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Half composted, how to finish

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Half composted, how to finish

Post  Kate888 on 3/26/2018, 9:49 pm

I didn't garden last year at all.  In 2016 I left a lot of stuff in the compost bin - kitchen waste, the chicken coop pine bedding with manure, the rabbit bedding with their manure, grass and leaves.  At this point it is sort of half finished.  I can still see the pine bedding some, there's a couple of egg shells and pieces of paper.  My question is, how can I best get this finished up quickly?   I have done fast composting before, layering, wetting and turning daily.  Should I just layer some along with what is there and try to get it started?  I'm not sure if that will work at all, but it seems I would have to add something to it to get it really going again.  Thoughts?
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Re: Half composted, how to finish

Post  sanderson on 3/26/2018, 10:26 pm

Blood meal?

I think egg shells take years to fully break down.

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Re: Half composted, how to finish

Post  plantoid on 3/27/2018, 5:05 pm

If you're fit & able , turn & water it lightly adding a sprinkling of blood meal on the first turning . Give it three more turnings at three day intervals . Check the temp if you have a gauge age . Keep the heap covered to retain the moisture , generated gases &heat that beneficial bacteria use .

If not so fit  use a pointed bar to push holes in if from top to bottom , sprinkle some dried blood over it & down the holes then give it a sprinkle of water .  Three  days later make holes in at different places and spray lightly , do the same again  three more times . Then start digging into the pile to see how it has turned out .
Again keep the heap covered whilst it's " cooking " .
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Re: Half composted, how to finish

Post  Kate888 on 3/28/2018, 2:23 am

@sanderson wrote:Blood meal?

I think egg shells take years to fully break down.
Yes, I remembered adding blood meal once before when it just wouldn't get hot enough.  Thanks!
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Re: Half composted, how to finish

Post  Kate888 on 3/28/2018, 2:25 am

@plantoid wrote:If you're fit & able , turn & water it lightly adding a sprinkling of blood meal on the first turning . Give it three more turnings at three day intervals . Check the temp if you have a gauge age . Keep the heap covered to retain the moisture , generated gases &heat that beneficial bacteria use .

If not so fit  use a pointed bar to push holes in if from top to bottom , sprinkle some dried blood over it & down the holes then give it a sprinkle of water .  Three  days later make holes in at different places and spray lightly , do the same again  three more times . Then start digging into the pile to see how it has turned out .
Again keep the heap covered whilst it's " cooking " .
Thanks, Plantoid.  It depends on the day whether I am fit and able. Smile   I will try that.
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Re: Half composted, how to finish

Post  sanderson on 3/28/2018, 3:12 am

Blood meal, turning for aeration and watering. Thanks, Plantoid.

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Re: Half composted, how to finish

Post  SQWIB on 3/28/2018, 8:00 am

I'm not sure how your garden is setup and also not sure if this goes against SFG methods but have you thought about direct composting?
I have been doing this with a lot of my veggie only scraps in my planters and raised beds.
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Re: Half composted, how to finish

Post  plantoid on 3/28/2018, 5:32 pm

@SQWIB wrote:I'm not sure how your garden is setup and also not sure if this goes against SFG methods but have you thought about direct composting?
I have been doing this with a lot of my veggie only scraps in my planters and raised beds.

I like your enquiring mind and progressive experiments there are however some big drawbacks to what you are doing .
 With direct composting you have to accept that having reasonably new material freshly rotting away in a bed / planter may attract all manner of pests that you associate with plants you used to get your waste from .
Such pests can then live in the soil  to attack formerly healthy new plants you put in the  bed . 

Mel Bartholomew our deceased mentor & originator of ANSFG  was very much against direct composting for that very reason . The system he designed over the years was the result of almost 40 years of problem solving research & real time testing done by many people all over the world . So be careful not to try and invent the wheel .

Correct composting away from the bed  gives you high temperatures needed that kill most pests & pest eggs .  Plus it generates beneficial  gases such as ammonia that turn into nitrogen , that is absorbed by the compost . Some beneficial fungi also breed in the working compost heap , these in turn work on rotting matter to give you liquid humus that is absorbed by the drying out compost matter  .  Having a large number of well rotted materials in the compost will ensure that the final blend of compost will have a tremendous number of nutrients & trace elements in every fork full of compost .... that will not always  be the case with direct composting even it you've been doing it for donkeys years. .
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Re: Half composted, how to finish

Post  SQWIB on 3/28/2018, 9:27 pm

Interesting. I haven't ever had a problem with direct composting of veggie scraps.
During the garden season I'll also trim back plants and shove the trimmings directly into the soil.

I would think it would be as safe as chop and drop in the garden or even turning under a cover crop.
The only negative I can see is seeds sprouting.

So you are saying passive composting isn't a correct way to compost? Really!

And it's not reinventing the wheel, it's merely another method of gardening/composting similar to what was used by the American Indians.

And as I said I'm not sure if this goes against SFG methods but figured the poster would appreciate any input
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Re: Half composted, how to finish

Post  Kate888 on 3/28/2018, 9:42 pm

Thanks for all the input.  I know my mother never had a compost pile, she just put grass clippings, coffee grounds and egg shells and similar on her garden (near, but not too close to the plants).  At this point with a pile already in the bin, I'd rather just finish it there.
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Re: Half composted, how to finish

Post  Turan on 3/28/2018, 10:10 pm

Mulching with half finished compost works very nicely.

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Re: Half composted, how to finish

Post  sanderson on 3/30/2018, 3:22 am

@Turan wrote:Mulching with half finished compost works very nicely.
Turan, you're right. half finished compost is a good mulch. I forgot about that.

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Re: Half composted, how to finish

Post  trolleydriver on 3/30/2018, 8:40 am

@sanderson wrote:
@Turan wrote:Mulching with half finished compost works very nicely.
Turan, you're right.  half finished compost is a good mulch.  I forgot about that.
+1

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Re: Half composted, how to finish

Post  Kelejan on 4/1/2018, 9:52 pm

@Kate888 wrote:Thanks for all the input.  I know my mother never had a compost pile, she just put grass clippings, coffee grounds and egg shells and similar on her garden (near, but not too close to the plants).  At this point with a pile already in the bin, I'd rather just finish it there.

Your mother instinctively did it right. Perhaps it did not look pretty, but I am sure the plants and the worms etc were not fussy about the looks.
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