Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Compost question

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Compost question

Post  fattkittys on 3/6/2014, 12:05 am

I'm brand new to the SFG method & this site. I plan to completely redo my garden using the SFG method & start my garden this spring & have a question regarding compost. I have a Nutramil brand home compost machine & wanted to know if anyone else uses this same brand composter & their results with it. I'm not too impressed with it but it's too late to return it plus it was a gift from my husband. I'm wondering if it's a good source of compost to use in making Mel's mix. My end product from the machine doesn't look like your typical dark compost, more like the sawdust pellets you have to use in the machine in order to make the compost. I know this is confusing sounding if you don't have the Nutramil but if anyone does I would like your input on it & your results if you are using it as part of your 5 composts.
One other question not about compost: can all seeds be started inside just using vermiculite & no soil like mentioned in the SFG book?
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Re: Compost question

Post  sanderson on 3/6/2014, 3:27 am

Fattkittys, Welcome to the Forum!  glad you\'re here 

I wish I had experience with kitchen composters. I would think that all composts should be somewhat similar; dark, moist and earthy smelling. I hope some other folks can help you with this. To answer your question, if the compost is dark, moist and earthy smelling, you can certainly include it in the Mel's Mix (MM). You aren't limited to just 5 sources for the compost part of MM. However, it can be hard enough to find 5 different sources (not 5 different manufacturers). One source should be composted herbivore manure.

Answer to your second question: Yes, you can start seeds in vermiculte and then transfer the successful sprouts to seedling cups. The seed provides all the nutrients a seedling needs for its first few days. Today was the first time I gently transplanted little seedlings from the medium grade vermiculite into seedling cups filled with MM. Last year and the beginning of this season, I used cups with MM for all seedlings. But, I just had to try the vermiculite method a few days ago and I am now sold on it.

If you have more questions as you start the journey of SFG, please ask. You can also try the search box for information.
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Re: Compost question

Post  H_TX_2 on 3/6/2014, 9:53 am

I looked up some pictures of the NatureMill composter finished compost and it does look like sawdust. Maybe since this compost bin uses an internal heating element it sort of cooks the compost to break it down instead of microbial action. What does the compost look like if you get it wet?

I also read that is is helpful to put the finished compost outside somewhere to let it cure. Sorry I'm not much help. If I were in your shoes I would water the compost and let it cure outside and then add it to my garden. I doubt it will be harmful as long as you are not putting pet feces in the compost bin.
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Re: Compost question

Post  fattkittys on 3/6/2014, 7:05 pm

Great idea to get the compost wet & cure it outside - will try it this weekend. Thanks! Smile
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Re: Compost question

Post  gwennifer on 3/6/2014, 11:06 pm

Welcome to the forum fatkittys. Keep us posted on how your compost turns out and we'd love to see pictures of your garden as you work on it and get it converted!
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