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Please post pics of starter compost pile

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Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  buttaflie143 on 4/25/2011, 12:31 pm

Can someone please post pics, if you have them, of what a beginning compost pile should look like? I am looking for size and green and brown item percentages (how much green to brown I need for composting to take place). I am a visual person so when the reading material says 2-3 parts brown to 1-part green. I need to see it. For those of you who are number gurus, the dimensions of my composter is as follows: 30.7" x 25.8" x 37.8". Please help.

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  Old Hippie on 4/25/2011, 1:06 pm

Ohhhhh, Buttaflie.....I would so like to help you but...I am so different from you Sad . Any pics I would have it just looks like a pile of yard waste with kitchen scraps thrown in. I can never really remember which is 'greens' and which is 'browns'. Sometimes I add the paper from the shredder. Sometimes I add grass clippings. Sometimes I just dump the stuff from my plant pots in. I just kinda throw stuff on, as I have it, flip it over now and then, add some water and cover it up. I keep doing that and then it turns into compost all by it's lonesome more or less.

It is not really as complicated as it sounds in books. Honest. I bet your compost is going to be just fine.

Gwynn

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  buttaflie143 on 4/25/2011, 1:15 pm

The perfectionist in me gets so caught up in logistics study study . Per your advice, I'm going to start "throwing stuff" in. lol! About how long does your compost take using your method?

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  Old Hippie on 4/25/2011, 1:33 pm

You know, the books make it sound so complicated. When I was first reading about it all, I would think, "Shucks! I am never going to get this right!" and tended to over think it. Well, the stuff rots, with or without my help. Mother Nature just does her thing. So if you just throw stuff on the pile all summer, turn it now and then and keep adding a bit of water to it so it doesn't dry out, by next spring, you will have some pretty decent compost. There will still be some chunky bits of woody stuff maybe but most of it will have turned into wonderful compost and it will probably be full of big fat worms if you have it down on the ground. Now, you may have quite a few seeds that will sprout in it as well, like tomatoes, cantaloupes, potatoes from the peels or what have you. I have a screen that I screen the lumpy stuff out with and throw that back on the new pile and save the nice screened stuff in a pail with a lid until I need it.

If you think Mother Nature is too slow and want to speed things up a bit, add some fresh grass clippings to the pile, make sure it is damp and turn it over every day. It will heat up and work faster. If you get the temp. up to over 140 F. and can keep it that way for about a week you will kill a lot of the seeds too. The bad thing is, that kills worms too. However, after that you let it sit and cure for a couple of weeks and the good micro organisms and worms move back in.
That whole process for me usually takes about a month or month and a half. I can usually get two good batches of compost a season out of mine. I could get more but I tend to be a bit lazy.

Best of luck.

Gwynn

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  GlassHen on 4/25/2011, 1:41 pm

Here's our compost bins that we started last June-ish. They are 4'x4' each.




This is a picture I took this morning of our compost. Using the "just throw it in method" we have about 4-5 inches filling the bottom of one side of our bin. Smile


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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  Old Hippie on 4/25/2011, 1:48 pm

One thing I forgot to mention....when you add vegetable peelings, banana peels, etc, throw some grass clippings or leaves on top or dig a hole in the compost and bury the fresh stuff to keep flies away and keep the smell down.

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  boffer on 4/25/2011, 1:49 pm

Old Hippie and I are going to start a club: 'The lazy, procrastinators, a-lot-of-things-in-the-world-will-happen-just-fine-without-my-help club'! cheers

I noticed in another thread, that you got one of those new fangled twirly thing-a-ma-bob composters. Neato! I've never used one, but many have posted that you don't want to get it much more than half full-it can become unwieldy to turn when too full.

A few catalysts you could add that will help your compost break down faster: green grass, manure, human urine, blood meal, alfalfa pellets, and I'm sure there are more.

I could never remember what's green and what's brown and what good ratios are, so I had to simplify it for myself: Poops and plants. A couple of each in a batch, and I have gold for my garden.

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  walshevak on 4/25/2011, 1:54 pm

Boffer,

I can't seem to get fresh poop, so could I substitute some Black Kow compost.


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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  Old Hippie on 4/25/2011, 1:58 pm

@boffer wrote:Old Hippie and I are going to start a club: 'The lazy, procrastinators, a-lot-of-things-in-the-world-will-happen-just-fine-without-my-help club'! cheers


Sounds like a great club to start but probably too much work. I love you Boffer (Crusty Wink ) but don't tell your wife I said that.

Gwynn


Last edited by Old Hippie on 4/25/2011, 1:59 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added warning.)

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  boffer on 4/25/2011, 2:07 pm

LOL I gotta call ya on that one, Kay! You drive a pickup truck all over the place, going to your son's house etc., and you can't find any manure? You don't carry a 5 gallon bucket and shovel with you at all times...just in case? And I know you could sweet talk some young man into helping you get it loaded...you're just not looking hard enough! :lolsignwave:

I see Black Kow mentioned frequently on the forum, but I've never used it.

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  walshevak on 4/25/2011, 2:20 pm

I guess I'm just too shy to stop at the local farms and ask. Embarassed I did go to the county extension agent to ask about local sources and he was NO help. I posted on freecycle, got a reply and tried to set up a pickup, but the person never got back to me with a time and location. So I'm on to plan B. If I ever get back up to my daughter's house I'll try to score some more chicken poop from her.


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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  martha on 4/25/2011, 2:46 pm

re: hot compost piles killing worms....wouldn't they crawl out? I have never gotten a pile even close to hot enough to know. Our pile is the r e a l l y r e a l l y slow kind.

PS - Boffer - re: Tony Dino-however it is spelled..... Razz

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  camprn on 4/25/2011, 2:59 pm

I tend to just add ingredients an inch or 2 at a time. SO an inch or tow, of green grass clippings, 4-6 inches of the dried leaves piled, and a layer of last winter's compost pile.
Really, just throw it all in a heap, way more brown dried stuff that green stuff, that should do it. I have a good photo that shows composted layers. I will post it after I get home from work.

Winter compost pile


First pile turning of last year

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  clfraser on 4/25/2011, 3:23 pm

Any options other than dried leaves? We don't rake leaves here. If the leaves fall off the trees (which is a big if) it is not quickly enough to have enough to rake or anything. I would love to start a pile, but don't have any idea what I could use for my brown material.

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  buttaflie143 on 4/25/2011, 3:32 pm

@boffer wrote:Old Hippie and I are going to start a club: 'The lazy, procrastinators, a-lot-of-things-in-the-world-will-happen-just-fine-without-my-help club'! cheers

I noticed in another thread, that you got one of those new fangled twirly thing-a-ma-bob composters. Neato! I've never used one, but many have posted that you don't want to get it much more than half full-it can become unwieldy to turn when too full.

A few catalysts you could add that will help your compost break down faster: green grass, manure, human urine, blood meal, alfalfa pellets, and I'm sure there are more.

I could never remember what's green and what's brown and what good ratios are, so I had to simplify it for myself: Poops and plants. A couple of each in a batch, and I have gold for my garden.

I love you Boffer. Your posts always make me smile!!!

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  buttaflie143 on 4/25/2011, 3:37 pm

Thank you all for the pics and advice. I'm now resolved to throw it in, spin it every now and again, and let nature take its course.

Here's a pic of my composter:


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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  ferhoodled on 4/25/2011, 4:13 pm

Buttaflie, would you mind telling where you got that bee-yoo-ti-ful composter? I'm in the market for one.

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  GlassHen on 4/25/2011, 4:15 pm

@clfraser wrote:Any options other than dried leaves? We don't rake leaves here. If the leaves fall off the trees (which is a big if) it is not quickly enough to have enough to rake or anything. I would love to start a pile, but don't have any idea what I could use for my brown material.

crumbled up or shredded newspaper?

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  staf74 on 4/25/2011, 4:19 pm

Butterflie,

OOPS...just posted this in the wrong thread. I put this in your SFG progress thread.

Composting is a little more complicated than simply throwing a few things in a pile and waiting if you want OPTIMAL results and speed. Of course, that will work and has done for years but if you really are a perfectionist as you say, then I highly recommend the Rodale book of composting. You can buy it used at Amazon for as little as 80 cents!!!

It is quite simply a phenomenal read for us garden nerds....LOL Very Happy



Since buying the book, I have tweaked a few things and my pile is now a hive of activity. I love putting my hand into the middle and feeling the heat. On cooler mornings, opening up the middle and watching it steam away is a joy.

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  buttaflie143 on 4/25/2011, 4:21 pm

No problem. I am going to order it right now, but I've already thrown some stuff in. Smile

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  clfraser on 4/25/2011, 4:25 pm

Will the ink on the newspaper be a problem or is it safe?

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  GlassHen on 4/25/2011, 4:29 pm

Most newspapers are printed with soy ink. Our newspaper states "printed with soy ink" right on the paper. You could always call up the printer and make sure what kind of ink they use. Also, make sure you don't use the glossy stuff like ads.

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  buttaflie143 on 4/25/2011, 5:47 pm

My friend just agreed to give me their chicken and rabbit manure? What do you think or know about this kind of manure?

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  boffer on 4/25/2011, 5:53 pm

@buttaflie143 wrote:My friend just agreed to give me their chicken and rabbit manure? What do you think or know about this kind of manure?

Get more.

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

Post  buttaflie143 on 4/25/2011, 5:57 pm

@boffer wrote:
@buttaflie143 wrote:My friend just agreed to give me their chicken and rabbit manure? What do you think or know about this kind of manure?

Get more.

Boffer,
How much should I add to my compost and how often?

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Re: Please post pics of starter compost pile

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