 10 days or so ) till they start to rot then add them to the compost heap keep them under the water by using a weight and keep the bucket filled with water .
It's safer than burning them .
NICE! Thanks for the tip!!! What a Face

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Re: Compost for 1st time SFG

Post  Susie9 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:34 pm

Thanks Everyone for your input! flower
We just made our first compost area with chicken wire. And I threw in some veggie scraps in already.

Thanks for the tip to turn "Prennial pernicious weeds" into compost!
We have a lot of those, and we're so glad you've told us this. Otherwise, we'd have a lot of weeds in our compost.....

As for leaves, we have English Walnut trees and Maples.
Do you guys know if I should treat them the same way as Black Walnut leaves?

Thank you again!
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Re: Compost for 1st time SFG

Post  Kelejan on Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:42 pm

@plantoid wrote:One thing " Perennial pernicious weeds " those that if you try and compost will still come back .... old country boy tip from me

Put the weeds in a bucket of water for a wee while ( 10 days or so ) till they start to rot then add them to the compost heap keep them under the water by using a weight and keep the bucket filled with water .
It's safer than burning them .

Thanks for this tip, Plantoid. My perennial weeds are mainly horsetail/marestail and they are getting worse every year. Drowning sounds a great idea.
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Re: Compost for 1st time SFG

Post  camprn on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:16 pm

@Kelejan wrote:
@plantoid wrote:One thing " Perennial pernicious weeds " those that if you try and compost will still come back .... old country boy tip from me

Put the weeds in a bucket of water for a wee while ( 10 days or so ) till they start to rot then add them to the compost heap keep them under the water by using a weight and keep the bucket filled with water .
It's safer than burning them .

Thanks for this tip, Plantoid. My perennial weeds are mainly horsetail/marestail and they are getting worse every year. Drowning sounds a great idea.
UGH! A number of years ago, in a different garden, we had horsetail show up in compost that we bought by the yard. NASTY STUFF, absolutely tenacious. This is one reason I am very cautious about buying compost by the yard... I used to burn the horsetail I pulled up.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Re: Compost for 1st time SFG

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:17 am

@Susie9 wrote:
Do you guys know if I should treat them the same way as Black Walnut leaves?

Hi Susie9!
If you mean that black walnut trees contain juglone, which can be toxic to some plants, you do not need to worry about your English walnuts. From everything I've read, English walnuts are different from black walnuts and do not have juglone in them. So you should be fine to add English walnut material to your compost! Smile

Here is a link to a thread I did last year with several resources on black walnut toxicity:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t6655-black-walnut-toxicity
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