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What's in your compost pile?

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Re: What's in your compost pile?

Post  Aub on 10/22/2010, 9:35 pm

That list was pretty interesting. Who knew you could compost latex?!

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Re: What's in your compost pile?

Post  camprn on 10/22/2010, 9:46 pm

@Aub wrote:That list was pretty interesting. Who knew you could compost latex?!
LOL, natural latex is from a tree. LATEX

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No cat poo!!!

Post  marinal on 11/8/2010, 12:42 am

I have been composting for a little bit and know one thing for a fact- you do not want cat or dog poo in your compost pile! And by litter they mean wood shaving type or corn type- organic material based, not the clay litter. Bunny poop is good, bird dropping are good. Bunnies like little cows, they produce manure, but in little amounts. I have one round cage for leaves and other debree, and one tumbler for kitchen scraps. The only problem I had was the tumbler got stinky once. I just added more dried clippings and corn cat litter and let it compost for a little longer than usual. Now I am making sure all that goes in compost pile is somewhat dry and choped up pretty good.

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Re: What's in your compost pile?

Post  Megan on 11/8/2010, 2:29 am

Don't use ferret poo, either. Ferrets are carnivores.

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What's in my compost

Post  Veggiequeen on 11/21/2010, 1:35 pm

This is my first attempt to post a reply, wonder if it works.

I live in Southern England, with a one acre plot of land that yields a lot of stuff for my compost heap. I have a three-chamber compost bin contraption, about 1cubic meter size each. I also have a wormery, a double compost bin purely for kitchen waste and anything non-weedy, and a compost tumbler. Any leaves in the autumn go into plastic bags with holes that are stacked for at least a year, after which they get incorporated into the compost for another year.

The three chamber system is the easiest. It is brick built on soil, so worms from the soil can get in to do their stuff. One bin is near ready, one cooking, the other being filled. At the end of the season, I usually shovel all three into one bin and grow my squashes on it. It is in the vegetable garden, so all weeds (without seedheads!), grass cuttings, shredded wood, straw and poop from the chickens and some kitchen scraps go into that. Also shredded paper from the office, usually in layers with the lawn mowings. I get a friend to turn it once a year, usually by shovelling it from one bin to the other.

This year I used some of my own compost for my Mel's Mix, and won;'t do it again. My heap just does not get hot enough to cook all the weeds properly, so some of my square foot beds were green with chick weed. And the main reason I switched to Mel's Mix for my beds is to make life easier. And who needs to spend time weeding? So I will use my own compost mainly to grow my squashes and cucumbers on. They can trail down from the 1m high bed, and seem to like the warmth at their roots. And for the Mel's mix, I shall just buy in good quality compost. Even some of the bought stuff had weeds in, some that I did not have before in my garden.

The wormery is great, and easy also. I feed it the pulp from my husband's juicing every morning: carrots, beetroot, apple and fennel mainly. In the winter, when my chickens are indoors mainly, I share that pulp between them and the worms. The worms also get a share of the paper shreddings. I use the worm compost mainly for potting up Tomatoes and such in the Spring. There is not enough for the beds really.

I have had a lot of hassle with the tumbler, it always seems so wet, however much straw or woodshavings or paper I add. But it somehow gets there in the end.

@The Cat's Other Mother wrote:When I first started thinking about composting, I was somewhat intimidated by how complicated some sources made it out to be, with their detailed formulas for brown and green and turning, etc., but once I got a bin set up, I came to the conclusion that unless I was a perfectionist or in a hurry, I couldn't really mess it up too badly. I just save up a bucket of kitchen scraps during the week, dump it in my SoilSaver Classic, cover it with lawn and garden trimmings and soak. I intend to build a leaf cage next to it and layer those between in the winter.

My compost ingredients include:
peels from melons, potatoes, carrots, carrot tops, celery tops, coffee grounds, egg shells, dead flowers, grass trimmings, weeds, pine needles, bunny poop & compostable litter.

So, what's in your pile, and what are you piling it in?

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Re: What's in your compost pile?

Post  Megan on 11/21/2010, 5:42 pm

Hi veggiequeen, welcome to the forum! glad you\'re here Sounds like you have a great composting system set up.

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Re: What's in your compost pile?

Post  LaFee on 11/22/2010, 1:31 am

Sorry, veggiequeen -- it wasn't until Megan said something that the penny dropped -- I'd missed your sentence about being new to the forums. (and thanks to Megan for the gentle nudge, rather than an elbow to the ribs)

So -- welcome to the forum!

I'm LaFee, regional host for the Europe forum, and a transplanted American putting down roots and thriving here in the Paris region.

We're glad to have you with us - you'll find plenty of nice people to answer your questions, celebrate healthy plants and harvests, and commiserate when things are a little rought.

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Re: What's in your compost pile?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 12/29/2010, 12:17 am

@Aub wrote:Who knew you could compost latex?!

And, YOU wanted to be my latex salesman. (Seinfeld reference.)

Can anyone explain the dog poo thing? I understand it's a carnivore thing, but is that because it causes an odor? Or, does it promote disease or flies also? I have a crazy line of dog poo production going in my yard and was looking forward to scooping it and just chucking it into the pile as well as it actually being beneficial to something.

As for coffee grounds, does anyone toss the filter in there, too? It is paper after all, and if we can actually compost latex, surely we can compost a filter.

PS- I haven't read that list yet, and should. I may answer my own question. Thanks all the same.

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composting dog poo

Post  ander217 on 12/29/2010, 2:40 am

From what I read, it's okay to compost dog stuff as long as you use it only on ornamentals, so you would want to make a separate pile for it and make certain the temperature reaches 140 degrees to kill most of the pathogens.

The main problem with using it on food crops is roundworms. The eggs are difficult to kill, and even temps of 140 degrees may not do them in.

My info came from here, a 2005 article:

Composting dog waste

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Re: What's in your compost pile?

Post  camprn on 12/29/2010, 8:37 am

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote: I have a crazy line of dog poo production going in my yard and was looking forward to scooping it and just chucking it into the pile as well as it actually being beneficial to something.
we have quite a bit of it in our yard as well. The plan was to dig, away from everything else, a hole about a foot deep and across, strictly for the puppy poo. I will not put it in the garden compost pile

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:As for coffee grounds, does anyone toss the filter in there, too? It is paper after all, and if we can actually compost latex, surely we can compost a filter. PS- I haven't read that list yet, and should. I may answer my own question. Thanks all the same.
I put the coffee filters into the pile during the winter and they usually break down well. In the summer I hold the filters out and then put them in the burn pile, as they do take a while to break down. I use the hot pile method for composting during the summer and the paper just wont rot fast enough. Very Happy

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Re: What's in your compost pile?

Post  hartge01 on 1/20/2011, 12:20 pm

It seems that there are two different thoughts on composting reading through the various posts (very entertaining). The two are "Well measured and thought out" and "Let's see what happens"
I subscribe to ""Let's see what happens". The goal is for my SFG adventures to be self sustaining. (No more trips to the garden center). I figure some occasional guidance and just plain old experience will get me there.

I keep a small trash in our garage for kitchen scraps. (The inside door opens to the kitchen). Once a week I dump the contents into the compost pile. The pile contains;
Vegetable scraps
Egg shells
Coffee grinds (no filters since we use a reusable filter)
tea bags
NO MEAT, CHEESE OR OILS

Outside I have;
Lots of oak and hackberry leaves
Some pine needles
Grass clippings
The occasional pruned limb
Southern tree moss (would that be brown or green? Its actually gray)

I realize I may be short on "green" matter. Is there an additive I can use to make up for the shortage or should I not worry about it?

I am trying a bin, 3lX3wX4h, and a 40 gal. trash can I read about in one of the posts here. I roll the trash can once a week and the compost bin is/will be rotated every couple of weeks. Both are right next to my garden.

Blessings,

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Re: What's in your compost pile?

Post  camprn on 1/20/2011, 1:25 pm

@hartge01 wrote:
I realize I may be short on "green" matter. Is there an additive I can use to make up for the shortage or should I not worry about it

Blessings,

I also am often short on the greens, which add nitrogen to the compost mix. In lieu of green stuff, I sprinkle dried blood onto the pile as I build the layers. I know you mentioned trying to not visit the garden store often. I am of the same mind, so, I bought a 50# bag of the dried blood last year, I use it in the compost, as a fertilizer for leafy greens, cabbages and Brussels Sprouts.

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Re: What's in your compost pile?

Post  PeggyC on 1/20/2011, 3:56 pm

@ Backyardbird...

Dog Poo can be composted if you set up a special thing for it. I hope to eventually if we still have dogs when we finally move to a forever home. I can't imagine trying to sell a house with one of these:
http://gallery.me.com/cityfarmer#100240&bgcolor=black&view=grid

That has good pics, there are lots of other tutorials online.

There are also commercial ones you can buy. I think one is called the Doggie Dooley.

http://www.bing.com/shopping/Doggie-Dooley-Deluxe-Toilet-Prism-Pet-Waste-Disposal-System/search?q=doggie%20dooly&p1=[CommerceService+scenario%3d%22o%22+docid%3d%22236DDA8FDDC14B5C875F%22]&wf=Commerce

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Re: What's in your compost pile?

Post  Odd Duck on 1/20/2011, 7:11 pm

I've read that vermicomposting doggie waste is even better - reduces the volume faster and is supposed to clean up potential pathogenic bacteria better. Not that I would recommend using that compost on anything edible and I'm not sure I would even use it on the flowers. It's supposed to do a better job (than plain enzymes) of keeping fecal coliforms (the bad bacteria) out of the storm water run-off system (and therefore out of our rivers/streams/groundwater).

I plan on doing something like this with compost worms once I get enough population built up to divide (that is, in 6 months or so, I have another bin to populate first).

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Re: What's in your compost pile?

Post  camprn on 1/21/2011, 9:57 am

@PeggyC wrote:
Dog Poo can be composted if you set up a special thing for it. I hope to eventually if we still have dogs when we finally move to a forever home. I can't imagine trying to sell a house with one of these:
http://gallery.me.com/cityfarmer#100240&bgcolor=black&view=grid

That has good pics, there are lots of other tutorials online.

Thanks! Good photo tutorial! This is the associated website, which I find fascinating.
http://www.cityfarmer.info/

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Re: What's in your compost pile?

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