Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» How I received free organic pest control
by CapeCoddess Today at 1:16 pm

» Hello from South Mississippi
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 12:36 pm

» Butterfly Junction
by countrynaturals Today at 12:24 pm

» What might this be
by CapeCoddess Today at 12:23 pm

» New Old Nashville SFG
by CapeCoddess Today at 12:18 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in March 2017
by CapeCoddess Today at 12:11 pm

» Any Strange and Wonderful Visitors? Photos please!
by countrynaturals Today at 12:10 pm

» My Ontario SFG Garden Spring 2017
by TNGeezer Today at 12:10 pm

» Happy Birthday!!
by Mellen Today at 11:13 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by plantoid Today at 7:48 am

» strawberries SFG
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 8:16 pm

» SUGA 2017
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 7:52 pm

» N & C Midwest: March 2017 Brink of Spring
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 7:25 pm

» 2017: First full year of SFGing in ND
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 4:47 pm

» who has chickens
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 4:42 pm

» Growing zucchini in containers
by sanderson Yesterday at 3:43 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania, 3rd year SFG
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:59 pm

» Spaghetti Squash ?
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:52 pm

» Growing Strawberries in Charlotte
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:24 pm

» An excellent read for those with Diabetes
by Ginger Blue Yesterday at 1:32 pm

» Hello from Richmond
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 6:25 am

» Double layer weed cloth/landscape fabric?
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 6:20 am

» Hello from Southeast Michigan!
by sanderson Yesterday at 4:09 am

» Wick Irrigation
by sanderson Yesterday at 3:17 am

» Watering System -- Finally!
by CitizenKate Yesterday at 12:47 am

» Mirrors in the Garden
by ralitaco 3/28/2017, 10:06 pm

» Friend or foe?
by sanderson 3/28/2017, 8:08 pm

» Comfrey
by llama momma 3/28/2017, 3:23 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals 3/28/2017, 12:27 pm

» March: What to plant in Northern California and Central Valley areas
by countrynaturals 3/28/2017, 12:03 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Crawling compost!

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Crawling compost!

Post  Coelli on 6/19/2012, 11:21 pm

A lovely lady whom I've never met but found on a Facebook group for my town just let me come to her house and take as much composted horse manure as I wanted, which turned out to be about 3 half-full garbage bags (about all I could manage). The manure on the top was pretty dry and not finished, but underneath it was gorgeous. I took a mix of both. She said the pile was about 2 years old at the bottom.

The problem is it is crawling, and I mean CRAWLING, with sowbugs, earwigs, and at least one very large spider that started crawling toward the top of one of the bags when I opened it at home. There must be hundreds, if not thousands of sowbugs. The lady didn't realize they were there (she hasn't turned the pile) and grabbed a bucket full of the compost to bring to her chickens, who went nuts for it. This isn't a sowbug here and there. It's completely infested with them.

I knotted the bags so they couldn't get out in my car, and they're still knotted up in the back yard now.

I don't have a compost pile yet - this would have been a start - but I'm hesitant to free a thousand sowbugs in my yard. Razz

What can I do? If I had chickens, I'd let them eat the sowbugs. Very Happy If I leave the bags in the sun I wonder if they'll die from the heat? Or just bury down where it's cool? Does anyone have any ideas?

Thank you!!
avatar
Coelli

Female Posts : 300
Join date : 2012-04-30
Location : Los Angeles foothills

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  Triciasgarden on 6/20/2012, 1:08 am

I just read a few hours ago about making newspaper tubes, wetting them and putting them in the garden at night. The next day you put the newspapers into a ziplock and leave it out in the sun for a day and the heat will kill them. It was the putting them in a ziplock and leaving it in the sun that I hadn't heard of before. I would think any sealed bag would do the trick, my only concern is getting it hot enough to every bit of manure in the bag to kill the earwigs, sow bugs and their potential offspring. It sure seems to me that it should get hot enough.

I would keep the bags in the sun for several days to a week and roll them around every day to redistribute everything and to get it all super hot. That was smart to tie it shut so they can't get out. You sure don't want that many earwigs in your garden. The sow bugs generally eat only decaying matter but one member on this site showed us pictures of sow bugs eating her plant. It was determined that the plant had a branch or leaf that was touching the wood frame or ground. Earwigs I have found will eat anything and I am fighting an infestation myself.

I'm sure others can add to or tell you something better.
avatar
Triciasgarden

Female Posts : 1628
Join date : 2010-06-04
Age : 62
Location : Northern Utah

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  J_in_HamiltonON on 6/20/2012, 9:11 am

Can you leave the bags ties up and in the direct sun for a few days? I'd imagine it would become deadly hot in there, especially where you live. that should cook em

My next thought would be to dump each bag into large garbage cans and then fill it with water, to drown them. But then you would have some very wet manure to deal with.
avatar
J_in_HamiltonON

Male Posts : 49
Join date : 2012-05-13
Age : 39
Location : Hamilton ON zone5(A?)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/20/2012, 10:37 am

From what I have read, sow bugs and pill bugs eat mostly decomposing plant matter. I see them regularly in my garden. My compost pile is mostly old matter now. It is full of them. I don't think it is a big deal.

avatar
Squat_Johnson

Male Posts : 440
Join date : 2010-05-25
Location : Beaver Dam, Kentucky, zone 6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  GWN on 6/20/2012, 10:45 am

When I lived in Oregon, we had a friend there who was a worm farm compost specialist. He wrote books about them and in fact went all of the place lecturing about it
He maintained the a good compost has many bug types in it, it was kind of a network they all benefitted from and that the compost did too.
I would think that if the stuff at the very bottom was that nice after only 2 y ears with no turning, that the bugs had something to do with it.... thinking
at least I think...
I do always ask people if they give worm medication to the horses before I get manure from them because worm medication kills worm
avatar
GWN

Posts : 2802
Join date : 2012-01-14
Age : 60
Location : british columbia zone 5a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  rowena___. on 6/20/2012, 10:51 am

@GWN wrote:I would think that if the stuff at the very bottom was that nice after only 2 y ears with no turning, that the bugs had something to do with it.... thinking

agreed. soil doesn't make itself. Smile
avatar
rowena___.

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 438
Join date : 2011-01-06
Location : nashville, TN

View user profile http://www.romesticity.com, www.rostitchery.com, www.the-ella-ec

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/20/2012, 11:29 am

Hmmm...from reading these posts it sounds like you should get rid of half of them and keep half of them.

CC
avatar
CapeCoddess

Posts : 5660
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 61
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  Coelli on 6/20/2012, 11:54 am

I think I found the solution to my problem! cheers

I wouldn't care so much about the bugs (I'm not squeamish) but I don't have a lot of space for a compost pile and it's likely to be pretty close to the house (as in, a few feet). I'm concerned that when I dump the compost, the sowbugs will scatter and wind up in the house. I don't mind if sowbugs find the compost pile and populate it over time, but starting off with that many close to the house seems not a good idea when they're likely to scatter.

So then I realized my neighbors 2 doors down have chickens - 5 laying hens of their own and about 30 pullets they're raising for someone else right now. I talked to them and this evening I'll bring the bags over and we can spread the manure/compost out in their chicken yard for the chickens to take care of the bugs. Smile Perfect!
avatar
Coelli

Female Posts : 300
Join date : 2012-04-30
Location : Los Angeles foothills

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  GWN on 6/20/2012, 12:08 pm

wow what a win win situation and then you will "harvest" the compost......sounds great
avatar
GWN

Posts : 2802
Join date : 2012-01-14
Age : 60
Location : british columbia zone 5a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/20/2012, 2:45 pm

@GWN wrote:wow what a win win situation and then you will "harvest" the compost......sounds great

With chicken poop added! Excellent!
CC
avatar
CapeCoddess

Posts : 5660
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 61
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  GWN on 6/20/2012, 2:49 pm


With chicken poop added! Excellent!
I NEVER even thought of THAT PART :scratch: manoman are you EVER going to have a great garden Smile
avatar
GWN

Posts : 2802
Join date : 2012-01-14
Age : 60
Location : british columbia zone 5a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  Triciasgarden on 6/20/2012, 3:52 pm

That sounds like a good idea to get the chickens to take care of them and you would need that many chickens to take care of that many bugs before they run away and hide. I think if you have sow bugs and earwigs in your yard that is one thing, but introducing a swarm of both would be overpopulating your yard. Both bugs eat decaying matter but earwigs eat anything, decaying matter, live plants, tender plants, tough broccoli and cauliflower leaves, cabbage, the tassels and silk of corn. Plus Spring and Summer are when they are producing more young. Then what? I like the idea of letting your yard and garden have the balance of beneficial, neutral and non-beneficial insects.

So having the chickens eat them would be great, giving the chickens protein to make better eggs.
avatar
Triciasgarden

Female Posts : 1628
Join date : 2010-06-04
Age : 62
Location : Northern Utah

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  Coelli on 6/20/2012, 9:40 pm

These are some VERY happy chickens today. Wink



As predicted, the sowbugs swarmed but were no match for the hens! That was just the first batch. There are still two more bags.
avatar
Coelli

Female Posts : 300
Join date : 2012-04-30
Location : Los Angeles foothills

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  camprn on 6/20/2012, 9:55 pm

ooooh a most excellent solution!

____________________________

41 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



avatar
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14083
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  rowena___. on 6/21/2012, 10:01 am

i love a happy ending!
avatar
rowena___.

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 438
Join date : 2011-01-06
Location : nashville, TN

View user profile http://www.romesticity.com, www.rostitchery.com, www.the-ella-ec

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  webbee on 6/22/2012, 12:18 am

Sow bugs are part of the markers for the finishing process of the
compost pile. My over winter leaf piles are flush with sow bugs at the
moment. I'm sure the chickens are happy.
avatar
webbee

Posts : 21
Join date : 2012-05-25
Location : In The Garden

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Grubs in Compost Tumbler

Post  Karenberry on 7/15/2012, 8:12 am

Help! I left the door of my compost tumbler open for a couple days. dangit Is has been rather stinky, and there were about half a dozen flies buzzing around it. Well now there are many light colored worms in there that look rather like grubs (they have several pairs of feet). I admit I didn't get that close to examine them, as I was rather grossed out. Should I be concerned about these? Do you think they will just die if I get the bin hot enough? Thanks, and sorry if this was posted in the wrong area.
avatar
Karenberry

Female Posts : 6
Join date : 2012-04-18
Location : Frederick, MD

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Crawling compost!

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum