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I think I have all the ingredients for a compost pile

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I think I have all the ingredients for a compost pile

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/31/2012, 3:37 pm

I don't know if I should have created a new thread or just added on to an existing thread about compost. Move me if I need to be moved! I am having a mental block or something on making compost. Maybe I am trying to over analyze it, or I am worried I will just ruin it, I don't know. I am wanting to remake an old compost pile. I was going to use some and it just doesn't look like it is done. It was a pile that I layered, watered some and forgot about it. These are the ingredients I can put into it but I am just confused to the amounts of each.

Two big garbage bags of stinky dog hair (my daughter is a dog groomer)
A half a lg. black garbage bag of rabbit food
A half a lg kitchen garbage bag of rabbit poo and bedding
Small bag of bone meal
About a two gallon size amount chicken poo that is in hard clumps
About 25 lbs. of coffee grounds (via Starbucks)
Straw that I pulled out of my beds
About 10 corn stalks (I will have to chop them up)
6-8 corn cobs (I will have to chop them up)
Broccoli plants (22) (but I read not to use them in a compost pile)
About 10 TP tubes torn up
I do have at least a half a bale of straw
Grass clippings - a very large garbage can more than half way full.
It is 1-1/2 weeks since freshly cut
I can shred some newspapers
About a lg. coffee can size amount of fireplace ash
A lg coffee can full of kitchen scraps and corn husks
The 2 ft. by 2 ft. by 1 ft of old compost

I am thinking that I will need to pull apart the clumps of stinky dog hair (eww) before I use it. I am pretty sure that I have too much dog hair to use all of it in this pile.

I know to layer carbons and nitrogens (or browns and greens). I'm not sure how much. Does this look like a good mix? I am thinking that my carbons may not be very high in nutrients. My old pile had kitchen scraps, grass clippings, probably leaves.

Does this look about right? thinking Mental block!!!
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Triciasgarden

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Re: I think I have all the ingredients for a compost pile

Post  southern gardener on 7/31/2012, 4:11 pm

wow...I have no idea, but you definitely have a lot of different types! Will be anxious to hear how it turns out Smile
here is a calculator. I think you can put in what you're adding, and it will tell you how many browns, greens it adds up to?? Try it and see. I haven't used it in a while, but remember it was kinda cool....


Last edited by southern gardener on 7/31/2012, 4:13 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add a link)
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southern gardener

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Re: I think I have all the ingredients for a compost pile

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/31/2012, 4:36 pm

Thank you southern gardener. I am not finding the link though. I will be heading to a going away party for my soon to be grand kids and may not be back on until late tonight or tomorrow. I sure appreciate your time trying to help me!
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Re: I think I have all the ingredients for a compost pile

Post  Roseinarosecity on 7/31/2012, 5:00 pm

You have a lot of dog hair! Use it sparingly because it gets matted, but it will decompose. I use my Chow's hair, so I know from experience. Just like too much shredded newspaper can also get matted but the earthworms cluster around the newspaper clumps. I see a lot of nitrogen sources, but it depends how much newspaper you have shredded and the size of your bale of straw. Your layering will help you balance Carbons and Nitrogens. Do you have a pitchfork or shovel to turn your pile for quick decomposition? Or are you taking a slow/cold approach?

You look like your off to a great start!

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Re: I think I have all the ingredients for a compost pile

Post  Roseinarosecity on 7/31/2012, 5:11 pm

I forgot to mention, I use a two inch layer of carbons, I alternate with a two inch layer of greens, and I water each layer before I apply the next layer. I also sprinkle soil to the layers to 'supply' biological organisms found in the soil.

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Re: I think I have all the ingredients for a compost pile

Post  southern gardener on 7/31/2012, 6:20 pm

@Triciasgarden wrote:Thank you southern gardener. I am not finding the link though. I will be heading to a going away party for my soon to be grand kids and may not be back on until late tonight or tomorrow. I sure appreciate your time trying to help me!

Woops! i forgot to give you the link! I'm sorry!! http://www.klickitatcounty.org/SolidWaste/fileshtml/organics/compostCalc.htm

you kind of have to poke around a bit to figure it out, but it's kinda cool. Especially what's Green and what's brown. Have fun with your grandkids!
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Re: I think I have all the ingredients for a compost pile

Post  Triciasgarden on 8/1/2012, 9:33 pm

SouthernGardener thank you for the link! It helps to play around with the chart to see how the ratios change if you change the amounts of each ingredient! I had fun with the grandkids! They flew to their mothers, all except the five year old. She got on the plane and then got very scared and started screaming! The older kids called my daughter and son-in-law and they had her brought off. They got the girl calmed down two other times but she flipped out again. So she is here in Utah, the other three kids and all of the girl's clothes are in Colorado, lol. Poor little thing!

@Roseinarosecity wrote:You have a lot of dog hair! Use it sparingly because it gets matted, but it will decompose. I use my Chow's hair, so I know from experience. Just like too much shredded newspaper can also get matted but the earthworms cluster around the newspaper clumps. I see a lot of nitrogen sources, but it depends how much newspaper you have shredded and the size of your bale of straw. Your layering will help you balance Carbons and Nitrogens. Do you have a pitchfork or shovel to turn your pile for quick decomposition? Or are you taking a slow/cold approach?

You look like your off to a great start!

I thought it sounded like I had a lot of nitrogens also! I don't look forward to doing the dog hair because it stinks, a lot. I realized I laid cardboard down between my beds last year for weed control and it really doesn't look very pretty so I may tear those up also and use them. I had taken a stack of black print newspapers out to the garden earlier this year for the same reason and didn't get them spread out much, so both of those are partically rotted. They did keep the weeds down in the places that were covered well enough. I think this will work! I appreciate the tip about laying 2" of carbons and 2" of nitrogens. (I am thinking the coffee grounds should have a thinner layer.) That will help me get a good idea of how I am doing. I have lots of tools of every kind (yard sales over lots of years for most of them).

I have read some threads about composting so I have learned some from them. I don't know if I am trying to over think this or procrastinate (or both) because it's a bit hard to do too much physical lifting. I will report back with how I am coming along.

Thank you both so much!
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