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I'm so ignorant....

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  Turan on 5/6/2012, 12:54 pm

@claudiamedic wrote:dsmdeb, you've gotten this far....keep going.

So, if I come down to a choice of non-composted manure vs. the stuff I have --- which do I pick (I know I can get some non-composted fresh manure)? I'm really hoping it doesn't come to that....but at some point I have to 'make manure' or get off the pot (how's that for a poop pun?). Note to self...next year have your OWN compost ready! Problem solved.

I'm not giving up. My helpers may put me down for a dirt nap sawing logs before it's all over (and use the soil they dig up in my -- their -- six foot garden) but it's all about learning and growing!

It's a beautiful day here in Muncie. sunny Time to get off the computer for a while!

You want both Laughing The manure to get your compost pile going. Once it gets composted start side dressing plants with it, and use it to add a trowelful to each square as you replant. If you mix it in the soil right now it might be too fresh and burn stuff. Of course how fresh is fresh in this case? And is it mixed with straw/hay or sawdust or only manure? and of what types?

You already know my recomendations on the bagged stuff. I should point out that I am unorthodox, really quite Neolithic. Enjoy the beautiful day flower

+2 on the llama/alpaca/bunny manure if not mixed with stuff.

Turan

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  claudiamedic on 5/6/2012, 1:15 pm

I have a couple of bags of "cow manure" not mixed with anything. I can get fresh manure from the 4-H gal from her horses, sheep and chickens. I'm seeing ads on Craigslist for other manure. There are a couple of listings for compost or composted manure within a one hour drive (each way) but I have transportation issues (totally not a SFG problem!).

I'm inclined to be a 'rule-follower' and have read (and, much to the chagrin of my helpers, highlighted extensively) the NSFG book study . The K-I-S-S principle is one I strive to live by but I admit that I can complicate things by being too 'rule bound' if I don't really know what I'm doing geek .

I'm not quitting now. I can be quite stubborn in addition to my OCD! thinking

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  dsmdeb on 5/6/2012, 1:23 pm

Thanks all for your support. The most troublesome thing is that I already mixed the different kinds of compost & manure I already had. I did read the book, but seem to have limited choices around here for the 5-blend. Since manure is suggested by so many, I don't understand why the types I have already - chicken & unknown - won't suffice. And how would homemade compost (not worm castings) be any better than 2-3 types of manure and purchased composted grass & other yard debris? (I am planning to start worm bins soon.)

I just checked Craigslist, and found a local source of free horse manure. No llamas in these parts to my knowledge. Found some rabbit manure too, but it's too far away.

Can you suggest a way to use the compost mix I already have, even if it means adding horse manure? I have 3 18-gallon Rubbermaid boxes full. No added peat or vermiculite at this point. I would really hate to waste it.

I have a suggestion. For each regional forum, why not add a sticky for people to post sources in their area for compost ingredients? I realize the regions can still cover a large area, but if contributors put their city in their post title, it would help those nearby who are looking. Or even better, create something similar to the vermiculite database, where everything is consolidated into a single spreadsheet and sorted by city within state. I think that would be really useful because what I've seen on this forum for what other "locals" have found, while still helpful, has been a scavenger hunt in and of itself.

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  Turan on 5/6/2012, 1:30 pm

Isn't the bagged cow manure fairly well composted? Sheep and goat manures can be used fresh usually. But if they are mixed with the horse and chicken and bedding stuffs it really needs to be composted.

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 5/6/2012, 1:35 pm

Hi deb!

Glad to see you aren't giving up! Smile Your suggestion is an awesome one and we are working on that very thing...

Check out this post Smile

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t11386p60-is-bagged-compost-really-compost#118544

Your earlier questions are all goodl....

Sometimes what is listed as manure - isn't. See the video at the end of the post I linked to. Smile So problem 1 is that we *think* we have these different sources and what we really have is many bags with lots of peat and a little of some other stuff. Smile That is the pitfall. Research the bags and know what you have and you'll know if you truly need to add any other compost.

Homemade compost is thought to be better for many reasons, not the least of which is that YOU know what goes in it. There is some bagged compost that is low on nutrients and high on fillers (kinda like bad sugary cereal) and so making your own avoids that.

Smile
Once you know exactly what you have...it'll be easier to know if you need to add anything... Keep us posted. Smile

Turan - the problem I personally have run into is that often what is "listed" as "manure" on the bag is anything but 100% manure... Check out my video in above linked thread. Smile

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  cheyannarach on 5/6/2012, 1:42 pm

They are working on a compost database! I would just amend your already mixed composts with a few better sources. And mix a little heavier on the compost to make up for your compost with peat.

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  Turan on 5/6/2012, 1:48 pm

@UnderTheBlackWalnut wrote:
Turan - the problem I personally have
run into is that often what is "listed" as "manure" on the bag is
anything but 100% manure... Check out my video in above linked thread. Smile

Here is the cow manure in question, there is also a picture of the bag on the first page.

@claudiamedic wrote:

The Butterfield Farms (pink bag) is just cow manure with a 1-1-1 profile (or whatever you call it).

I will watch your video, that is great thread and
project and you have put much into it. Thank you.

Turan

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 5/6/2012, 1:52 pm

@Turan wrote:
I will watch your video, that is great thread and
project and you have put much into it. Thank you.

Actually that project is being done by SFG4UKIM who is just awesome AND a certified teacher! I can't take credit for any of it. The video was my novice way of trying to show what I'd learned over the past year about taking just a little bit closer look at your bagged compost. Some of it is absolutely awesome stuff but others of it might be a wee bit mislabeled. Smile

LOL - I'm still such a novice! I'm still getting over the "ewwww" factor of growing things in poo (even if it IS composted)! Smile Still can't bring myself to go out and bucket it up out of my friend's horse barns but my goal is to get to that as I start my own pile this season. Smile

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  Daniel9999 on 5/6/2012, 1:59 pm

@cheyannarach wrote:They are working on a compost database! I would just amend your already mixed composts with a few better sources. And mix a little heavier on the compost to make up for your compost with peat.

+1

Great job on the video UndertheBlackwalnut!


Last edited by Daniel9999 on 5/6/2012, 2:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  cheyannarach on 5/6/2012, 2:00 pm

Lol, I have the same feelings about eating stuff grown in poo!

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  dsmdeb on 5/6/2012, 2:35 pm

Informative video, UTBW! Wish I'd seen it a few days ago before I mixed things together. Yeah, NOW I know the importance of reading the fine print...

In my mix, I've got:
about 1.5 bags of New Plant Life Composted Manure
1 bag Earthgro Organic Humus & Manure
2 bags Chickity Doo Doo
1 bag Omagro
1 bag Mahaska Compost

The first 2 were featured in your video. New Life also says on the bag in the disclaimer box that it's a blend of manure and topsoil, even though the ingredients say manure and peat.
Chickity Doo Doo: 5-3-2 + 9% calcium. Derived from 100% layer hen manure. Contains 9% Calcium. 100% Weed Free. No fillers or additives.
Omagro: as stated in an earlier post, 1.0-0.5-0.9, Produced from domestic turf grass clippings, aged leaves, and ground wood.
Mahaska Compost: a vague statement of “made from recycled wastes”

With that info, more suggestions of where to go from here?

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  claudiamedic on 5/6/2012, 5:12 pm

Deb, now you and I BOTH know a little more than we did a day or so ago!

UTBW praise , thanks so much for doing the video! That really helped me clarify what I need to be looking for.

For me, as a non-gardener (OK, I stuck stuff in the ground, watered and weeded in the past but I know that doesn't count), part of the problem is the terminology. If I understand correctly, although "compost" is used as both a noun and a verb it is, in actuality a verb -- a process -- that [manure + plant matter] (or just plant matter of different types) goes through to break the "stuff" down into nutrient material....correct???? So that fresh manure that fell from the horses' rear a couple of hours ago is NOT compost, but if it had some hay thrown in with it and it sat for a (?) time, it might be....???

study

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  dsmdeb on 5/6/2012, 5:51 pm

Yep, if I were to start over, I'm still not sure where I'd get 5 different and reliable sources, but I'm still hanging out here hoping to find out, and putting things on hold til I do. :scratch: From what I gather, my current mix has only one "good" ingredient: the chicken poo.

Sorry for hijacking your thread, Claudia.

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 5/6/2012, 6:05 pm

LOL - Claudia - you crack me up. Smile You are asking the girl who is still getting over growing food in composted poo... Smile My husband would find this funny... Wink

The little I know is yes - compost both refers to the process of breaking down natural matter as well as the product which is the result of that process. "Compost" as a noun, is a general term referring to the broken down matter, but when getting our five way blend in bags, we often have to be concerned with exactly WHAT is composted (i.e. the source). Each natural material brings a different set of nutrients to the party. So composted cow manure is a little different set of nutrients than composted hen manure which is different yet from composted plant matter or worm castings, etc. That's why we try so hard to get 5 good and different sources.

Deb - WOW! See how much better you know your compost now!! cheers Did you ever think you'd be so excited with "getting to know" poop? Smile So, armed with that knowledge, you can start to see your true sources: chicken manure, grass clippings, leaves, wood, (not sure about recycled wastes), some amount of cow manure and peat. None of these are necessarily "bad" (again, not sure about recycled wastes), but some are just repetitive. If I put nothing but peat with a little cow manure in my box, I wouldn't have all the right nutrients at the party. We are looking for 5 DIFFERENT sources. I'd say you are low on the cow manure so more of that would be okay (as long as it's not mixed with peat). But basically you are looking for more sources. Some other source of compost that isn't largely one of the above. See how that works?

I'd try Craig's List and local hydroponics stores. Last year I spent a day sourcing lots of big box stores in my area and now I have my "honey holes" as the American Pickers on the History Channel like to say. One Walmart of the three in town carries Black Kow. One Menards of the two in town carries Chickety-Doo-Doo. Lowes has mushroom compost. My local hydroponics store has Happy Frog and worm castings.... I have a friend with horse barns, etc. Once you get these lined up, it will be much easier...I promise. Smile

Hang in there... We've all been through this part... Just do the best you can and learn as you go... Smile

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  dsmdeb on 5/6/2012, 7:30 pm

I didn't know my area had hydroponics stores, but a Google search showed me that we do, although their stuff seems pricey.

Which of these FoxFarm/Happy Frog products are ok? They list FF Ocean Forest Organic Potting Soil Mix, FF Original Planting Mix, Light Warrior Grow Medium, and Happy Frog Potting Soil.

Another store lists Black Gold products (Earthworm Castings or Just Coir), Dr Earth Natural Choice Compost, Ancient Forest Humus Soil Amendment, Unco Earthworm Castings, and Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings. Are all these ok?

The Chickity-Doo-Doo was at my Menards too. Black Kow isn't available here. And then as I mentioned, there's the free horse manure.

Living off savings now, so starting over is a hard pill to swallow. That's why if possible I'd like to be able to amend the mix I have already.

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  claudiamedic on 5/6/2012, 8:36 pm

Deb, you didn't hijack my thread....I don't view it that way....I just started a discussion...and I am THRILLED that someone else might benefit! BTW, I really understand the money thing. I am juggling to pay for the stuff I need but I do view it as an investment (and one that can move with me if I finally tire of our declining neighborhood). Then there is the "ticking clock" stress (I have seedlings that are begging to have a bigger home NOW).

I decided that I would work tomorrow at finding what I can and by Wednesday at the latest I'm planting in what I have. I'm 'burning warmth' on the calendar every day I sit and stew! I'm ready for the RELAXING part of gardening (puttering!).

UTBW, thank you for all your help! As they say in medicine "see one, do one, teach one".... cheers

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  chjbr63 on 5/6/2012, 9:10 pm

dsmdeb,

I would empty all three containers on a tarp take two containers and fill with the horse manure. Put one in the mix you have and save the other for your own compost pile. Going over the list you have made. The FoxFarm/Happy Frog products are premixed for container and seed starting, not what you are looking for. All of the other store's products are good. Especially the Dr. Earth it is loaded with good stuff. If you could get a couple of those and the horse manure and maybe some llama manure. I think that will make what you already have a very good blend. A couple of places for you to call.
Don
& Phyllis Childers

Childers Llama Farm
318 SE 64th Street
Des Moines, IA 50317-9100
(515)265-3347


Goode Greenhouses
1050 NE 50th Ave
Des Moines, Iowa 50313
515-262-6504
They didn't have a large product page but some of the things they carry indicate it might be good store. As in over 50 veggies ready to go in the garden and organic amendments (fertilizers). Can't hurt to call them.

One more thing a little off topic but a good source for connections and info. Des Moines has the largest farmers market I have ever heard of, 250 vendors. http://desmoinesfarmersmarket.com/
You can get tips on what and how to grow things in your neck of the woods. I bet a few would offer help with the compost.

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

Post  dsmdeb on 5/6/2012, 11:30 pm

chjbr63,

Thanks so much for the info and suggestions. I'll give those 2 places a call tomorrow. Actually, Goode Greenhouse is where I got my vermiculite. And you're right, we do have a really great farmer's market. Good suggestion to talk to people there.

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Re: I'm so ignorant....

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