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Newbie composting questions

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Newbie composting questions

Post  lauriegsmith52 on 10/18/2014, 11:56 am

Apologize Book not arrived yet...But eager to do what I can with remaining good weather.ONE..Can weeds n seeds be IN the compost (garden remains of last year and WEEDS as well) as I am thinking they will cook and rot and be of no concern? AND TWO Must it be contained ?  for added heat I suppose it cannot be just a pile? THREE should I leave the marigolds OUT of it and or tomatoe leavings as they are so repellent and strong in their singular compositions ....."other plants don't like to me near them" composition or does this not matter?...Eager to read the SFG book but any direction will be good in the mean time.....Gardens and the pictures here are PURE Magic to me....This our 3rd year and FINALLY decided to get some education on what the heck we're doing here!
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Re: Newbie composting questions

Post  sanderson on 10/18/2014, 1:23 pm

Laurie, I already welcomed you in your other post.  Composting is a whole topic unto itself.  #1 - You can put almost anything that is not diseased into a compost pile if the pile reaches high temps and is turned so that all areas get the nice heat treatment.  Seeds and MOST weeds will be killed.  #4 - Marigolds and tomatoes.  Toss them in.  However, many of the members have stories of volunteer tomatoes, squash and other plants growing in the compost because some areas did not reach high enough temps.   I personally had hundreds of little volunteer tomato plants sprout in all my boxes and flower beds when I amended with my first compost pile!   Embarassed  They were easy to pluck out.  #3 - Compost can be started in a pile or in a square enclosure.  A great book that someone recommended to me is The Complete Compost Gardening Guide by Barbara Pleasant and Deborah L. Martin.  I bought a barely used copy off Amazon.

Members have posted many topics and questions under "compost."  Just use the Search box and you will have hours of reading!!  What a Face But, please feel free to ask questions.  We have all been where you are - at the beginning.  Very Happy

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Re: Newbie composting questions

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 10/18/2014, 4:52 pm

Laurie, W E L C O M E!

Compost is quite forgiving, fortunately!  And every batch is a little different based on what you have on hand to work with.  The key to putting anything that's less than ideal into your pile is making sure it gets between 140-160 degrees for as long as possible.  Usually a pile will hit those ranges for around a week or so.

Take a look at the entire "Berkeley Composting Method" Thread, there is tons of great information and links in there.

Most of all, don't get overwhelmed!!!  Stuff composts all on its own every day of the year all over the world.  If left in a pile long enough doing absolutely nothing it will break down into compost.  You can do it with cold methods (takes a long time) or hot methods (requires physical work turning it).  Either way it will be wonderful for your garden.
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Re: Newbie composting questions

Post  jimmy cee on 10/19/2014, 5:23 pm

I worry not about weeds with seeds any more. As long as there's no diseased items I toss it all in my compost piles.
Of course that's not to say everyone should follow, just my ideas.
If weeds do occur in the squares, it is so easy to pull them.
I love being in the M.M.
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Re: Newbie composting questions

Post  yolos on 10/19/2014, 6:05 pm

@jimmy cee wrote:I worry not about weeds with seeds any more. As long as there's no diseased items I toss it all in my compost piles.
Of course that's not to say everyone should follow, just my ideas.
If weeds do occur in the squares, it is so easy to pull them.
I love being in the M.M.

I agree, diseased plants in my compost is a no, no.  I can't seem to keep it hot long enough to kill the pathogens.  I don't like weed seeds either but as Jimmy says, I can easily pull them out of the compost or beds if they sprout.
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