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 sanderson Today at 12:14 pm

» Happy Birthday!!
by sanderson Today at 12:05 pm

» Anyone out there tried crosne tubers?
by sanderson Today at 11:52 am

» New England, December 2016
by CapeCoddess Today at 11:32 am

» California's Drought
by countrynaturals Today at 11:21 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

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

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

» 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

Cover compost bins ???

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Cover compost bins ???

Post  jimmy cee on 3/18/2013, 11:00 pm

I have two-- 4x4 ft compost bins, 1 is full and hopefully working.
Open to rain and snow I am wondering if I should throw a cover over them
to keep rain from creating excessive moisture ?
A cover that would be easily accessed and keep rain water off to the sides.
Of course I'll maintain watch to make sure it doesn't dry out..
I turn them every few days

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: Cover compost bins ???

Post  yolos on 3/18/2013, 11:31 pm

I also have a 4 x 4 compost bin made out of pallets. I hill the top a little bit and put a piece of plastic over the very top. I leave the sides exposed to the rain. The sides of the bin dry out easily so I leave them exposed to absorb some water when it rains. The plastic on the top keeps the inside from getting too moist. I do not have to contend with snow so I do not know how that affects the operation. But if it gets too wet, it will mess up decomposition. Of course I only have one year of experience and don't really know what I am doing.

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: Cover compost bins ???

Post  jimmy cee on 3/19/2013, 8:10 am

Good point
Yolos
I think I'll follow your method, edges almost always seem to be drier.
It will be like a top hat for my compost pile.. Very Happy

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: Cover compost bins ???

Post  camprn on 3/19/2013, 8:14 am

I never cover the compost pile to prevent rain from getting in. If I lived in the Pacific Northwest where it rains so much of the time I may consider it but otherwise a bit of rain is a good thing. Save on my water bill.

____________________________

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: Cover compost bins ???

Post  jimmy cee on 3/19/2013, 8:23 am

A bit of rain as you mention is fine camprn, however we sometimes have deluges and our yard turns into a temporary swamp.
It dries out in a couple of days, although the compost pile will hold most of that moisture.
I am liking that idea of a little hat on the top...maybe I can make one, a real top hat... Very Happy

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: Cover compost bins ???

Post  camprn on 3/19/2013, 8:32 am

@jimmy cee wrote:A bit of rain as you mention is fine camprn, however we sometimes have deluges and our yard turns into a temporary swamp.
It dries out in a couple of days, although the compost pile will hold most of that moisture.
I am liking that idea of a little hat on the top...maybe I can make one, a real top hat... Very Happy
But if you are turning the pile a lot I don't see how this would be a problem as you are getting air into the pile. The reality is that if you are doing long term, leave it alone composting it really wont make a difference is you have enough carbon (browns). If you are doing a hot pile, the rain water, unless you get 5+ inches in a few hours, will not make that big a difference, especially if when you turn it over and there is a slope to the top of the pile.
IMHO 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: Cover compost bins ???

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/19/2013, 9:25 am

@jimmy cee wrote:A bit of rain ...snip...is fine, however we sometimes have deluges and our yard turns into a temporary swamp.
It dries out in a couple of days, although the compost pile will hold most of that moisture.
I am liking that idea of a little hat on the top...maybe I can make one, a real top hat... Very Happy
We get that in western Washington. By-by heat! Hello really heavy, wet compost. I am in the habit of doing cylinder-shaped compost heaps. Usually a garbage can lid is enough to keep the center dry and warm. I like to make a big cylinder of hog wire so there is plenty of air circulation but days and days of cold rain puts a stop to everything (even snow doesn't cool it down like one to two inches of daily rain for 10 or more days). The other thing I've done is plastic garbage bags which tuck in nicely (wind is seldom a problem but when it kicks up things do fly) I collect bags of leaves in fall, saving about a third of them for spring/early summer when the rain is the worst. After running the leaves through the lawn mower, I like to add a bag of leaves to the compost when I turn it. The bag goes on top of the pile. By mid July, the PNW dries up enough to find another use for the bags.

Whatever you do, covered or not, enjoy the process.

Lavender Debs

Posts : 2054
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 59
Location : Everett, WA USA

View user profile http://songs-of-coming-rain.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Cover compost bins ???

Post  plantoid on 3/19/2013, 4:12 pm

@jimmy cee wrote:I have two-- 4x4 ft compost bins, 1 is full and hopefully working.
Open to rain and snow I am wondering if I should throw a cover over them
to keep rain from creating excessive moisture ?
A cover that would be easily accessed and keep rain water off to the sides.
Of course I'll maintain watch to make sure it doesn't dry out..
I turn them every few days

Jimmy ,
The action of composting is to rot the materials , so by covering to hold in moisture will retain not only moisture neded for the action but also retains the heat of the heap and this inturn assists the moist conditions to become optimum rotting humidity temps for mould & bacteria production .

I strongly suspect( after reading the Berkley 18 day hot composting method ) that a covered frrequently turned heap will give you much superior compost with more of the nutrients N ,P& K along with micro nutrients than an uncovered left alone heap will .

plantoid

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

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cover compost bins ???

Post  jimmy cee on 3/19/2013, 9:50 pm

Plantoid
I like your idea

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: Cover compost bins ???

Post  Gunny on 3/19/2013, 10:48 pm

Dave, that may be true, but I think climatic conditions would affect the out come. Say an area where you have high heat (yep, my place) and humidity during the summer, I don't see where a cover would add anything to the mix. I have one bin that was turned this morning, I had not messed with it for a couple of weeks except to spray down the outside, I don't mean hose it down, just a lite spray. When I got near the lower part of that pile I saw it had gone over to the microbes with the black hats. Mind you this an open cage and the pile is 122 cm diameter and 160 cm high. It is composed of hay, wood chips, green yard waste, kitchen scraps, dry ancient leaves, some already composted manure, and some then fresh manure when first built. I truthfully didn't have time to play with it with all the other stuff going on here. The top part and sides were dry, not the middle or the bottom. Covering it in this instance would probably had the neighbors complaining and they are not that close. So I am afraid I will have to agree to disagree with covered piles down here. Maybe in a colder time of the year they would be appropriate, but not when daytime temps are pushing 40C. Big Smile.

Gunny

Male Posts : 158
Join date : 2013-02-01
Age : 70
Location : Zone 10a Elev. 100' +/- 5'

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cover compost bins ???

Post  plantoid on 3/20/2013, 6:14 am

Yes in extreme temps the excessive heat will be too much for the microbes and fungi. It will sterilize them when much above 155 oF so in your sand pit of an oven area things will likely be quite different from the rest of the world wrt composting .

Keep notes adn bunbg them up on here Gunny, there are bound to be lots of others in your situation who'd just love to stand on the shoulders of composting giants who've been through the mine field and survived.

plantoid

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

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cover compost bins ???

Post  yolos on 3/20/2013, 9:21 am

The information I found said to put your bin in the shade of a tree that will loose its leaves in the winter. It gets the shade in the summer and then the leaves are gone in the winter and it will get more sun to help keep the pile warmer. But looks like you area is a little devoid of trees Gunny. Of course if you put it too close to the tree you will also get roots in the compost bin.

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: Cover compost bins ???

Post  Sponsored content Today at 12:21 pm


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