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Composting practices

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Composting practices

Post  Weedless_ on 7/24/2010, 10:59 pm

So I am new to composting. So far things have been moving well.
Now I have a bunch of watermelon rinds sitting in a plastic bag and waiting to be put in the drum. The question is, can I be lazy and just dump them there, or I need to cut them up into smaller chunks? If so, how small is small enough? Also, what do you do with your egg shells? Crush them a bit, or just dump?
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Re: Composting practices

Post  Retired Member 1 on 7/25/2010, 9:15 am

Definitely small chunks if you have a rotating drum. In my batch piles (pallets), that I let sit for a year, I can compost larger items. Since I've never had a drum composter, not sure on the size, but I'd go for the smaller the better if you want them to break down faster. I just broke into a compost pile and found a few eggs shells I'd thrown in whole only half-composted. So from here on out, I'll crush by hand.

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Re: Composting practices

Post  extremesoccermom on 7/26/2010, 12:52 pm

I used to just throw the egg shell halves in but I also found they were still there when the rest was ready to use. Now I just store them in a bowl and crush them gently with the mallet from my knife set. It is wooden. I crush the big pieces then rock back and forth once a week to break up the shell.

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Re: Composting practices

Post  camprn on 7/26/2010, 4:23 pm

I cut up almost everything into 1" chunks and I just crush egg shells by hand before I put it in my counter top compost jar. Watermelon contains so much water that I would guess that those rinds would decompose pretty readily the way they are.
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Re: Composting practices

Post  Weedless_ on 7/27/2010, 9:46 am

Thanks ladies. I already threw those rinds in a couple of days ago, they were moldy, so there is no way I was gonna cut those Smile. And I ain't diving back to break them apart now, so this is just going to be one of those things...
Meanwhile, the question is, what do you do with corn cobs? We have a few of those, but I can't chop them up, they are so hard. Should they go in as is, or discarded?
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Re: Composting practices

Post  Lavender Debs on 7/27/2010, 9:58 am

I have two drums (I guess they are drums, big plastic bins) When ever I find a worm while weeding I drop it into the bin where they make huge families.

With the worms, in winter (colder) I chop into smaller chunks. In summer when the bins work faster and I don't need compost as quickly as in spring and fall I just toss stuff in, but mine is already active.

Can you get tea from yours? I have been having good results from the tea.

Afterthought: If you are using tea or can dig around the cobs, toss them in. They will not break down but will be useful for breaking up the pile when you spin it. Otherwise, toss them to the chickens or the trash. Both my dogs will eat fresh corn cobs if I don't watch them.


Last edited by Lavender Debs on 7/27/2010, 10:00 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : After thought)
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Re: Composting practices

Post  Weedless_ on 7/27/2010, 10:42 am

@Lavender Debs wrote:
Can you get tea from yours? I have been having good results from the tea.

Yep, I got those Envirocycle composters that collect garden tea in the bottom compartment. Can't wait to start using the tea. Do I need to let "tea" stand for a while, or it can be used as available...? Also, do you dilute it, I assume?
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Composting practices

Post  Bec on 7/27/2010, 10:50 am

I do put my corn cobs into my compost but first I put them down on the grass and take my flat-edged shovel and chop them up into tiny pieces - then just shovel them up and toss them into the bin. (just watch the toes! )

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Re: Composting practices

Post  Lavender Debs on 7/27/2010, 11:01 am

What a great idea Bec!!! (you deserve the K-I-S-S award but all we have is a dancing banana)

Ms Atlanta I think we probably have the same bins. I have a running ramble of my garden in the Pacific Northwest section called "The Toy Box" If you go to page 2 and scroll down there are accidental pictures of the bins.

My tea is aged, but it is supposed to be best fresh (like orange juice) to get the best of the good stuff. I was having a difficult time getting to it, so I bought a cheep bulb (or turkey) baster to siphon it out. I move the bin off the base, suck up a tube full and splash it into a water can (I think the orginal directions -- available on the internet -- said 10 to 1 or something) I also put in about 1/4 of a tube of fish emulsion and use this about every two weeks. If ever we were to get more heat in the PNW I would feed them more often.
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