Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

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.


[/td][/tr][/table]
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» has55's R & D Journey;State of New Mexico research results. Understanding the delivery system of plant nutrients thru the fungal and bacteria ratio
by has55 Today at 1:28 pm

» homemade vermicomposting/Worm Casting Compost Sifters
by has55 Today at 1:14 pm

» New Green House
by donnainzone5 Today at 1:10 pm

» Other Gardening Books!
by CapeCoddess Today at 12:44 pm

» Healthy Meals
by camprn Today at 12:23 pm

» Zucchini Tower
by RC3291 Today at 12:18 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2017?
by Mimi2 Today at 12:15 pm

» Jaffa's garden - year one
by Mimi2 Today at 11:45 am

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals Today at 10:41 am

» Ants.
by sanderson Today at 3:17 am

» Amaranth
by countrynaturals Today at 12:04 am

» Feedback for my 2017 garden plan
by mlpii66 Yesterday at 11:55 pm

» My first SFGs in 11 years
by phoeg Yesterday at 10:50 pm

» N & C Midwest: April 2017!
by CitizenKate Yesterday at 9:50 pm

» Kombucha
by RoOsTeR Yesterday at 8:53 pm

» Hello from SE Michigan
by Cindy G Yesterday at 8:14 pm

» Ideas needed
by mlpii66 Yesterday at 7:48 pm

» New England April 2017
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 7:03 pm

» Garlic Growing Lovers
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 7:00 pm

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 3:12 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by newbeone Yesterday at 2:15 pm

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 2:10 pm

» Mustard Greens
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:06 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania, 3rd year SFG
by sanderson Yesterday at 1:58 pm

» Double summer squash flower
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 12:20 pm

» Garden Progress in Georgia
by yolos Yesterday at 12:10 pm

» who has chickens
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 11:09 am

» Hello from Chino, CA (Zone 10a)
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 8:31 am

» EWWWWW.........bugs and stuff...good or not so good?
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 8:23 am

» Carrot Week 2017!
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 8:17 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

How do I know if I have completed compost

View previous topic View next topic Go down

How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  bvarbel on 2/8/2013, 5:01 pm

I live in Southern California. I've been building my pile since November or so. The pile is not the recommended 3'-4' even though the container is.

I just went out there...I kinda forgot about it. Everything is very dark brown and smells so sweet and earthy. I never did find out if the pile was heating up but it looks kinda nice. There are bits of food throughout. I've added heaps of coffee grounds--like a cup of them a day.

I'm worried that it looks nice because the highest percentage of what I've added has been coffee ground. Like I said it smells, not like rotting food or coffee grounds but sweet and earthy...and the black soil loosely crumbles in my finger tips--not like a clump of coffee grounds.

I have never made compost, but I'm gearing for spring planting and I want to try to make use of what I have...It looks like I might even have enough to start my first 4' x 4' SF garden.

If anyone knows what to do with this neat experiment, please let me know.

Thank you.
avatar
bvarbel

Male Posts : 42
Join date : 2013-01-15
Age : 40
Location : Victorville, High Desert, Southern California

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  plantoid on 2/8/2013, 5:18 pm

Turn it every few days and see it if heats up abit using yiour hand on stuff out the middle of the heap . Don't let it dry out , keep it moist and covered not only to retain moisture but also any heat generated .
If it heats to say 100 oF plus the pile is not composted enough . If it won't rise above the local air temp at the third or fourth turning is should just about be ready to use.
You should not be able to identify any of the original matter being composted save for a few pieces hard wood twigs or bigger bits of wood
avatar
plantoid

Male Posts : 3687
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Compost

Post  bvarbel on 2/8/2013, 5:27 pm

I turn it every 5 or 6 days. I can't recognize most of it except for last couple weeks additions--like I had a 10lb bag of rotten potatos I chopped up and added...little bits are there. When I turn it I always take a shovel and chop anything I see in there to even smaller pieces.

I've been doing this for 3 months. I started after grass went dormant so I don't have a lot of bulk. Mostly leaves, kitchen waste, coffee grounds, egg shells, pork fat, grease from hamburgers, chicken blood, and doggie doo doo.

Ok I'm just checking to see if you are reading...only plant material and rinsed eggshells.

I every time I stick my hand in there it feels room temp...I've never caught it hot, though the way it looks I suspect it might have.
avatar
bvarbel

Male Posts : 42
Join date : 2013-01-15
Age : 40
Location : Victorville, High Desert, Southern California

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  Kelejan on 2/8/2013, 6:40 pm

Sad


Last edited by Kelejan on 2/8/2013, 6:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Kelejan

Female Posts : 4791
Join date : 2011-04-24
Age : 82
Location : Castlegar, British Columbia

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

Back to top Go down

Re: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  Kelejan on 2/8/2013, 6:42 pm

@bvarbel wrote:. . .

I've been doing this for 3 months. I started after grass went dormant so I don't have a lot of bulk. Mostly leaves, kitchen waste, coffee grounds, egg shells, pork fat, grease from hamburgers, chicken blood, and doggie doo doo.

Ok I'm just checking to see if you are reading...only plant material and rinsed eggshells.
I wonder how many of us were about to jump on you. Very Happy
avatar
Kelejan

Female Posts : 4791
Join date : 2011-04-24
Age : 82
Location : Castlegar, British Columbia

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

Back to top Go down

compost

Post  bvarbel on 2/8/2013, 6:55 pm

Kelejan, I hope my sense of humor wasn't misguided. I actually can't believe how active this forum is. Lots of great tips and advice.
avatar
bvarbel

Male Posts : 42
Join date : 2013-01-15
Age : 40
Location : Victorville, High Desert, Southern California

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  camprn on 2/8/2013, 6:57 pm

If it is not hot, smells good and you can barely identify things in the compost, it's ready to use! I love you
Put it in the garden, the worms will take care of the rest! What a Face

____________________________

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 : 14112
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: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  quiltbea on 2/8/2013, 7:24 pm

camprn.....
+1
avatar
quiltbea

Female Posts : 4629
Join date : 2010-03-21
Age : 75
Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  Kelejan on 2/9/2013, 2:30 am

@bvarbel wrote:Kelejan, I hope my sense of humor wasn't misguided. I actually can't believe how active this forum is. Lots of great tips and advice.
Not at all, bvarbel. I must admit it took me a couple of seconds to clue in, lol.
This is a wonderful forum, almost like a second home now and I log in almost every day, several times.
avatar
Kelejan

Female Posts : 4791
Join date : 2011-04-24
Age : 82
Location : Castlegar, British Columbia

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

Back to top Go down

Re: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  Pollinator on 2/9/2013, 9:27 am

Compost is an active thing, and technically, it's never done. If it smells nice and earthy, is crumbly and dark, use it. The microscopic life will continue in your soil and that's good.

We could just add all those compostables right back to the soil - and they would break down over a longer time period. The main reason we don't is that many of the materials will temporarily rob nitrogen in order to break down - and that would deny our crop an essential nutrient.

Oh, yeah, and the composting process contains the smells and the somewhat nasty appearance of garbage breaking down.
avatar
Pollinator

Male Posts : 445
Join date : 2012-06-23
Location : Coastal SC

View user profile http://gardensouth.org

Back to top Go down

Re: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  Pollinator on 2/9/2013, 9:30 am

@bvarbel wrote:Kelejan, I hope my sense of humor wasn't misguided. I actually can't believe how active this forum is. Lots of great tips and advice.

Well you had me there on the hamburger grease. It would eventually break down - but every dog in the neighborhood would be visiting and tearing up your compost pile...
avatar
Pollinator

Male Posts : 445
Join date : 2012-06-23
Location : Coastal SC

View user profile http://gardensouth.org

Back to top Go down

Re: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  plantoid on 2/9/2013, 3:58 pm

@bvarbel wrote:Kelejan, I hope my sense of humor wasn't misguided. I actually can't believe how active this forum is. Lots of great tips and advice.


I thought your post was funny.. Ha Ha not peculiar Laughing

Actually chicken blood would help activate a heap especially if it was diluted .. ( Feathers are OK as well ).

In days long gone when a woman had a child all the blood and afterbirth would be put in a hole and a tree sapling or seed set on top . That tree was usaully very special to the mum and that child. The same with the ladies monthly cycle , all cloths were rinsed out and the water put on the tree or a plant that gave food or drugs .
Blood has a high nitrogen content , you can buy dried blood as a garden additive . dried fish , blood and bone meal in another garden enhancer .

Basic NPK values for dried ( mixed slaughterhouse ) blood are N 12.0 % , P 1.0 % , K 0.75 % . It is very quick acting
avatar
plantoid

Male Posts : 3687
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  camprn on 2/9/2013, 5:51 pm

I use dried blood as an activator in the compost pile, just a little goes a long way. I also use it by lightly sprinkling it on all beds with leafy greens, cabbages and Brussels sprouts.

____________________________

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 : 14112
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: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  Triciasgarden on 2/9/2013, 7:03 pm

@bvarbel wrote:Mostly leaves, kitchen waste, coffee grounds, egg shells, pork fat, grease from hamburgers, chicken blood, and doggie doo doo.

Ok I'm just checking to see if you are reading...only plant material and rinsed eggshells.


rofl I started to cring on the pork fat and by the time i got to doggie doo doo, I was feeling really bad for you that your compost may have been ruined! I was trying to think of a nice way to tell you how you shouldn't have used those things and hoping someone else took on that responsibility so I wouldn't have to burst your bubble, lol! Boy I was so glad it was a joke! That was great!
avatar
Triciasgarden

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

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  bvarbel on 2/9/2013, 7:20 pm

Yeah, maybe I went too far...I'm a very nice guy with bit of a twisted sense of humor.

Truth is I'm SOOOOOO excited about this new(ish) SF Gardening book and my nicely developing compost pile. Pretty quick here I'm going to buy the wood and soil and build 3 of these gardens.

I'm 36, and in the 80's when I was a young kid my parents had the old book. Coupled from info from the show that used to air on PBS I think we had an old style SF garden. That experience inspired me to love plants.

I hope I have enough of a green thumb to pull it off...I just nearly killed a rosmary house plant on my kitchen window sill, but I think I can really do this.

All the extra net frames and covers you can build have me overwhelmed...but hey I live in Southern CA...Our growing season is already longer.
avatar
bvarbel

Male Posts : 42
Join date : 2013-01-15
Age : 40
Location : Victorville, High Desert, Southern California

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  plantoid on 2/9/2013, 7:44 pm

There is a totally new book... released a few days ago , be certain to look out for it. It is apparently way ahead of even the fantastic second edition in which Mel dropped the idea of using mother earth .


My copy is due to be issued from Amazon UK & sent on 22 Feb 2013. cheers
avatar
plantoid

Male Posts : 3687
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  bnoles on 2/9/2013, 8:27 pm

@plantoid wrote:There is a totally new book... released a few days ago , be certain to look out for it. It is apparently way ahead of even the fantastic second edition in which Mel dropped the idea of using mother earth .


My copy is due to be issued from Amazon UK & sent on 22 Feb 2013. cheers

Hi David.... could you please provide more details on this book. I am not aware of it.

Thanks!

bnoles

Male Posts : 804
Join date : 2012-08-16
Location : North GA Mountains Zone 7A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  Triciasgarden on 2/9/2013, 9:13 pm

Bvarbel you fit in just fine here! I don't think there is anyone who hasn't killed a plant or two at some time or other so I am sure you will do great with your garden! You do have a wonder long growing season!

I haven't gotten to the netting to keep insects out myself yet and have to do more reading before I get started.

When things slow down a bit, you may want to think about some sort of shade cloth for when your temps get into the high 90s and the 100s there in the high desert but you have quite awhile before you have to think about that! There are people who have posted what they use and how they set up their shade cloth.
avatar
Triciasgarden

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

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How do I know if I have completed compost

Post  camprn on 2/9/2013, 9:17 pm

@bnoles wrote:
@plantoid wrote:There is a totally new book... released a few days ago , be certain to look out for it. It is apparently way ahead of even the fantastic second edition in which Mel dropped the idea of using mother earth .


My copy is due to be issued from Amazon UK & sent on 22 Feb 2013. cheers

Hi David.... could you please provide more details on this book. I am not aware of it.

Thanks!
I think Dave has hit the hay in the UK.

I think he is referring to the second edition of the All New Square Foot Gardening book.

____________________________

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 : 14112
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: How do I know if I have completed 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