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
» CHALLENGE - Smallest possible footprint
by sfg4uKim Today at 8:20 am

» Mid-South: December 2016
by AtlantaMarie Today at 7:40 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by AtlantaMarie Today at 7:38 am

» Anyone out there tried crosne tubers?
by sanderson Today at 4:32 am

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by sanderson Today at 4:16 am

» Happy Birthday!!
by sanderson Today at 4:09 am

» California's Drought
by sanderson Today at 4:08 am

» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by GardenGal Today at 2:14 am

» New England, December 2016
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 10:19 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 5:21 pm

» Tomato Tuesday 2016
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 4:41 pm

» Holy snow Batman!
by donnainzone5 Yesterday at 12:13 pm

» Butterfly Junction
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 11:44 am

» Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave
by camprn Yesterday at 7:05 am

» Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans
by BeetlesPerSqFt 12/7/2016, 11:28 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals 12/7/2016, 10:43 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by Scorpio Rising 12/7/2016, 9:43 pm

» GF Collard Greens, Kale Recipes
by BeetlesPerSqFt 12/7/2016, 12:49 pm

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by sanderson 12/7/2016, 11:48 am

» Bon fires on the Levee
by Cajun Cappy 12/6/2016, 12:17 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:24 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:21 pm

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:15 pm

» Amaranth
by countrynaturals 12/5/2016, 12:06 pm

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee 12/5/2016, 9:08 am

» AtlantaMarie's Garden
by countrynaturals 12/4/2016, 2:04 pm

» Mychorrhizae Fungi
by audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/4/2016, 1:28 pm

» December 2016 Avatar: Show your Winter Season Colors!
by Scorpio Rising 12/3/2016, 11:17 pm

» SFG not giving the results I expected
by No_Such_Reality 12/3/2016, 7:21 pm

» New Member
by trolleydriver 12/3/2016, 4:14 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Starting Compost

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Starting Compost

Post  gardenertaylor on 10/22/2012, 10:46 am

Hi! I am brand, spankin' new to SFG. I'm almost done reading the book and I'm very excited to turn my black thumb into a green one! I plan to wait until spring to start my garden, but want to do whatever I can do right now to get started, hence, this compost post.

I have lots of food scraps to put in my compost. I have talked to some friends that compost and they say I don't want to use grass clippings or leaves in my compost. What do you all suggest? I'm certain you know more than they do. Very Happy

What are the best ingredients to use to get my compost started? Especially this time of year when things are cooling down in ID. (Maybe it's not worth doing right now?)

Thanks!

gardenertaylor

Female Posts : 72
Join date : 2012-10-21
Age : 42
Location : Boise, ID

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Starting Compost

Post  camprn on 10/22/2012, 11:59 am

@gardenertaylor wrote:

I have lots of food scraps to put in my compost. I have talked to some friends that compost and they say I don't want to use grass clippings or leaves in my compost.
Friends they are, but clearly they have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to composting!
@gardenertaylor wrote:
What are the best ingredients to use to get my compost started? Especially this time of year when things are cooling down in ID. (Maybe it's not worth doing right now?)

Thanks!
Do you have a place to start a compost pile? Collect kitchen scraps; Collect all the fallen leaves that you can, store them in hoop bins if necessary.
I am not going to reinvent the wheel here... Use the search feature at the bottom of the 'Latest Post' list on the left to find threads about composting. There is also a 'Compost' sub forum that can be found on the main page.
Welcome to the SFG Forum!

____________________________

40 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

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13984
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: Starting Compost

Post  gardenertaylor on 10/22/2012, 12:05 pm

I am picking up a 75 gallon SoilSaver from the City of Boise this week. I've already started collecting food scraps in a 5 gallon bucket. Should I bed the bottom of the composter with leaves and then mix in the food scraps? Would it be beneficial, since I'm starting this in Oct, to purchase some compost just to get things going? I just feel like I'm missing something.

gardenertaylor

Female Posts : 72
Join date : 2012-10-21
Age : 42
Location : Boise, ID

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Starting Compost

Post  camprn on 10/22/2012, 12:40 pm

@gardenertaylor wrote: Should I bed the bottom of the composter with leaves and then mix in the food scraps? Would it be beneficial, since I'm starting this in Oct, to purchase some compost just to get things going? I just feel like I'm missing something.
Please read some of the back threads, like' Are you a hottie', etc. You will find the information there.

____________________________

40 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

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13984
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: Starting Compost

Post  quiltbea on 10/22/2012, 12:51 pm

Gardenertaylor......Welcome to the forum. You'll find many folks here to help answer your questions about raised bed gardening. The best time to get started with your compost is now so it's ready for you in the spring.

Check out the "Latest Topics" in the lefthand column and find "Hmmmmm, Compost, compost...." and click on it. Its 2 recent pages on the subject with pics and info that might help. Then check out the search feature top left and write in 'compost' and you'll find many threads we've written on this forum regarding compost.

Then sit back and start your garden plan so you know what you'll be planting in those beds. You may change it a time or two....or ten, before spring, but its such fun to get started.


quiltbea

Female Posts : 4613
Join date : 2010-03-21
Age : 74
Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Starting Compost

Post  Turan on 10/22/2012, 12:58 pm

glad you\'re here to here Laughing

Fall is a wonderful time to get as big a compost pile going as you can get together. It can heat up now and then simmer along all winter and then be ready for you in the spring.

Starting a garden by first making a compost pile the season before is an excellent way to start. You will have very much alive compost to mix into your brand new beds.

I live a zone colder than you in Montana and my Fall pile is currently 110*F after just being turned.

Follow Camprns advice and research the compost threads and start your heaps!

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Belgrade, MT
Click for weather forecast

Turan

Female Posts : 1999
Join date : 2012-03-29
Location : Gallatin Valley, Montana, Intermountain zone 4

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Starting Compost

Post  yolos on 10/22/2012, 1:21 pm

The majority of what I make compost from are leaves and grass clippings. I do not know the exact reason your friend would tell you not to use leaves and grass clippings.

Leaves do take longer to decompose than some things. You can speed up the demcomposition by shredding them in a leaf shredder or run over them a few times with a mulching mower.

Grass clippings can be a problem if herbicides/pesticides were used on the grass. Also some types of grass, especially bermuda, if they get established in your garden are hard to get rid off. So you have to be careful (if you have bermuda) to get a hot compost pile working or make sure you do not get any bermuda runners/roots.

yolos

Female Posts : 2860
Join date : 2011-11-20
Age : 66
Location : Brooks, Ga Zone 7B/8A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Starting Compost

Post  plantoid on 10/22/2012, 4:11 pm

Hi Gardentaylor welcome to the site , I'm really chuffed that you have the book and have actually read it . The more you read it , the more you'll find things you missed first , fourth or tenth time around . It's like some one sneaks in at night and slips a couple of new paragraphs in the book whilst your asleep.

Perhaps some thing you could also do is start looking a bit more deeply at what the charts at the end of the book mean , especialy the first and last frost charts and what you grow & harvest during them . If your frost free read your seed packets. or obrain a free seed catalogue for your area .

That way things start to fall in to place as to what you might want to grow to eat.


I had a whole 18 months to play with before things were built for me and filled with MM . To stop getting cabin fever and going silly in the spring things were to be finished I made an excel spread sheet type chart of things .

After several redesigns due to me running a theoretical garden and finding I'd left things out the sheets I went and got it printed in 20 sheets of hard copy on heavy paper.
So all I had to do was write in the crop in each veg group ( brassica , legume , root , salad , glasshouse etc. ) and put in the sow & cropping periods in light colour felt tip , yellow for sown , pink for harvest . That way you can see at a glance what needs doing without having to try and rely on that thing called your brain .

Come the sowing date I just marked the date sown with " S " and also Marked the estimated date of harvest with " H" so I could ensure successional sowings of a few seeds at a time & keep harvesting for as long as possible .
I dare say that as things settle into an annual rythm of squarefoot gardening you will dispence with it all or come to rely on it even more like I do .

plantoid

Male Posts : 3636
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 65

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Starting Compost

Post  Triciasgarden on 10/22/2012, 8:36 pm

Welcome Gardenertaylor! Now is a great time to get your compost started and you can have it ready by Spring. Don't know why your friends said not to use leaves or grass, they are great for composting. Some suggested items to start gathering are leaves, grass clippings from lawns not treated, straw, horse manure, cow manure, chicken manure, rabbit poo, trimmings from plants (without seeds), fruit and vegetable trimmings, egg shells, coffee grounds and filters (you can go to Starbucks and they will give it to you for free), etc. Do not use meat, bones or poo from cats or dogs.

Start gathering as much as you can of each. For the leaves, get a pile and use your lawn mower to shred them before you add them to the compost pile. You will be layering the pile as browns and greens. I wanted to get you started on what to gather up. Gather more than you think you will need because as a compost pile decomposes, it shrinks. I know it may be lengthy, but reading from what others have suggested will help a lot. There is a university in I think it was California that has a site which teaches you how you can make compost fast, like 14 days. I just can't remember it right off hand. Someone else will probably be able to tell you. It isn't necessary to make it that fast though.

Triciasgarden

Female Posts : 1628
Join date : 2010-06-04
Age : 61
Location : Northern Utah

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Starting Compost

Post  gardenertaylor on 10/22/2012, 8:44 pm

Thanks everyone! What a great group of helpful, thoughtful people. Glad I found this forum. I can tell it's going to be indispensable over the next year as I start this journey. I look forward to learning a lot. And I mean A LOT. I will be picking up my composter Friday. In the meantime, I will be gathering, gathering, gathering my browns and greens. I can't wait to smell some fresh earth in the future. Very Happy

gardenertaylor

Female Posts : 72
Join date : 2012-10-21
Age : 42
Location : Boise, ID

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Starting Compost

Post  plantoid on 10/23/2012, 8:42 pm

use a search engine ...." Berkley 18 day hot composting " is the site .

plantoid

Male Posts : 3636
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 65

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Starting Compost

Post  Triciasgarden on 10/24/2012, 6:15 pm

That's it!

Triciasgarden

Female Posts : 1628
Join date : 2010-06-04
Age : 61
Location : Northern Utah

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Starting Compost

Post  jimmy cee on 2/16/2013, 9:36 pm

I use all the leaves I can find in my yard, and street.
Oak, Maple, Locust, Apple, Pear, and even Black Walnut leaves before I took the giant tree down.
I have been tossing all of my grass clippings in also, however I recently read grass clipping should be dried before adding to compost..
My pile isn't ready to go for about 9 months.

jimmy cee

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 1848
Join date : 2013-02-16
Age : 81
Location : Indiana PA....zone 5

View user profile http://www.jcjigs.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Starting Compost

Post  toledobend on 2/16/2013, 11:25 pm

In reference to letting the grass dry, I think it depends on how you use it. In my second pile using a 54" diameter 4' high cage, I had a pile of chopped leaves sitting next to the cage. I threw in a few inches of leaves into the cage, and then cut some grass using a bagging lawn mower. I then emptied the bag into the cage. I then threw in a few more inches of leaves and then cut some more grass and repeated the procedure until the cage was full. I then removed the cage (unclipped the ends and pulled it from around the pile) and placed it next to the pile and then, using a pitchfork, refilled the cage with the grass/leaf mix. This really helped mixing up the grass and leaves. I also threw in a scoop of chicken manure and a scoop of cow manure every few inches of grass/leaf mix. I had a five gallon bucket of each type of manure. I turned the pile almost every week. I just unclip the cage and move it next to the pile and refill it. The temperature of the pile got to 160 degrees in a couple of days. The first pile I made, I mowed the grass and kept dumping it into a pile until I finished mowing. I created the compost pile by layering the grass and leaves, but the grass stayed clumped up through many turnings of the pile. Doing the mixing while cutting grass like I did in the second pile, mixed it up a lot better and I didn't have any clumping like I did with the first pile

toledobend

Posts : 95
Join date : 2012-02-13
Location : West Central Louisiana

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Starting Compost

Post  yolos on 2/17/2013, 12:13 am

I also use fresh grass clippings mixed thoroughly with my shredded leaves. If they are not dried and are left in a layer in the compost pile without mixing they do clump together because of their moisture content.

Drying the grass removes water but does not change the C:N ratio. Some Nitrogen will be lost to the atmosphere, but not much.

So do it either way, dry or not dry.

yolos

Female Posts : 2860
Join date : 2011-11-20
Age : 66
Location : Brooks, Ga Zone 7B/8A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Starting Compost

Post  Pepper on 2/17/2013, 6:58 am

If you use grass MAKE SURE IT DID NOT HAVE "WEED AND FEED" ADDED TO IT!!!!!!! This has a pre-emergent(sp) weed killer that HURTS plant growth. Chemical fertilizers are also a 'no-no' for "organic" status.
Not meant to critize ...just sayin.

Pepper

Male Posts : 564
Join date : 2012-03-04
Location : Columbus, Ga

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Starting Compost

Post  Kelejan on 2/17/2013, 8:04 am

@Pepper wrote:If you use grass MAKE SURE IT DID NOT HAVE "WEED AND FEED" ADDED TO IT!!!!!!! This has a pre-emergent(sp) weed killer that HURTS plant growth. Chemical fertilizers are also a 'no-no' for "organic" status.
Not meant to critize ...just sayin.
Agree Pepper. I get my grass from three sources; my own and two neighbours. None of us use anything other than water. I generally allow my own clippings to remain on the lawn.

Kelejan

Female Posts : 4502
Join date : 2011-04-24
Age : 81
Location : Castlegar, British Columbia

View user profile http://www.castlegarinkspot.ca

Back to top Go down

Re: Starting Compost

Post  camprn on 2/17/2013, 8:20 am

@jimmy cee wrote:I have been tossing all of my grass clippings in also, however I recently read grass clipping should be dried before adding to compost..
My pile isn't ready to go for about 9 months.
The grass doesn't have to be dried before putting the clippings into the compost pile, however if you do add fresh clippings, take a clump and shake it around the top of the pile. It is best to avoid lumps and clumps of the clippings as those will tend to become slimy.

If after mowing the lawn I have too many clippings to add to the compost pile at once I do put them in a separate pile (where they do dry) and add them intermittently as the pile grows. What a Face

____________________________

40 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

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13984
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: Starting Compost

Post  Sponsored content Today at 8:33 am


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