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18 cubic feet of compost

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18 cubic feet of compost

Post  toledobend on 2/16/2013, 10:26 pm

For those who are interested in the quantity of how much compost comes from a 14' long 4' high piece of 2"x4" metal fence material made into a 55" diameter cage, I ended up with 18 cubic feet of sifted compost. I used 8 cubic feet in two new 4'x4' x 7 1/4" boxes last September and have bagged the rest in dog food bags. A 50 pound dog food bag will hold 2 cubic feet of compost. I used leaves, grass, a five gallon bucket of chicken manure, a five gallon bucket of cow manure, about 6 months of kitchen waste, and a little bit of weeds from the lake. Everything grew very well this winter (mustard greens, turnip greens, 3 types of spinach, lettuce, lambs lettuce, carrots, and arugula). I still can not grow spinach in my original 4x13 garden where I used store bought composts. They just shrivel and die (both the plants from the store and those grown from seed).
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Re: 18 cubic feet of compost

Post  wncsohn on 2/17/2013, 4:38 pm

Interesting!

I feel like your example shows why home-made is better Wink

I'm working on my own pile(s) now and hope to have at least one completed pile come my last frost date in a few more weeks!

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Re: 18 cubic feet of compost

Post  Gunny on 2/18/2013, 4:02 pm

Maybe I am going about composting horse manure all wrong. I start with a layer of mesquite pods and leaves that I raked up from under the trees followed by a layer of old hay followed by horse manure with hay and keep going until the bin is full then wet it down. Wait until the temp comes up and let it go for a couple of weeks then wet it down again. So far everything is cooking. Now my big question is: Do I figure the horse manure as green or brown? If everything I've done so far is good I will have about ten times more compost than Toledoben. Now to figure out what to plant in it Laughing
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Re: 18 cubic feet of compost

Post  plantoid on 2/18/2013, 5:12 pm

Gunny using hay is likely to see you grow weeds ...did you mean straw ?

To kill hay and other seeds you'll need to aireate it. Usually done most effectively by forking it about to entrain fresh oxygen in the heap so the bacteria & moulds can use the oxygen to produce enough heat to sterilize the seeds.

In the" Berkley 18 day hot composting method " at Cornel University they give horse manure as 18 :1 so I'd say that they say it is a brown .

What they don't say is whether it is neat horse dung , or stable floor muck .. dung & urine wetted straw beddings .

The term manure is a wee bit too general for me , I tend to think that the stable muck only became manure when it had been taken out the stable and piled on dung heap to brew for a five or more.

Then in late autumn or early spring it was carted from the dung heap as thing called manure to be spread on the fields or gardens .
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Re: 18 cubic feet of compost

Post  Gunny on 2/19/2013, 2:35 am

@plantoid wrote:Gunny using hay is likely to see you grow weeds ...did you mean straw ?

In the" Berkley 18 day hot composting method " at Cornel University they give horse manure as 18 :1 so I'd say that they say it is a brown .


The hay we use at the ranch is alfalfa and/or Bermuda grass hay. We use no straw whatever.

Well whatever I'm doing is working, because I'm getting temperatures of over the 160 F mark on my 20" thermometers. If Cornel calls the dung brown then there is no green in my compost bins and they shouldn't be cooking. The alfalfa hay is really old stuff and there isn't that much Bermuda hay in the mix. Oh well, back to the drawing board on this one. One thing I will say about my composting operation is "If it works, don't fix it." This is something I learned while I was operating MARS radio stations and had to chase the techs away from my gear because once they did a fix the gear never worked the way it should and it would take me forever to unfix it so I could operate my HF radios. Who knows, I may have stubled on an all brown composting method. Cheers,
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Re: 18 cubic feet of compost

Post  Lindacol on 2/19/2013, 2:38 pm

Almost every list I have looked at lists alfalfa and manure (at least when fresh) both as greens. Gunny, I would say your compost is doing fine. It is similar to mine - at large part of mine is goat manure and alfalfa. It will be better for our gardens if we can add other things such as leaves, fruit & veggie waste, used coffee grounds and tea bags, peanut shells, shredded paper, urine, egg shells etc.
Most alfalfa is baled per-bloom so seeds are not a concern and processing in a hot compost pile should kill most seeds anyway.


Last edited by Lindacol on 2/19/2013, 2:38 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add info)
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Re: 18 cubic feet of compost

Post  wncsohn on 2/20/2013, 9:12 am

@Lindacol wrote:Almost every list I have looked at lists alfalfa and manure (at least when fresh) both as greens. Gunny, I would say your compost is doing fine. It is similar to mine - at large part of mine is goat manure and alfalfa. It will be better for our gardens if we can add other things such as leaves, fruit & veggie waste, used coffee grounds and tea bags, peanut shells, shredded paper, urine, egg shells etc.
Most alfalfa is baled per-bloom so seeds are not a concern and processing in a hot compost pile should kill most seeds anyway.

x2
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Re: 18 cubic feet of compost

Post  Gunny on 2/20/2013, 10:30 am

The scraps from the gally are in a different bin. The station is for the manure mix. I have a pile about 11'x16' that is pure mix. I try to get the folks to through the stuff on top, but some don't have the gumption and it winds up on the sides and not very far above ground level so I spend a lot of time moving it. Maybe I should join the local manure movers union lol!
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Re: 18 cubic feet of compost

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