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Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

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Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  Danni on 3/22/2012, 4:14 am

So I have looked and looked and you can only buy bags of garden or potting soil, peat moss and blocks of coconut coir.

So we are now looking to the local famers for manure. So I really need to figure this out quickly.

Ok so does this make senes for the 5 composts for Mels' mix? Do I have this stuff right?
Goat manure straight
Rabbit manure straight
Aged cow manure
Slightly aged horse manure
Garden soil

I wish my own compost was ready but it isn't. Sad

Thanks for your help!

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  walshevak on 3/22/2012, 6:04 am

Coir and peat are for the same purpose, so use either. You didn't mention vermiculite or pearlite. These are for the same purpose so again use either.

If you can't get it then see if you can get rice hulls. In the Philippines they heat the rice hulls up to the point just before they catch fire (scorched) to lighten up the local soil. They call it carbonizing. It is then mixed with the compost.

The manures I can't help you with, But for sure you have a good mix for a great compost pile if you can get all of those.

Kay

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  camprn on 3/22/2012, 6:59 am

Your list looks pretty good, how old is the 'slightly aged horse manure'?

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  Danni on 3/22/2012, 7:18 am

Thanks for the replies!

I can get perlite and I ordered some vermiculite but only 40l (9 gallon or 1 1/3 cubit ft). It is quite pricey.

There is a horse farm down the road and I am quite sure they would let me have the manure from any for the piles old or new. I am just so clueless if I even need it fresh or composted for a while. I wish I had realized a few months ago that you can't get compost in bags. I have so much to figure out now. =(

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  lisaphoto on 3/22/2012, 9:03 am

I would lose the top soil. One of the benefits of the mel's mix is that it doesn't have any top soil, so it doesn't have weeds. You will get a few that blow in once and a while, but top soil is filled with weed seeds waiting for the right conditions to sprout.

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  walshevak on 3/22/2012, 9:56 am

Unless the garden soil is purchased sterilized soil and you can't get enough volume from just the mix of manures because they are too fresh to use right now.

I hate to say this because I didn't BUT - this is the perfect example of starting with just one bed to get something going and because you need your gardening fix. Then make proper beds when you get your compost ready. You have warm temps and 10-12 hrs of sunlight year round. Although you may need hoops to protect plants from downpours during the rainy season and shade cloth during the dry season. This is just what I observed in Philippines which is as close to you as I know even a little about and you are on the same latitudes.

Kay

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  Danni on 3/22/2012, 10:04 am

thanks all.

I am only doing two beds this year and will work really hard at my composting. I also plan to start buying manure from the local farmers down the road and get a head start on next year.

I guess now I just need to figure out which of the manures need to be older and which can be fresh. Then I will mix them evenly and call that my compost!

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  walshevak on 3/22/2012, 10:12 am

@walshevak wrote:Unless the garden soil is purchased sterilized soil and you can't get enough volume from just the mix of manures because they are too fresh to use right now.

I hate to say this because I didn't BUT - this is the perfect example of starting with just one bed to get something going and because you need your gardening fix. Then make proper beds when you get your compost ready. You have warm temps and 10-12 hrs of sunlight year round. Although you may need hoops to protect plants from downpours during the rainy season and shade cloth during the dry season. This is just what I observed in Philippines which is as close to you as I know even a little about and you are on the same latitudes.

Kay

Danni, I am soooo sorry. I got you mixed up with the lady from Guam I have been "talking" to. Forget the second paragraph. Guess I should check the location block better.Embarassed

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  AvaDGardner on 3/22/2012, 4:54 pm

LOL...I wondered how Poland and Philippeans had similar conditions! Walsh...is there a full size pic of your avatar? From a distance it looks like a skyline!

Danni...They might pay you to remove the manure. Wink

(Is it pronounced "Dan-E"?)

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  Chopper on 3/22/2012, 6:00 pm

@lisaphoto wrote:I would lose the top soil. One of the benefits of the mel's mix is that it doesn't have any top soil, so it doesn't have weeds. You will get a few that blow in once and a while, but top soil is filled with weed seeds waiting for the right conditions to sprout.
+1 You are better off with the manures only than putting in garden soil. No need to use it as filler. Just use the peat, what manures/compost you can find and the vermiculite. If any of the manures are fresh, I would add anyway and then let the mixed bed sit a little while while it tones down.

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  walshevak on 3/22/2012, 6:56 pm

@AvaDGardner wrote:LOL...I wondered how Poland and Philippeans had similar conditions! Walsh...is there a full size pic of your avatar? From a distance it looks like a skyline!

Danni...They might pay you to remove the manure. Wink

(Is it pronounced "Dan-E"?)

full size of avatar.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t9223p75-vertical-gardening-structures

Kay

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Manure aging

Post  tomperrin on 3/22/2012, 8:56 pm

If you can get aged horse manure, that's better than the fresh stuff. That's true of all manures, but especially chicken and horse manure, as they both have a tendency to run very hot when fresh, and would burn your plants. (too much nitrogen). All manures should be composted at least three months before putting on plants, and longer is better still. Horse and chicken manure should be mixed with other compostables in order to bring the nitrogen level down to where it's usable.

I would repeat that it's nice to see if you can get the manure for free before paying for it. You can always send them some tomatoes in payment later.

I'm lucky enough to have a free source of manure. I now start collecting it in the fall or earlier if it's available.

I also agree with dropping the bagged soil. You don't need the weeds.

Tom

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  Danni on 3/23/2012, 5:03 am

[quote="walshevak"]
@walshevak wrote:

Danni, I am soooo sorry. I got you mixed up with the lady from Guam I have been "talking" to. Forget the second paragraph. Guess I should check the location block better.Embarassed
No worries! I am just so thankful for the replies!

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  Danni on 3/23/2012, 5:05 am

@AvaDGardner wrote:LOL...I wondered how Poland and Philippeans had similar conditions! Walsh...is there a full size pic of your avatar? From a distance it looks like a skyline!

Danni...They might pay you to remove the manure. Wink

(Is it pronounced "Dan-E"?)
Yes Dan-e. My given name is actually Danielle but it is pronouned Duh-neel. Danni is just easier than constantly explaining how to properly say my name, I wish my parents had spelled it more photetically. And here in Poland they get Danni pretty easily.

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  Danni on 3/23/2012, 5:07 am

Thanks you all again! I think we will build my boxes this weekend, then we will work over the weekend on gathering all the manures. I will mix up the mel's mix and fill the boxes and let them sit. I still have quite a while till last frost as it is very late here, mid-May.

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  walshevak on 3/23/2012, 7:32 am

Oh good, that give any compost a chance to finish off. But try to get the oldest part of the piles when you collect the manures.

Kay

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  BillOcala on 3/23/2012, 8:05 am

I am new too but I was sure that I had read that fresh manure was too "hot" right?

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  curio on 3/23/2012, 8:25 am

Yes, fresh manure from any animal other than rabbits, llama, or alpaca is considered "too hot" to use directly on the garden, and must be composted first. Using it directly in the garden will burn the roots/plants, and then the composting sequence will disrupt the balance of the mix. (not to mention the odor... I don't know about you, but I don't want to be digging around in fresh manure any more than I have to)

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  Danni on 3/23/2012, 9:00 am

@walshevak wrote:Oh good, that give any compost a chance to finish off. But try to get the oldest part of the piles when you collect the manures.

Kay

I will Kay and thank you for your help!

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/10/2012, 1:35 am

@tomperrin wrote:If you can get aged horse manure, that's better than the fresh stuff. That's true of all manures, but especially chicken and horse manure, as they both have a tendency to run very hot when fresh, and would burn your plants. (too much nitrogen). All manures should be composted at least three months before putting on plants, and longer is better still. Horse and chicken manure should be mixed with other compostables in order to bring the nitrogen level down to where it's usable.

I would repeat that it's nice to see if you can get the manure for free before paying for it. You can always send them some tomatoes in payment later.

I'm lucky enough to have a free source of manure. I now start collecting it in the fall or earlier if it's available.

I also agree with dropping the bagged soil. You don't need the weeds.

Tom

Tom...is it the nitrogen or the ammonia of unaged manure that burns the plant?

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  tomperrin on 4/10/2012, 6:13 am

@AvaDGardner wrote:[
Tom...is it the nitrogen or the ammonia of unaged manure that burns the plant?

Nitrogen. Too much of a good thing. Same thing happens when you put fertilizer on your lawn. If your spreader dumps too much fertilizer in one place it burns the lawn. Ammonia is one part nitrogen to 3 parts hydrogen.

Tom

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  plantoid on 4/10/2012, 6:27 am

Danni ,

it is highly likely that all the manures you mention you can get will not have hot composted so they will be full of weed seeds.

The seeds come to life very quickly once made up into MM and it's a pain in the butt taking the mat of weeds out only to find it comes back several times till one day you have exhausted most of the seeds in the MM.

Three or so possibilities exist that I can think of .

In commercial nurseries they used to sterilize the made up composts using a solution of formaldehyde put on the pile from a watering can with a fine rose , this was mixed in and the heap was then covered for three weeks with a tarp and then opend up . then turned every day for a week to let it sweeten up . It's pretty noxious but it does work apparently .

The next is to find someone who has a trailer mounted live steam generator .. this is not a hot water power washer like you may have seen in peole garages when they powerwashb they four by four that's been used to cross their lawn but a real heavyweight industrial machine that makes real live steam that comes out the lance at 115 farenheit / 102 centigrade .

An hour or tow of a perforated pipe being fed live steam into a barrel or a heassian sack of mixed manures will cook every seed & creepy crawlie so once it's cooled down and been aired you couild use if for your MM. This is often used in nurseries making their own seed & potting composts as it is not so hazadardous to your lungs and skin as formaldehyde sterilization.

Third is to see if anyone you know has a pottery kiln of a spare electric oven that can be used and set it to about 120 oC . Fill the oven packed with your mixture of manures and switch it on . Cook it for about eight hours and do it well away from any houses as it stinks tremendously. That should cook every thing quite nicely .

We used this method to make our own seed & potting composts .. usally leaving the kiln on over night , next morning we had 1/2 a cubic yard of hot sterilized material that only had to be taken out the kiln and cooled before use.



Fourth . I put up a link abut composting in 18 days .. it works , is hard work but will give you what you want . My memory won't take a recall session at the minute so perhaps someone like " Airdoc " ( ??? ) may guide you to it as I think they have used it .

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  Danni on 4/11/2012, 7:16 am

Thank you plantoid!

I just don't know what to do now. I just wish I would have realized a few months ago that we could not buy compost.




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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

Post  walshevak on 4/11/2012, 9:34 am

Start small (1 bed) with the oldest compost in the piles. Ask the farmer if he has any that he would put it into his field right now. Accept that you may have more weeds than you want because manures were not hot composted. Then take the fresh stuff, mix with lots of other stuff and make your own for next year. And make lots and lots of it.

Kay

Hmm, wonder if you can sterilize making compost soup on the grill. tongue

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Aged Manures

Post  tomperrin on 4/11/2012, 9:38 am

@Danni wrote:Thank you plantoid!

I just don't know what to do now. I just wish I would have realized a few months ago that we could not buy compost.

I would not worry about it. If you can get aged (3 to 6 months or more) manure of any kind, it is going to be good. Remember, you are going to cut it with peat or a peat substitute as well as vermiculite/perlite. Horse manure gets pretty hot when it is shoveled out of the stable into a pile. Whatever weed seeds germinate are easily plucked from your square.

The only thing you might want to consider is having more vegetables that are heavy feeders- that need more nitrogen. My guess is that your garden will thrive.

Next year, when you have your own home grown blended compost, it will be even better. It's simply a matter of scale. Good, Better, Best.

Tom

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Re: Halllp!! I can't buy compost here!

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