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Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  sanderson on 6/25/2013, 9:28 pm

Whole Foods! Thanks for the tip.

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  BrianDorry55 on 6/26/2013, 10:58 am

I will definitely call back...but I can't see myself running to Sarasota any time soon anyways...I go to Fort Myers pretty often to see the future in-laws, so hopefully I can stop in at the Sarasota Whole Foods on one of those ventures.

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  llama momma on 6/26/2013, 3:09 pm

Brian, you were asking if anyone uses one manure source. I do and it's llama manure. Certainly use it as 20% of my compost. The worm castings are technically manure too but used in very small amts.

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  BrianDorry55 on 6/26/2013, 4:03 pm

Is there a reason that worm castings are only used in small amounts besides the price factor?

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  BrianDorry55 on 6/26/2013, 4:04 pm

@llama momma wrote:Brian, you were asking if anyone uses one manure source.  I do and it's llama manure.  Certainly use it as 20% of my compost.  The worm castings are technically manure too but used in very small amts.

What is the other 80% of your compost comprised of? That's the big problem Im having...

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  walshevak on 6/26/2013, 4:14 pm

@boffer wrote:For six years I thought I was making MM correctly with great results.  So I was surprised when I first read the link that Donna posted.  My  big compost pile is at least 5 cubic yards, and I use or give away most of it every year. There's no way I can easily get the the volume I want without multiple manure composts.  

Horse, cow, and chicken manure make up half.  Grass, leaves, and mushroom compost make up the other half.  I compost veggie scraps and plants, but they don't make near the volume I need for the big pile, so they get added in as a 7th ingredient for the compost that I re-plentish each square with.  It's not by the book, but it works for me.

Me too Boffer. And all of mine has been commercial pig, cow, and chicken plus humus and what ever else I could buy until this year. I'm convinced the high content of commercial animal manures is what allowed the store bought stuff to work. Used the same mix at my son's house and got great results. Found a source of Llama poo this spring and topped off all his beds. Plan to bring some back with me when I next visit him and top dress my beds.

My compost pile has horse and cow manures plus straw, grass, veggies, coffee grounds, leaves, pine straw, egg shells. I have no idea what the percentage is, I just throw it all in. Will add llama and maybe cotton boll compost to the pile (if I can get some help).

I use my worm castings to make compost tea. Casting are not that plentiful.

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  No_Such_Reality on 6/26/2013, 6:21 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:Brian,

You may wish to refer to the posts regarding composts under the header "Mel's Soap Box."  I inquired about this subject, and Mel's replies can be found there.

Unfortunately, Mel kind of contradicts himself on that one, however, I think part of is the use of the word, manure. Manure means raw manure, it isn't compost. It's a compost input.  So when Mel says different manures are one ingredient, I would interpret that as raw manures.  He's very clear about finding multiple different sources of blended compost.  

If you look at the store, the Chicken Manure bag maybe - Chickity Doo Doo - basically pellet chicken manure, or it may be (in my case, orange bag outside) Chicken Manure Compost (in small letters) and the label clearly says, chicken manure and bedding compost.  

Likewise, my stores have steer manure blend (and the ingredients are composted steer manure and blended compost. While other nursery centers have bags of "Steer Manure" - raw 100% steer manure.
 
So can you count five different raw manures as your five MM composts?  No, you actually have no compost, you have five fertilizers.

However, I would treat the bag of blended steer manure compost as one type, chicken manure (&bedding) compost as another, the bag of blended forest products as a third, the bag of hot composted horse manure, stable muck and bedding as the fourth, and go with a mix of either mushroom or another forest product blend bag with a little raw manure/worm castings to juice the mix and help with the woody nature of some of the bagged forest products.

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  plantoid on 6/26/2013, 6:47 pm

@BrianDorry55 wrote:Ok thanks for the clarification guys...seems like one of those things that you just have to do a little digging on...

When I called my closest local nursery like a month ago to ask if they had any organic composts they said yes they have mushroom compost...I called back yesterday to ask them what the compost consisted of and the guys said "It's 100% mushroom"...I guess I would be better off finding out what source its from.

Years ago when I trained to be a production manager at a local mushroom farm here in the UK  the favoured formula for mushroom compost was
Clean  chopped wheat straw  pure cobbles of  horse muck , neat chicken or neat turkey muck  , gypsum and water. It got mixed every other day till the ammonia & co2 levels dropped to a  ( depends on temperatures) or reached  certain level then was aged another week before being put in the beds and ,inoculated with mushroom spawn then  capped in a sterile John Innes fine quality made up friable soil .
Once the beds had cropped twice the beds were considered spent , The capping's were sterilized chemically to kill off spawn  ,were taken off 7 sold to garden centres and the big bag soil suppliers etc.

The spent straw and manure mix was sold locally on garage forecourt's and sold in 50 tonne lots to the local farmers and garden centres as well as nurserymen and landscaping contractors etc.

Of late I believe that it has become the norm to buy in 40 tonne lorry loads of mushroom compost that is commercially produced at establishments  well disconnected from the mushroom farms  as ready made plastic bags of ready to go sterile mushroom compost and capping that have the spawn already added .. the mushroom farmer just has to open the bag roll back the top so the capping is about 3/4 inch below the rim and water it .

This compost for the mushrooms  is made similar to the above but also usually  has humanure added .

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  LittleGardener on 6/26/2013, 7:21 pm

@plantoid wrote:
@BrianDorry55 wrote:Ok thanks for the clarification guys...seems like one of those things that you just have to do a little digging on...
if they had any organic composts they said yes they have mushroom compost...the guys said "It's 100% mushroom"... finding out what source its from.
the favoured formula for mushroom compost was
Clean chopped wheat straw,  pure cobbles of  horse muck, neat chicken or neat turkey muck, gypsum and water.
...
Of late I believe that it has become the norm to buy in 40 tonne lorry loads of mushroom compost that is commercially produced at establishments  (well disconnected from the mushroom farms)  as ready made sterile mushroom compost and capping that have the spawn already added .. the mushroom farmer just has to open the bag roll back the top so the capping is about 3/4 inch below the rim and water it .

This compost for the mushrooms  is made similar to the above, but also usually has humanure added .
really? humanure Shocked with all the crap most humans consume in way of gmo's, drugs, & what not in their gut! Shocked Um, that just sold me on never! using that stuff; - UNLESS I know where/who/what it came from.



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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  camprn on 6/26/2013, 7:26 pm

@LittleGardener wrote:
really? humanure :shock:with all the crap most humans consume in way of gmo's, drugs, & what not in their gut! :shock:Um, that just sold me on never! using that stuff; - UNLESS I know where/who/what it came from.


Little Gardener, how is this post at all helpful?

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  LittleGardener on 6/26/2013, 8:05 pm

@camprn wrote:
Little Gardener, how is this post at all helpful?
Well, I had asked a question about 'humanure' before, but all the responses I got is that both using it as a tea, or fertilizer, is Dangerous. So based on those responses I posted. Was that wrong?

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  camprn on 6/26/2013, 8:53 pm

@LittleGardener wrote:
@LittleGardener wrote:
really? humanure :shock:with all the crap most humans consume in way of gmo's, drugs, & what not in their gut! :shock:Um, that just sold me on never! using that stuff; - UNLESS I know where/who/what it came from.

@camprn wrote:
Little Gardener, how is this post at all helpful?
Well, I had asked a question about 'humanure' before, but all the responses I got is that both using it as a tea, or fertilizer, is Dangerous. So based on those responses I posted. Was that wrong?

We try to keep a friendly atmosphere and at least attempt to be helpful to the newbees here on the SFG Forum. Yes, the post was a negative rant, certainly off topic and I found it to be not in the spirit of being helpful.

I have no idea where you asked about humanure, but it wasn't in this thread, which is about types of compost.

Like a Star @ heaven Thank you Plantiod for the very helpful information about mushroom compost. I learned quite a few new things, like it's a better source/ type of compost than I thought.Like a Star @ heaven

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  llama momma on 6/26/2013, 10:23 pm

@BrianDorry55 wrote:Is there a reason that worm castings are only used in small amounts besides the price factor?
 
Brian-- worm castings are pretty potent, so a little handful added to a hole when transplanting is good.  And it is also salty.  I have three 18 gallon containers with a few thousand worms working for me at this time.  There are several nice threads on this forum about worms.   A good classic book for beginners if you are interested in worms, especially raising your own is,  Worms Eat My Garbage, by Mary Appelhof.  
 
You also asked what I put in my compost, well... I went a little crazy last year here is the list that went into 5 wooden pallet compost heaps:
grape pomace,
llama manure,
dried grass saved from summer,
150+ bags of leaves,(many stored in leaf corrals)
home grown worm castings(added at planting),
variety of kitchen scraps,
spent garden plants(both flowers and veggies),
loads of coffee grounds from starbucks,
diluted urine,
straw,
hay,
eggshells,
cardboard,
shredded paper,
buckets of grape stems,
old llama pellet food(14% nitrogen),
over 30 pumpkins large and small,
corn stalks many with corn still attached(from a village Fall display). Other stalks from a local farm stand without corn on it.

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  GWN on 6/26/2013, 10:52 pm

LM
I am just curious... why are worm castings salty?

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  llama momma on 6/26/2013, 11:00 pm

It occurs naturally through the worm gut apparently.  In the book, Worms Eat My Garbage, the author quotes from an OSU study that showed the plants were stunted when the growing medium was 100% castings and cited it was from the salt content. Yet, when you read about feeding worms you are instructed never to feed salty foods!


Last edited by llama momma on 6/26/2013, 11:15 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add last line)

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  sanderson on 6/26/2013, 11:07 pm

BrianDorry, I think the short answer is that worm castings only count as one part of five or more parts of a blended compost.

Look at LlamaMamma's list of ingredients that go into her home made compost. Wow! Manure, grass, leaves, food and garden scraps, coffee grounds and tea, paper products, grape pomace, egg shells (calcium), urine (nitrogen), etc. She adds a little bit of precious worm castings directly to the planting area.

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  BrianDorry55 on 6/27/2013, 8:56 am

Thank you for all the detailed discussion! It really pays when multiple people chime in with different viewpoints...

The only reason I wondered if the product would count as two sources was because it is worm compost derived from rabbit manure...maybe one of you could check out the source and see what you think? (can't post links yet: rabbitsetc dot us, click on manure on the left toolbar)

If that counts as one source then I am assuming I can use a separate local source that sells pure rabbit manure. This is really the decision I was trying to make...because these two sources seem to be my best two local sources and I wanted to figure out if I could use the one rabbit/worm source as 2/5 of my compost, or if I should use the separate worm and rabbit sources as 2/5, or if I should only use 1 of them because they are both derived from the rabbit manure...Rabbit manure is supposed to be great stuff right? But I'm not sure if I want to go overboard with it...it is very high in nitrogen if I am correct but it seems that the worm composted rabbit manure has been pretty transformed through the process so maybe it will be okay using it as a separate source from the pure rabbit manure.

You all have been so helpful!

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  llama momma on 6/27/2013, 10:32 am

Brian, Best I can do is give you my opinion.  I would count worm castings as one source. Here's why.  You said the castings were derived from rabbit manure right?  Well my llamas eat grass, yet I count their manure as one source because I only consider the manure, not what they have eaten to make the manure.  Same with worm castings, I only count the end product as one source, not all the things that were eaten to make the end product. For example, my worms dine on lots of things, llama manure for one, and veggies, fruit scraps, oatmeal, eggshells, etc.   Sooo,  I would simply go easy on the castings and at least be aware you can use too much since the salt in castings has shown to stunt plants when over used, as in 100% of it being used as a soil medium.  

 I know in Mel's book he shows a picture of a bag of castings in the 2006 book.  I don't have the experience to say how bags of castings perform in Mel's Mix though.  Personally I'd be concerned but it would be nice to hear of someone's actual experience using that much.   Though, you can try it any way you want and lots of us would love you hear the results of your experience.    Wink

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  BrianDorry55 on 6/27/2013, 10:40 am

So you want the new guy to be the guinea pig ey!?

I'm okay with that...I could see how using too much of it could be a problem, unless I was growing sea grapes ;-)...I would imagine if I just used it as 1/5 of my compost that would be acceptable...and then I can use the rabbit manure from the other source as another 1/5...which is great news...because I feel more comfortable using these two sources then going and using some random person's horse/cow manure. I really appreciate your input.

Hopefully by this time next year I will have an established compost pile so I won't have to worry about it...it's a shame I can't use my Great Dane's manure...he probably provides as much as one of your llamas!

Thank you!

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  GWN on 6/27/2013, 12:00 pm

I used bags of castings (while I was waiting for my worms to perform :tapfoot:their magic)
However I mixed it in as one type of compost of the 5, with my original mixing of mels mix
Now I just take little blobs of worm poop and place it around whatever plants need a little TLC.

Interesting, the store I bought the castings at warned me against using it all by itself (not that I planned to)
'Thanks LM. I also have the book but do not read it quite as closely as you do.   I tend to skim study

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  Yardslave on 6/27/2013, 1:17 pm

Here's a link to help you understand where the American commercial version of Humanure comes from. It's called Millorganite :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milorganite

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  GWN on 6/27/2013, 2:44 pm

that is very interesting, and amazing it has been going for so long. Thanks

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  No_Such_Reality on 6/27/2013, 4:03 pm

@Yardslave wrote: Here's a link to help you understand where the American commercial version of Humanure comes from. It's called Millorganite :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milorganite

What next Soylent Green?Twisted EvilTwisted EvilTwisted Evil

I suspect that's exactly why LittleGardener had the reaction he did.  It was my same interpretation and Plantiod's great write up was quite shocking to realize Mushroom compost is basically being built a base of sewage sludge biosolids.  

I had no idea that sewage sludge was a common input to the mushroom growing industry.  Over-all, I don't have qualms about using human waste after proper processing.

Humanure doesn't have an authoritative definition.  It could be as simple as a composting toilette (essentially an outhouse), or as identified, basically metropolitan sewage.  The big item, IMHO, is the relatively limited testing done, particularly in regards to pharmaceuticals and hormones, which are a much bigger concern in reclaimed water.  I would suspect that the heating and drying process in the compost destroys most if not all, heavy metals may remain.

I'll cherry pick this line out of the wikipedia. "University research confirms anecdotal evidence that applying Milorganite on lawns and near plants deters deer due to its odor."

To me, that means enough "us" remains recognizable that the deer detect it.

It's potentially an absolutely great source of nutrient fertilizers, I just wish they had much more robust broad based testing.

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  GWN on 6/27/2013, 4:14 pm

It could be as simple as a composting toilette (essentially an outhouse),
Just one comment, composting toilets are quite different than outhouses.

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

Post  ISeeGreens on 8/29/2013, 8:52 pm

@yolos wrote:
For the initial beds I used:
 
Composted cow manure
Worm castings
Chicken manure compost (with bedding)
Mushroom compost
Forest products compost
 
Since there is so much stuff out there, would you be so kind as to share the brands you are using? This will help me get an understanding of what to look for. Thanks!

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Re: Does this Worm Compost count as two of the 5 Mel's Mix Compost sources?

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