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SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  plantoid on 2/6/2015, 8:07 am

Add some cheap nitrogen to the pile ..
A bucket of human urine diluted by 20 parts water to one part urine is effective, sprinkle it over the pile through a watering can rose or a " Tee " bar as you turn it .

If you don't fancy that old gardeners tip , try some organic dried rose fertilizer which is called dried blood ,fish & bone meal  .. that should kick start the pile again .


To use the " DFB&B " fertilizer use rubber gloves , don't breath in the dust off the dried fertilizer as  it's bad for you lungs, so have your back to the wind so any  dust blows away from your when using it .
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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  sanderson on 2/6/2015, 11:41 am

If urine is not feasible for your situation, a little Blood meal?

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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  Kelejan on 2/6/2015, 1:54 pm

Good to see you back.  I have been looking forward to February when you said you will be starting a compost pile.  I love following other people's projects.
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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  princezoe on 2/7/2015, 12:04 pm

i did it the Plantoidway... now let's see what happens
Today the pile was still quite cold

It looks like the pile has become a little darker and the horse manure has become a little smaller
Is that normal or do i see things that are not happening ?
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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  sanderson on 2/7/2015, 12:38 pm

Richard, A photo might help. The manure will become smaller because of the mechanical abrasion during turning. Wet compost looks darker than dry compost.

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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  princezoe on 2/10/2015, 5:36 am



When i am turning the pile i put about half of the pile out of the box. It is easier to change the structure of the pile. Is that the correct way ?

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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  princezoe on 2/10/2015, 5:37 am

This is the pile after i turned it

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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/10/2015, 9:01 am

Looks really good, Princezoe.

What you're wanting to do when turning is get the stuff that's on the outside to the inside and the stuff on the inside to the outside.
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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  sanderson on 2/10/2015, 1:34 pm

It's so hard to tell from photos but it looks like the pile needs more water???  Do you have a hose you can drag over to the site? I use a tarp on the ground to place the outer layers in one pile and the inner core in another pile, then rebuild the pile putting the outer layers in the new core and the previous core material around the outside and on the top and bottom.  I carefully fold the tarp with the compost contact side in the inside to avoid introducing grass and weed seeds into the pile each time I turn.  This is a night time photo from last summer when it was tooo hot to work during the daytime.

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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  plantoid on 2/10/2015, 3:00 pm

Looking at the rich brown of the pile I suspect it is actually composted and would benefit from a sieving to remove any big lumps  .
 The fact that a lot of it was grass cuttings and manure would lend to a quick composting .
If the pile is in warmer climes that would also add to the decision.

PZ where is the pile ..... back in  Holland or where you've been living ?
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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  princezoe on 2/10/2015, 3:30 pm

The pile has been made in Italy, but it has been cold/freezing at night (no snow) and sun during the day last weeks
I cannot imagine that it is already compost, as i see smaller pieces of horse manure and i think that compost is darker
You are right that it was a lot of grass and manure
I will take a look at it tomorrow again
How can i see what is compost and what is not ?
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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  plantoid on 2/10/2015, 4:07 pm

Richard
I've just finished re-reading the whole of the thread .

The pile is 20 days old and has been turned at least four or five times...  it seems it does not have much woody fibre in it ... that's good for it could well mean that most of it has been composted enough to use it .

That it has become dry /dessicated is good for the nutrient juices that were produced in the composting will have soaked in to the composted fibres and will be released when in the beds & wet.

Composting takes place all year round , forking the heap over makes it happen quicker but it does indeed slow down a bit in temperatures of less that 8 oC.

Anything big leftover bits from the pile after sieving it out just goes back into starting a new pile.
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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  princezoe on 2/10/2015, 5:21 pm

Thanks for reading the thread plantoid
I read my pile efforts in a diary

Day 1 made a compost pile
Day 3 turned the pile
Day 4 turned the pile
Day 5 - Day 11 Holiday in Holland
Day 12 turned the pile (pile was cold and wet because the roof was blown away by the wind approximately on Day 8
Day 14 turned the pile. Pile was still cold and wet. I spread the contents of the pile and put it after some hours of drying in the sun, in the pile)
Day 17 turned the pile. Pile was still cold but not very wet
Day 20 turned the pile. Pile was still cold
Day 22 turned the pile and followed Plantoids old gardeners' tip for raising the temperature
Day 24 turned the pile
Day 25 is today
So, in 25 days i turned the pile 8 times. I think that the first 8 days the pile was hot. After that it was wet and quite cold.

If i read forums i am sieving the compost through chicken wire, is that correct ?
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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  plantoid on 2/12/2015, 8:20 am

Richard,
Knowing what you in initially put in your heap , those 8 days of heat and turning then cooling sounds good to me , so long as you did not add any fresh materials to the pile .

 One thing though , try and resist the urge for turning any more often that once every three days ( 5 turns three days apart in the 21 day cycle )  as it is in these  " rest periods " that the heap heats up , produces & spreads beneficial bacterial & develops mould spores  to help break down the contents of the pile and turn it into compost .

I know English is not your first language but do try reading , " The Berkeley 18 day hot composting method "  at the Cornell university site six or seven times .
( I've found that some good elfin or pixie  keeps adding new information when I'm asleep or not looking as I swear something I've just read was not when I read it a few days ago   Laughing ).

It may take you a long while to go through all the links and understand it but , " Boy oh boy " it will stand you in good stead for the rest of your gardening days whereever you end up in the world .


 You can use a framed tray  covered in small 15  to 19 mm mesh if you want to sieve the big stuff out .

 After a few years you'll like as not , not bother as you'll have the feel/knowledge  for how well  it's progressed/composted .
The idea of the composting  is to to produce a material that has a fair amount of nutrient and water retention capability at the outset  but one that will continue to break down and produce all manner of nutrients & still hold some air & water as the year progresses.

 This leads to one years compost still decaying & giving various nutrients & trace elements over something like seven years . As you're adding new stuff each year , you end up " Building the bed "  & get a magic growing medium that's the envy of most mother natures soil gardeners .
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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  princezoe on 2/16/2015, 9:02 am

Plantoid, i searched in the University forum for composting and i could found some articles
But, i did not find a forum

Instead, i found this one, are you familiar with this one: http://deepgreenpermaculture.com/diy-instructions/hot-compost-composting-in-18-days/

It is ok for me to read and write english, i donot have to use google translate to read or write english fortunately
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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  sanderson on 2/16/2015, 1:03 pm


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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  princezoe on 2/17/2015, 6:20 am

Me neither, but thanks

I have another question
The Italian bar gives me newspapers for my compost bin, but it contains also a pink newspaper called La Gazzetta dello Sport
I included a pic, can i use this newspaper ?

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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  sanderson on 2/17/2015, 11:34 am

The ink is probably soy-based, being printed in Italy, so you can use it. You can always call the newspaper to verify.

What say others?

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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  princezoe on 3/14/2015, 7:49 am

Well, after the posts in february I turned the pile only twice
Hereby i post 2 pics of 12 march 2015
I still see small pieces of horse manure and some twigs, but to me the rest looks like compost

What do you guys think, can i use this for my SFG ?

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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  princezoe on 3/14/2015, 7:51 am

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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  sanderson on 3/14/2015, 1:58 pm

Hi Richard, There is only one photo posted twice. Did you have a close up or another view? Some of the manure is recognizable in my finished compost. I just hand crumble the larger ones or rub them against the screener. Can you screen or pick out the larger wood pieces? I'm certainly NOT an expert, but I would try it. It should only get better over the season.

I hope others will share their opinions.

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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  princezoe on 3/14/2015, 5:23 pm


Another pic. Divided the compost in 2 parts to turn the pile
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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  plantoid on 3/16/2015, 8:30 am

Some of the " cobbles " ( turds ) of the horse muck seem greenish .....they won't be quite done. Breaking them up by hand across the sieve  & sprinkling the result back into a new heap  will soon solve the problem
 
 The already really  light brown stuff should be OK ,  put the long stick/woody stuff back into the new heap or if you choose cut it up with secateurs into 15 mm long bits & put it in the beds as it will eventually break down ( Up to seven years apparently ).

Depending on the state /level of decay , the woody stuff will sometimes take a lot of nitrogen out the compost as it decays/composts . So if there is a lot of the woody material in your heap only use a small part of it cut up & put back in the beds .
 
Remember don't sow carrots or parsnips in the the beds that have been newly fed /conditioned with the composted animal dungs ( except for pure rabbit dung )  unless you want them to grow  like cows udders with many multiple roots sticking out at all sorts of angles .


Now for the cruncher . Laughing

 If the heap has not reached the required temperatures or if it has not been turned in the correct method you'll still have weed seed that came via the horses feed  , these seeds will germinate and take off like rockets trying to smother everything.
 Here is where using the square foot ( 300 mm x 300 mm ) squares and sowing patterns come to your  advantage . Anything that is not growing  in the pattern you sowed the seeds in can be taken as a weed and snipped off with a pair of scissors to kill it off.
 
Don't be tempted to let the weed develop so it's big enough to handle and then pull it out  for by that time the root system will most likely have developed and you'll end up wrecking the pattern of sown seeds or upsetting their roots as you pull the weed out .
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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  sanderson on 3/16/2015, 1:02 pm

plantoid wrote: The already really  light brown stuff should be OK ,  put the long stick/woody stuff back into the new .

 Here is where using the square foot ( 300 mm x 300 mm ) squares and sowing patterns come to your  advantage . Anything that is not growing  in the pattern you sowed the seeds in can be taken as a weed and snipped off with a pair of scissors to kill it off.
+1

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Re: SFG in Amsterdam Nieuw West

Post  princezoe on 6/20/2015, 6:44 am

I managed to divide the contents of the pile in Compost and unfinished compost 6 weeks ago
Now i made a new pile with grass ( i have a lot of grass now as i mow 40.000m2 each week), sawdust (we cut a tree) and coffee, eggshells, leaves, horse manure
Hope it will be finished end of july
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