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Finally

Post  greatgranny on 7/16/2012, 11:34 pm

When I turned the compost yesterday I added Blood Meal to each 6 inch layer and watered it in. Today the temp is up to 110 which for my pile is quite an accomplishment.

Think I'll get some rabbit food to add too. How much?

Found an outdated container of cornmeal yesterday. Will add that too.

Wouldn't you think that when you live in a wooded area that a person would have lots of leaves in the compost. Well, I haven't collected leaves except the few that remain in my yard in the spring. Today I found a treasure of dried leaves and will chop them up and add it too. This fall I will invite my 5 year old great grandson to have a fun day at GG's house making piles to jump in. Wink

I wonder if I should just let the current pile finish and save everything that I am now accumulating and then start a new one. Your opinion encouraged.

The completed compost should go in another container to finish - right?

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Re: Finally

Post  southern gardener on 7/16/2012, 11:42 pm

how big is your current pile? I don't think you have to put it anywhere to finish? Ours just "finishes" on it's own, but we live in So. Calif, so very mild temperatures...don't know if that matters or not.
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Re: Finally

Post  greatgranny on 7/17/2012, 12:04 am

The pile has shrunk to about 3 feet high. Unfortunately, before I knew better, the dried grass I added clumped together. I'll have to manually break it up the best I can. Everything else is breaking up quite well. I want to start a new pile so that next spring I will have a lot to add. I was thinking of putting it in a large garbage bin that I had used in the past for planting potatoes. Figured that it could be used for this purpose.

I'm going to go to the feed store this week and see if they still have bunnies. If so, I'm going to ask them to save the bedding for me.
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Re: Finally

Post  plantoid on 7/17/2012, 5:25 am

Old saying :- A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush .

WRT ... ANSFG
A compost pile made & used will keep your garden happy and healthy all next year, whereas a continually added to pile won't alllow you to use it.
So start your new pile with the big uncomposted bits out of the existing pile.
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Re: Finally

Post  greatgranny on 7/17/2012, 10:27 am

@plantoid wrote:Old saying :- A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush .

WRT ... ANSFG
A compost pile made & used will keep your garden happy and healthy all next year, whereas a continually added to pile won't alllow you to use it.
So start your new pile with the big uncomposted bits out of the existing pile.

Thanks for the advice. I had thought about that so I'm going to let the pile cool down and start separating it.
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Re: Finally

Post  greatgranny on 7/17/2012, 1:43 pm

Up to 120 today. Yes - doing the happy dance. smiles That blood meal sure did help.

Plantoid advised me to let this pile finish and start a new one. Already thinking of making a pile next to my compost box that has everything I can find including pine needles, leaves, etc. and have it ready for when I start the new pile.
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Re: Finally

Post  greatgranny on 7/18/2012, 11:56 am

Still at 120. Started making a pile next to my composter yesterday. A mixture of very small woodchips and leaves, pine needles that were already starting to decay.

I was trimming my Hydrangeas due to them invading space. Could I chop the stems, flowers and leaves and add to my new pile?

Also, the issue of pine needles - there are some small pine cones in the mix. Is this going to be okay in the compost? Keeping in mind that this will be my next batch as soon as the current batch is finished.
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Re: Finally

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/18/2012, 12:33 pm

I vote yes to the Hydrangea clippings. The pine cones can help to keep you pile aerated but for me they take too long to break down. They come out during screening tho, along with any sticks, twigs and rocks.

CC
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Re: Finally

Post  greatgranny on 7/18/2012, 12:47 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:I vote yes to the Hydrangea clippings. The pine cones can help to keep you pile aerated but for me they take too long to break down. They come out during screening tho, along with any sticks, twigs and rocks.

CC

Thanks Cape. I just didn't want to add something that would defeat my purpose. Never thought about the aerating part. Good idea. This is the pile that will eventually go into my compost bin so have not really organized it into specific layers. I am making a green pile and a brown pile so that when I put it in the compost bin I can get it started right.
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Re: Finally

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/18/2012, 1:07 pm

After starting with my fall pile of oak leaves (brown) I get confused about what's green and what's brown so I throw everything in. I don't have a bin. Neglected and unturned and loaded with garden clippings, it usually looks like this while its a working pile:



Years ago I was faithful about turning them weekly, but now I get to it when I get to it. It seems to work anyway. *shrug* My piles take a year to break down either way due to the oak leaves. This pile will be ready for fall.

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Re: Finally

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/18/2012, 1:15 pm

This photo from last fall shows a 'use now' pile on the left of the 'new' pile that is the one the photo above.



The 'use now' pile in this photo is about gone...I have about 2 bags of it left to use as trowel fulls for my squares.

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Re: Finally

Post  greatgranny on 7/18/2012, 1:30 pm

Your piles work for you. The one on the left looks very rich.

I don't dare leave the entire pile out in the open. Since my dog departed this world last summer I have been inundated with lots of new visitors to my yard. There is a creek running through my property and tons of trees. A great hiding place and watering hole for deer, possums, racoons, etc.

Think I should get another dog but until I find one that I like, no dog. She would chase anything that didn't belong. My poor cats even headed up the trees when she came into view.

I am not putting any food scrapes in the temporary pile until I put in the compost bin. My freezer will have lots of containers in it that will supply. Hopefully within the next couple of weeks I can screen the compost and start over.
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Re: Finally

Post  greatgranny on 7/28/2012, 12:17 am

Well the pile has cooled down and today I decided to screen it. Got about half of a 44 gallon of finished compost. The unfinished I put back into my compost bin. I was so tired after doing this that I decided to let the bin sit until tomorrow or Sunday. Then I am going to add enough to fill up the bin. I have this bin and right now it is only about 1/2 full of unfinished compost. The picture is not mine - it's a stock picture.



I know that I will have to mix it up a bit and then begin to add some kitchen trimmings. For right now, I'm taking a breather until my poor back recovers. tongue

Now to find some turkey, chicken, cow and horse poo to add also.
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Re: Finally

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