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New Guy Here

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New Guy Here

Post  B00kemdano on 2/12/2012, 3:21 pm

Hello everyone,

I'm going to give vegetable gardening a try this year in a small raised bed. A friend mentioned SFG, and I've been reading all I can on the website and forums!

I've been composting yard waste for a few years now, and mostly just using it to fill in low spots in my yard. If I use this compost as a component in my Mel's Mix, how can I be sure that grass and weed seeds from the clippings that went into the compost won't start growing in my garden?

Thanks for the tips!
-Dano

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Re: New Guy Here

Post  camprn on 2/12/2012, 3:29 pm

@B00kemdano wrote:Hello everyone,

I'm going to give vegetable gardening a try this year in a small raised bed. A friend mentioned SFG, and I've been reading all I can on the website and forums!

I've been composting yard waste for a few years now, and mostly just using it to fill in low spots in my yard. If I use this compost as a component in my Mel's Mix, how can I be sure that grass and weed seeds from the clippings that went into the compost won't start growing in my garden?

Thanks for the tips!
-Dano
Hi there and to the SFG forum.
I guess the short answer to your question is you cannot be absolutely sure. You know what you have put into the compost pile. Did you put a bunch of weeds that had gone to seed in the pile. Did you happen to buld the pile up quickly and it generated heat (this heat will kill weed seeds) or did you just let it cold compost in a corner?

Have you had a chance to get a look at the All New Square Foot Gardening book? (2006) If you can get a hold of a copy this will answer many, many, many question. If you cannot get a copy of your own, your local library may have a copy to lend.

____________________________

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http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

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

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: New Guy Here

Post  B00kemdano on 2/12/2012, 4:09 pm

I don't have the book yet, but I plan to pick up a copy soon.

Yes, there are all kinds of weed and grass seeds in there. :\ I thought I might put some black plastic over the pile that's mostly done and try to sterilize it so the seeds won't germinate.

I guess I'd better get that book and learn a thing or two. Smile

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compost

Post  camprn on 2/12/2012, 5:07 pm

@B00kemdano wrote:I don't have the book yet, but I plan to pick up a copy soon.

Yes, there are all kinds of weed and grass seeds in there. :\ I thought I might put some black plastic over the pile that's mostly done and try to sterilize it so the seeds won't germinate.

I guess I'd better get that book and learn a thing or two. Smile
Where is Huntsville?? is your compost pile in a sunny spot? You may have better luck with clear plastic. Warms up the pile, the seeds sprout, then turn the pile and cover it again. this will disrupt the newly sprouted seedlings. You may need sto do this several times. Have you got any photos you could post? Wink

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

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

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: New Guy Here

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/12/2012, 6:16 pm

B00kemdano

Very glad you joined us.

Unfortunately, I have very little compost experience beyond putting stuff in a pile and waiting for it to change over. As I did not put enough in the pile lately, again this year, I will be buying five types of compost to add to my SFG.

But, it is nice to hear you will be picking up the ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING book soon. This is a really great method of growing and the book is easy to read and full of simple instructions.

Again, Welcome and keep us posted on your progress.

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Thanks!

Post  B00kemdano on 2/12/2012, 7:50 pm

...for the welcomes and moving this to its own thread.

I've been composting for a few years now, and I use lawn clippings, leaves, pine straw, sawdust from my woodshop, and vegetable kitchen waste. I try to turn my piles every couple of weeks in the summertime, but they get to be big piles, and turning by hand is quite a chore! I started using a cultivator attachment for my string trimmer power head, and that's a lot easier and mixes more thoroughly.

The compost piles that have green clippings in them get pretty warm and decompose fairly quickly, where the piles with pine needles and fallen leaves don't heat up much and take longer to decompose. In the summertime, when the weather is dry for prolonged periods, I'll hose the piles down a bit after I've turned them.

I think I'm doing fairly well with composting, as the materials are decomposing quite well. The only thing I don't know about is how to sterilize the compost in an open pile so that if I use it in a garden, it won't sprout weeds and grass.

I do have a small composting bin that I inherited from my in-laws, and I'm pretty confident that it heats up enough that any seeds that do not decompose will not be viable.

I hit up the Barnes and Noble this evening and bought the book (and a latte!) Now I'm off to read more about SFG, and dream about getting started.

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Re: New Guy Here

Post  sfg4uKim on 2/12/2012, 9:10 pm

Hi & welcome!

____________________________

I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January - Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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Re: New Guy Here

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/12/2012, 9:20 pm

I hit up the Barnes and Noble this evening and bought the book (and a latte!) Now I'm off to read more about SFG, and dream about getting started.

Laughing You will enjoy this!

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Re: New Guy Here

Post  Windsor.Parker on 2/12/2012, 9:32 pm

Dano,
This forum is a great resource, and FUN too!

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Re: New Guy Here

Post  gwennifer on 2/13/2012, 12:15 pm

@B00kemdano wrote:...I started using a cultivator attachment for my string trimmer power head, and that's a lot easier and mixes more thoroughly.

Whoa, back up. What's this? I'm intrigued! I have a sring trimmer that came with a different head attachment for edging, does that mean I should be able to find a cultivator head as well? Need to pull out the manual and look that up.

Sounds like you're already a compost pro! How many squares are you planning on having (for now)? I only have 24 and pulling a few weeds isn't much of a bother. This won't help you with your initial batch of Mel's Mix, but when in maintenance mode and adding your trowelful of compost per square, boffer (another member here) had the grand idea of doing so after harvest instead of right before planting, so any weeds in the compost have time to germinate and be pulled before you use that square again.

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Re: New Guy Here

Post  B00kemdano on 2/13/2012, 2:40 pm

Whoa, back up. What's this? I'm intrigued!

Similar to [was going to post a link, but I'm a noob, and I'm not allowed to post a link. Sad Go to Google and search for Poulan Pro Cultivator Attachment.] I had my teenager turn the pile every now and then, but he moved out. It's a pain the butt to turn a large pile by hand, so I use the cultivator instead of his short handle pitch fork. Very Happy

I had a plan for a raised bed garden, then I heard about SFG, and my old plan was deleted. I'm still reading the SFG book, and reading a lot on the forums here, so my plan is still evolving. At this point, I'm looking at maybe 36 - 45 TT squares. I'm thinking three 2x6 tables at 2' high (so the little kids can help), and a few 1x2 or just single squares for fun stuff like herbs, catnip, or mint.

I'm not settled on anything yet, though. I need to finish reading that book before it's too late to plant the early stuff!!

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Re: New Guy Here

Post  Ha-v-v on 2/13/2012, 2:46 pm

here is a link to the Poulan Pro Cultivator attachment

http://www.amazon.com/Poulan-PP2000T-Cultivator-Trimmer-Attachment/dp/B000E176D4

I will be buying it this week Smile I had planned on buying it this week for my potato planting to make little rows since Im planting in the ground. The last batch of MM I mixed was in the box and by shovel and I thought this would work for that as well. So nice to know others are using it!!!

Ha-v-v
I was at the hardware store Sat looking at it !!!

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Oh yeah...

Post  B00kemdano on 2/13/2012, 2:53 pm

Here's a tip for using this cultivator attachment in the compost pile: Take the guard off!

The first time I used it in the compost pile, it was going great until I hit a soft spot, and it dug in. When it dug in, it got a big wad of compost between the tines and the guard, and my little power head couldn't budge it. Once I took the guard off, I had no more clogging problems. It might be a little messier, as the guard deflects flying compost, but it's worth it, and, let's face it, I like getting dirty. Razz

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Re: New Guy Here

Post  Ha-v-v on 2/13/2012, 2:56 pm

@B00kemdano wrote:Here's a tip for using this cultivator attachment in the compost pile: Take the guard off!

The first time I used it in the compost pile, it was going great until I hit a soft spot, and it dug in. When it dug in, it got a big wad of compost between the tines and the guard, and my little power head couldn't budge it. Once I took the guard off, I had no more clogging problems. It might be a little messier, as the guard deflects flying compost, but it's worth it, and, let's face it, I like getting dirty. Razz

rofl definitely !! now is it easy to remove and replace? that makes me rethink my compost bins already .. they are round!! I am going to have to do something I think we will see.
And I dont mind getting dirty when necessary Smile

Ha-v-v

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Re: New Guy Here

Post  B00kemdano on 2/13/2012, 3:11 pm

It was easy on mine. Just four hex head bolts holding the guard on.

Again, well worth it! Not only does the pile get turned thoroughly, but the cultivator chops up lumps and helps break down the material.

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welcome

Post  PeonyLover on 2/13/2012, 3:48 pm

I too am new here-welcome. I've just built my first compost tumbler and i'm trying to learn as much as possible about composting techniques. Thanks for the information. So far the SFG forum has lead to hours of reading (fair warning-lol) with tons of great information.

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Re: New Guy Here

Post  gwennifer on 2/13/2012, 3:58 pm

I suddenly just realized how to "read" your username. Laughing

Thank you Ha-v-v for the link (and dano for trying). I can indeed use this with my trimmer. Do you just thrust it in there and go to town? Bits flying everywhere? I seriously need a video of this. bounce

Well the book is an easy read. Enjoy it and come back on and ask any questions you need to. Lots of friendly folks around here.

Welcome PeonyLover!

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Re: New Guy Here

Post  B00kemdano on 2/13/2012, 5:20 pm

My compost piles are uncontained, and fairly large (at least until they decompose). I usually turn them with the cultivator in a side to side sweeping motion, starting at one side and plowing through to the other. Sometimes I have to go back and forth over the whole pile a couple of times because it gets matted together at the bottom of the pile. Once you are satisfied with your mixing job, rake it all back into a pile, add some water if necessary, and let nature run its course.

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Re: New Guy Here

Post  plantoid on 2/13/2012, 5:43 pm

You have stirred the old grey matter in my bone dome well and truly ..

I have a Mantis electric tiller with the lawn dethatcher and lawn spiker attachments as well as the tiller bits.
The dethatcher has wheels on it and has spring loaded tines and can handle several uneven features , but as my compost ( manures and bedding will be dragged out the seven Dalek bins onto concrete ....... I think I'm onto a winner & will to try and use it next week at compost aireation time .

It looks like I've just joined the " Meckomanureists " making much better compost & getting a better blending as well . Laughing

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Re: New Guy Here

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