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Working piles...can they be used ???

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Working piles...can they be used ???

Post  jimmy cee on 3/1/2013, 10:13 pm

I have a couple of piles of compost that are working.
No heat as I just turned the entire pile over
There was quite a lot of loose material that looked good.

Can I use the nice fine if I screen it.??????

I just picked up 6 bags of vermiculite, peat moss is coming
so I need to find a supply of compost, this one pile will be ready in summer,
not early enough for me to use now unless I can strain some of it.
Then add it to me 5 types.
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Re: Working piles...can they be used ???

Post  floyd1440 on 3/2/2013, 6:03 am

hey Jimmie...

Being close to you I have a couple of pile going too but they are not ready even though when I turned the material is much finer. Could be wrong but I think it is due to the constant freezing and thawing plus time has broken down my piles. This is good as when they do heat up they should turn into finished compost sooner when things heat up a little outside
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Re: Working piles...can they be used ???

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/2/2013, 8:21 am

jimmy cee wrote:I have a couple of piles of compost that are working.
No heat as I just turned the entire pile over
There was quite a lot of loose material that looked good.

Can I use the nice fine if I screen it.??????

I just picked up 6 bags of vermiculite, peat moss is coming
so I need to find a supply of compost, this one pile will be ready in summer,
not early enough for me to use now unless I can strain some of it.
Then add it to me 5 types.

Screened compost does not equal finished compost Smile
Lots of times however, there is some decent finished compost at the bottom of piles that can be used if you can separate it. I have used my compost before when it's just slightly underdone Shocked with no issues but you didn't here that from me.
The best thing to do is wait. I don't screen or strain my compost either. I've found that it mixes in just fine and any clumps disappear quickly. YMMV.

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Re: Working piles...can they be used ???

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/2/2013, 8:51 am

RoOsTeR wrote: ...snip.... I have used my compost before when it's just slightly underdone Shocked with no issues ...snip...
I use it that way all the time. I call it, "Time Released" It is still better than anything you can get from a plastic bag.
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Post  Hardcoir on 3/2/2013, 11:18 am

If the microbes in the unfinished compost break down the nitrogen in the greens and turn it into compost, will they do the same thing to the roots of your plants?

Your compost will be much more valuable when it is finished, so I would consider not using it until it is ready.

I know what you are going through. I have tons of unfinished compost here, and not enough finished compost to use on all my spaces. As soon as it warms up a bit this AM, we are headed out to buy humus, hen poop, worm castings, mushroom compost, lobster compost, and cow poop. We will add this to our homemade compost and then wait for all the unfinished compost to finish, which should be done in two or three months. It will be ready for the late summer plantings.
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Re: Working piles...can they be used ???

Post  Turan on 3/2/2013, 1:51 pm

First..... compost is a process as well as a noun. You want it processed enough to be beneficial to your plants. The processing will continue until it is basically peat (humus). Different plants can thrive in compost at different levels of composting.

I routinely plant squash and melons on the compost pile that has finished the heating up and being turned course. That compost will then be added to the beds after the squash is done in the fall.

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Re: Working piles...can they be used ???

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/2/2013, 3:51 pm

Hardcoir wrote:If the microbes in the unfinished compost break down the nitrogen in the greens and turn it into compost, will they do the same thing to the roots of your plants?...snip...
I've never noticed any problem that way. Birds, cats and slugs are a problem but not the wigglers in compost. ....have you had a problem with that?
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Re: Working piles...can they be used ???

Post  plantoid on 3/3/2013, 4:04 pm

Hardcoir wrote:If the microbes in the unfinished compost break down the nitrogen in the greens and turn it into compost, will they do the same thing to the roots of your plants?

Your compost will be much more valuable when it is finished, so I would consider not using it until it is ready.

I know what you are going through. I have tons of unfinished compost here, and not enough finished compost to use on all my spaces. As soon as it warms up a bit this AM, we are headed out to buy humus, hen poop, worm castings, mushroom compost, lobster compost, and cow poop. We will add this to our homemade compost and then wait for all the unfinished compost to finish, which should be done in two or three months. It will be ready for the late summer plantings.



Hardcoir ,
perhaps this basic simple explanation is food for thought .

Initially the microbes use the nitrogen along with oxgen in the decaying material to produce more microbes and fungi food.

As the material reaches tip point in the decay cycle the microbes stop consuming the nitrogen and start producing it .
As the compost cycle progresses various nutrients are released from the decaying material , some new things are also created via bicrobial and fungal action .


In the form of moisture or as deposits these are absorbed or attached to the dry fibres of the composted materials , the peat and the vermiculite . The hair roots of the plants then drink the nutirents from the moisture on the fibres , peat and vermiculite & also take in oxygen from the MM .
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