Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» December 2016 Avatar: Show your Winter Season Colors!
by sanderson Today at 12:40 pm

» New England, December 2016
by CapeCoddess Today at 12:35 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by CapeCoddess Today at 12:32 pm

» Mychorrhizae Fungi
by dstack Today at 11:38 am

» New Member
by sfg4uKim Today at 11:00 am

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee Today at 10:56 am

» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by countrynaturals Today at 10:42 am

» First season SFG results / lessons learned
by countrynaturals Today at 10:36 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by Kelejan Today at 9:46 am

» Mid-South: December 2016
by sanderson Today at 3:39 am

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by sanderson Today at 3:30 am

» Eat Broccoli Leaves? Brussels Sprouts? Cauliflower?
by sanderson Today at 2:55 am

» Winter's Coming!
by sanderson Today at 2:53 am

» Dry versus fresh spices to infuse vinegar
by sanderson Today at 2:50 am

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by sanderson Today at 1:28 am

» Holy snow Batman!
by sanderson Yesterday at 5:46 pm

» Senseless Banter...
by MrBooker Yesterday at 5:17 pm

» Blanching and Freezing Vegetables
by sanderson Yesterday at 4:59 pm

» Your Christmas wish list?
by sanderson Yesterday at 4:29 pm

» SFG Adventure of a first time gardener in ND
by sanderson Yesterday at 4:14 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by Kelejan Yesterday at 4:08 pm

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 2:59 pm

» Fusion Life Brands Power XL pressure cooker
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 2:39 pm

» Asia Region -Showcase of Gardens - Show Us Yours
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:14 pm

» December: What to plant in Northern California and Central Valley areas
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 1:13 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 12:52 pm

» Winter Gardens - Photos
by sanderson Yesterday at 3:55 am

» Log In
by trolleydriver 12/1/2016, 5:23 pm

» Gnome Pumpkin Pie
by countrynaturals 12/1/2016, 1:22 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals 12/1/2016, 12:05 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

a couple beginner compost questions

View previous topic View next topic Go down

a couple beginner compost questions

Post  tkdtara84 on 3/30/2011, 6:50 pm

This is my first year SFG, and I thought I would first do the boxes this year and put off composting until next. However, we are just getting our yard cleaned up from previous elderly owners who couldn't care for it, so it's really overgrown, and we have tons of clippings/trimmings. We cut down a cedar tree last fall that was making our house and roof mildew/rot. Anyhow, there are tons of cedar needles on the ground from where that tree was (at least several huge garbage bags worth), so that got me thinking about going ahead with composting this year so we don't have to figure out how to bag them up and get rid of them all.

First, would cedar needles be okay to compost? I read about someone composting mulberry tree trimmings and ending up with tons of mulberry seedlings because her compost didn't get hot enough to kill the seeds. I'd hate to have the same thing happen.

Second, our yard is heavily shaded. We're using up the few patches of sunlight for the boxes, so the most convenient spot for our pile/bin would be right up next to a wooded spot with very little sunlight. Would that work, or does a pile need sunlight to heat up and do its thing?

Thanks, and sorry for the dumb questions!

tkdtara84

Female Posts : 68
Join date : 2011-03-29
Location : Lafayette, IN 5b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/30/2011, 6:57 pm

Compost is all about internal combustion. Do not use just the cedar, add grass clippings, vegetarian poo (rabbit, goat, horse) is optional, kitchen scraps, fall leaves, more lawn clippings. I'm fairly sure Mel has a chapter on this in his book.

Lavender Debs

Posts : 2054
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 59
Location : Everett, WA USA

View user profile http://songs-of-coming-rain.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  tkdtara84 on 3/30/2011, 7:00 pm

Thanks. I will, of course, add other stuff, but my main reason for starting this year instead of waiting until next would be to use the cedar stuff. My husband is a little freaked by the startup costs of the MM, etc., and wants to wait on the compost to make sure the SFG thing "sticks," but if he didn't have to bag and haul the cedar needles, well that might be an offer he couldn't refuse. Wink

tkdtara84

Female Posts : 68
Join date : 2011-03-29
Location : Lafayette, IN 5b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/30/2011, 7:10 pm

Yikes, sorry about that, I feel his pain. My husband is more like middle momma's, He got everything for me partly because he has so many toys...errr hobbies. He likes to go shopping and I do not have a normal female shopping gene. I am the one who gets sticker shock.

Raw compost takes more than it gives. If the older couple had a pile somewhere use that (It might just look like a mound of grass but under that layer of grass is SFG gold. Save the bags of cedar for between the beds (mulch rather than compost)

Lavender Debs

Posts : 2054
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 59
Location : Everett, WA USA

View user profile http://songs-of-coming-rain.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  camprn on 3/30/2011, 9:06 pm

I have a stand of spruce and hemlock trees at my place. The fallen needles ARE compostable, but I don't add very many of them to my active compost pile, I just rake up the needle debris and pile in the back yard and let it sit all by itself to rot as it will. Today I was checking last years pile and it is nearly ready to use as compost.

camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  tkdtara84 on 3/31/2011, 1:25 pm

After doing more online reading, I found that the needles are, of course, compostable, but they are very acidic, so it's not good to add too many of them to the pile. However, we're planting a couple of blueberry bushes this year, and they need acidic soil, so I'm just going to use the needles as mulch for them. Problem solved!

Does anyone know if I can put my pile in the shade? Does it make the process go slower?

tkdtara84

Female Posts : 68
Join date : 2011-03-29
Location : Lafayette, IN 5b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  dmsandlin on 3/31/2011, 2:39 pm

Think of what's on a forest floor - acres of compost from last (and previous) year's fallen leaves; it all happened in the shade. It may take a little longer, but shade won't hurt.

dmsandlin

Posts : 54
Join date : 2011-02-11
Location : central Arkansas

View user profile

Back to top Go down

a couple beginner compost questions

Post  Goosegirl on 3/31/2011, 5:08 pm

@dmsandlin wrote:Think of what's on a forest floor - acres of compost from last (and previous) year's fallen leaves; it all happened in the shade. It may take a little longer, but shade won't hurt.

I was thinking the same thing - think Redwood Forest - 300ft tall trees? Not much sun hits the ground - but compost happens anyway!

TC

____________________________

GG   geek 






COMPOSTING:  The only time 'Garbage In' does not equal 'Garbage Out'!

Goosegirl

Female Posts : 3402
Join date : 2011-02-16
Age : 51
Location : Zone 4A - NE SD

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  camprn on 3/31/2011, 7:12 pm

@tkdtara84 wrote:After doing more online reading, I found that the needles are, of course, compostable, but they are very acidic, so it's not good to add too many of them to the pile. However, we're planting a couple of blueberry bushes this year, and they need acidic soil, so I'm just going to use the needles as mulch for them. Problem solved!

Does anyone know if I can put my pile in the shade? Does it make the process go slower?
PERFECT for the blueberries! I would suggest just piling the needles in the most convenient spot and dont think about then again until next year. Very Happy

camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  WardinWake on 4/1/2011, 6:22 am

@tkdtara84 wrote:After doing more online reading, I found that the needles are, of course, compostable, but they are very acidic, so it's not good to add too many of them to the pile. However, we're planting a couple of blueberry bushes this year, and they need acidic soil, so I'm just going to use the needles as mulch for them. Problem solved!

Does anyone know if I can put my pile in the shade? Does it make the process go slower?

Tkdtara84:

Composting will happen no matter the location and the weather. Follow the instructions in the "ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING BOOK" beginning on page 92. Using the method as outlined I had steam coming from my compost pile when there was a foot of snow on the ground, but, none on the compost pile.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.

WardinWake

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 935
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 66
Location : Wake, VA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  Miss Mousie on 4/18/2011, 8:42 pm

I have a couple of huge ancient oak trees right behind my house and they drop tons of leaves. When I feel compelled to rake, I find the most beautiful black soil. Can I add this to my compost, the leaves and some of the soil? Are oak leaves acidic too?

Miss Mousie

Female Posts : 89
Join date : 2010-03-26
Location : Sierra Nevada Foothills, California | Sunset Zone 7

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  tkdtara84 on 4/18/2011, 9:31 pm

I just dug up around our pile of needles, and lo and behold-- compost! It was all done under the very top layer! So, now I have some good soil to add to the blueberry spot. The rest we just raked into a pile so it can do its business.

tkdtara84

Female Posts : 68
Join date : 2011-03-29
Location : Lafayette, IN 5b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  camprn on 4/18/2011, 9:40 pm

From what I've read, the oak leaf is high in nitrogen and acidic while fresh and beginning it's decomposition, but the overall effect is an alkaline composted product.

Composting Oak Leaves from another forum.

camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  boffer on 4/18/2011, 9:44 pm

Oak leaves have made up ~20% of my compost for four years. No complaints here.

Fir needles are just slow.

boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 63
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  Sponsored content Today at 12:48 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum