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Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

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Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  cheyannarach on 6/1/2012, 3:30 am

Hi everybody! My birthday is coming up and I built a bunch of new boxes so my dad gave me some bday moolah early because he knew I was itching to get more dirt. I bought a bag of peat moss, vermiculite, sheep compost, cow compost, chicken compost, and cotton burr compost. I have heard cotton burr compost is "where it's at" but to me it seems sooo chunky. You can see all sorts of cotton and chunks of wood in it. Is this just a mega nitrogen thief? Should I just throw it in the compost bin???

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  walshevak on 6/1/2012, 7:21 am

Can you sift out the big chunks? I've heard cotton burr is good too.

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  RoOsTeR on 6/1/2012, 7:51 am

I used cotton burr compost in one of my beds and so far it's been the best producer from the two beds that I had to use bagged compost in. I didn't sift or take anything out, but if I notice a large piece when watering I will usually remove it.
When I bought my cotton burr compost last year, I think I paid around $3 a bag for it. This Spring it was almost $8...go figure.
I would use it again without hesitation Like a Star @ heaven

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  landarch on 6/1/2012, 9:44 am

I think there is a big difference out there in quality of cotton bur compost...the stuff I picked up from Walmart and Lowes here in Kansas City was almost 100% unusable...nothing but chunks of stems, leaves, and cotton that had even begun to break down. It also had big (orange-sized) chunks of hard clay that robbed me of material due to weight. It in no way resembled compost or soil.

Cotton Bur compost skyrocketed in price due to the drought in cotton states TX and OK...the price should come back down as the drought lessens. Prices also spiked for other blended composts that contained coton material.

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  cheyannarach on 6/1/2012, 9:58 am

I was wondering about the price, mine was $13 a bag, I bought it at a greenhouse. I am getting ready to go rip into it Iwill let you know how good or bad it looks once I get the entire bag open! Why is chicken manure so expensive? Were they effected by the drought too, lol?

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  crs on 6/1/2012, 12:19 pm

Ohhh compost! There must be an art to it that I haven't figured out yet What a Face Started over a month ago went from WET added shredded paper, cardboard, dried grass clippings and quit adding kitchen scraps now i am very clumpy and breaking them up by hand. turning every day in tumbler that is only vented on the ends. I have no heat. I think now it has to do with amount. The tumbler is close to half full. I guess I will just keep going and maybe in 2 or 3 years I will have compost Sad

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  Goosegirl on 6/1/2012, 2:16 pm

@crs wrote:Ohhh compost! There must be an art to it that I haven't figured out yet What a Face Started over a month ago went from WET added shredded paper, cardboard, dried grass clippings and quit adding kitchen scraps now i am very clumpy and breaking them up by hand. turning every day in tumbler that is only vented on the ends. I have no heat. I think now it has to do with amount. The tumbler is close to half full. I guess I will just keep going and maybe in 2 or 3 years I will have compost Sad

If it is only vented on the ends, you may not be getting enough air in there. That will keep things sloppy wet, slimy, and STINKY! If it is homemade, could you grab a drill and put some holes in the sides?

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What are these?

Post  crs on 6/1/2012, 7:33 pm

I found several of these in my compost tumbler. Could some one please tell me what they are!



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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  mrwes40 on 6/1/2012, 8:20 pm

Hard to tell from that photo. Look closely, if there are hairs in it, it's a rodent dropping. It also might be a fly pupa .

Bill

After looking at it again, pretty sure they're fly pupae.

fact sheet

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  crs on 6/1/2012, 8:31 pm

That is what they are. Thanks. Now the next question do I need to do anything about it?

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  camprn on 6/1/2012, 9:25 pm

If you can get a local farm's manure toss a bit of that into the tumbler, that should activate the compost.

As for cotton burr compost, for the money they want for it, may be good to go with something else. Also, unless it's organic grown cotton, it was probably treated with pesticides... just a thought for those trying to go organic...

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  mrwes40 on 6/1/2012, 9:30 pm

@crs wrote:That is what they are. Thanks. Now the next question do I need to do anything about it?

I wouldn't worry about it. All part of the process. I have flies in and around my compost pits.

Bill

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  RoOsTeR on 6/1/2012, 9:34 pm

@crs wrote:Ohhh compost! There must be an art to it that I haven't figured out yet What a Face Started over a month ago went from WET added shredded paper, cardboard, dried grass clippings and quit adding kitchen scraps now i am very clumpy and breaking them up by hand. turning every day in tumbler that is only vented on the ends. I have no heat. I think now it has to do with amount. The tumbler is close to half full. I guess I will just keep going and maybe in 2 or 3 years I will have compost Sad

In my opinion, tumblers are tricky to use. I think it's hard to get the moisture right. It also sounds like you need more mass and as camp suggested, get some poo and you may need some more green. I also think turning it everyday is too much. I turn mine about once a week. You need to give the bugs a chance to work their magic.

I'm so glad I (hopefully) don't have to worry about buying compost anymore!!

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  cheyannarach on 6/2/2012, 9:36 am

Oh wow, so I must have been in a hurry when I bought all the "compost" the other day and the cotton burr compost is going back. Right on the front of the bag it say Cotton Burr Compost... Top dressing and mulch, that would be why, arg.

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  quiltbea on 6/2/2012, 10:37 am

The ratio of green to brown makes a lot of difference. I get great compost with about 1 part green to 20 parts brown (mostly from a supply of bagged fall leaves). In the fall I just bag up all the leaves I can get, pile them behind my black tumbler, and always cover any new green deposits in the open compost pile with an armful of leaves.



Above: My compost area. Behind the green tumbler is my open compost pile where all fresh ingredients are tossed. You can just see the green plastic fencing that holds it together on 3 sides. Behind the black tumbler are bags of fall leaves. I fill the green monster with forksful of whatever is in the open pile. When its full, I add a half bucket of water, then close it up and tumble it every day or so. When the compost is finished, I empty it and start all over again.



Above: This is how I sift my compost, with a veggie bin from the pantry which has found a new permanent home. I fill it, toss the contents a bit, and the big parts that don't sift thru are tossed into a separate bucket. When the green monster is empty, I put the bucket of larger pieces back in the monster and refill it from the open compost pile once again.

Note: In the winter when I can't get to the monster, due to high levels of snow, Mother Nature still works her magic. Without turning at all, the compost is made naturually. It just takes a little longer but the end result is lovely compost.

Note 2: The black tumbler is really difficult for me to turn. I used it 2 years and it worked, but only slowly because of very few turnings. I much prefer the big green monster with the hand crank which turns so much more easily.

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  LittleGardener on 9/26/2012, 9:18 am

Anyone ever heard of, or in their compost used this: http://www.amazon.com/Jobes-09926-Organic-Compost-Starter/dp/B002MZ2UOA/ref=pd_sbs_lg_2 - our stuff is taking a LONG time to become soil: started by laying down a holey old tarp piled full of grass, dandelions, leaves, produce-scraps, coffee-grounds, etc. & after mixing it up, stuffed it into 6-8 large plastic bags. Sitting like that April-Sept. wouldn't you think it would be ready by now? Smile What is missing?

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  llama momma on 9/26/2012, 9:32 am

I'm no expert but are you opening those bags, aerating, and adding moisture, and turning the contents? If not, those are critical from my past experience. If compost is untouched and left on its own outside in a pile, it could take a year or two depending on variables.

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  camprn on 9/26/2012, 12:24 pm

I have tried to use a'Compost Starter' and had poor results. Now I use as much grass clipping as I can lay my hands on and occasionally sprinkle dried blood when I am pile building, this results in good hot composting action.

@LittleGardener wrote: What is missing?
oxygen, a requirement for active composting.

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  quiltbea on 9/26/2012, 1:19 pm

I believe compost starter is basically what you get in your soil. I just toss in the leavings of an occasional plant pot or a trowelful of soil from the raised beds so the microbes and such are added to the pile.
As mentioned, blood meal is good as is alfalfa meal. It adds more nitrogen to your pile.
Any compost pile needs air and water to compose quickly. Lots of brown stuff, like dried leaves, are a great help.
Even in my first compost barrel, a black tumbler, closed up and untouched all thru the fall and winter months, my compost was ready in a year.

If you are keeping yours in a plastic bag, I would punch a few small holes in the bottom for drainage. I suggest a sprinkling of water now and then it it gets too dry but leaving it open to the rain and sun, except when you close it to roll it around to turn it. Its the repeated movement that turns leavings to compost faster.

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  LittleGardener on 9/26/2012, 9:30 pm

@camprn wrote:I have tried to use a'Compost Starter' and had poor results. Now I use as much grass clipping as I can lay my hands on and occasionally sprinkle dried blood when I am pile building, this results in good hot composting action.

@LittleGardener wrote: What is missing?
oxygen, a requirement for active composting.
In this thread: http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t13366p30-compost-pile-very-close , Plantoid gave helpful suggestions for a handicapped person's "Compost-processing" in Aug. - By that time, our one huge pile had sat out back in the open-air since April, when finally it got too big (6ft.L x 3ft.H x 3ft.W); so in stages separated it into 3 smaller piles (& noticed that the very-bottom of it on the ground had turned black, but not yet crumbly like good loamy soil normally. (Not slimy, & did not stink; also it's not rained the past 2+ months). After filling the large plastic bags, with holes - added liquids (water, or fruit-puree), in half of the 6-8 bags on top. - Now the 2 with holes, I won't be able to turn, as the bags' weight will make them tear open, yes? - Aside which, Plantoid's suggestions included leaving bags alone (as a handicapped person lacks the requisite "strength" for turning compost, which his suggestion bypasses). - In the meantime, 2 smaller piles are amassing in the Open-air: the original one on the ground (tho smaller now), & a new one, sitting on a huge tarp. This is our current situation, and I tried to follow Plantoid's suggestion to the letter... For getting READY-compost sooner like Plantoid did, following his method, What else can I do?





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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  LittleGardener on 10/20/2012, 8:15 pm

@quiltbea wrote:As mentioned, blood meal is good as is alfalfa meal. It adds more nitrogen to your pile.
Any compost pile needs air and water to compose quickly. Lots of brown stuff, like dried leaves, are a great help.
in my first compost barrel, a black tumbler, closed up and untouched all thru the fall and winter months, my compost was ready in a year.

Its the repeated movement that turns leavings to compost faster.
We finally got a tumbler just like yours; and in it we have:
GREEN goodies: (aside billions of live Embarassed dandelion seeds), clover, coffee grounds, old veggies, & mushrooms, old flowers, soil, grass, (leaves: tree, & grapevine-leaves), bunny-gifts, & tea bags.
and
BROWN goodies: corn stalks, moldy Fruit peelings, torn paper bags:
Not really enough yet, right? Gonna fetch me some forest soil, & straw. Thinking about adding a few worms too, as not found even one No worm in the black-soil we already have.
Before things get put in the tumbler, I let it get rained on once, and I turn the whole thing 3 times weekly.

By Spring we should have a small pick-up Smile load of new soil. I can hardly wait. - Any more suggestions?

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  Kelejan on 10/20/2012, 9:35 pm

@LittleGardener wrote:Anyone ever heard of, or in their compost used this: http://www.amazon.com/Jobes-09926-Organic-Compost-Starter/dp/B002MZ2UOA/ref=pd_sbs_lg_2 - our stuff is taking a LONG time to become soil: started by laying down a holey old tarp piled full of grass, dandelions, leaves, produce-scraps, coffee-grounds, etc. & after mixing it up, stuffed it into 6-8 large plastic bags. Sitting like that April-Sept. wouldn't you think it would be ready by now? Smile What is missing?
The list you have above seem to me to be all greens; I think you need more browns such as fall leaves, shredded newspaper, corrugated cardboard. Very Happy

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  walshevak on 10/20/2012, 10:18 pm

I sifted 5 rubbermaid totes and 5 old compost bags full of my home made earlier in the week. Was surprised at the amount that was there buried under all the grass clippings my lawn guy put on the 2 piles this summer. Then I rebuilt the piles with the the old stuff I had pulled off and had left from the sifting and a mix of horse and goat manure. It's amazing what you can get when talking to folks at the tire store. (truck needed new shoes for inspection time) He gave me half a truck load. AND I can come back for more when needed. Good looking stable muck, right.


Added some bagged leaves left from last year and some cow poo. Wound up with 3 piles. Picked up some coffee grounds today to add. With luck, I'll have more good compost by spring. Too bad I don't have the strength to turn it every so often.

I put some worm castings in my house flowers today. The worms are churning castings slowly every day.

Kay

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compost starter

Post  cyclonegardener on 10/20/2012, 11:23 pm

I've read the artificial starters don't work too well, but lime does. You can compost without air, but you have to do it the right way.

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

Post  camprn on 10/21/2012, 7:15 am

@cyclonegardener wrote:I've read the artificial starters don't work too well, but lime does. You can compost without air, but you have to do it the right way.
do you mean crushed limestone?

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Re: Hmmm, Compost compost, how do you fair in the compost worldl?

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