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Silly questions

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Silly questions

Post  MPalmer on 7/7/2011, 6:18 pm

This might sound so silly, but what if some "green" item gets pretty moldy in your compost pile? Is that just part of the process?

Also, what can you use in the summer to start a composting pile. Since there are no leaves yet...how to you come up with enough "brown" mass that will help create a pile 3'x3'?

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Re: Silly questions

Post  Goosegirl on 7/7/2011, 7:10 pm

@MPalmer wrote:This might sound so silly, but what if some "green" item gets pretty moldy in your compost pile? Is that just part of the process?

Also, what can you use in the summer to start a composting pile. Since there are no leaves yet...how to you come up with enough "brown" mass that will help create a pile 3'x3'?

When you mow, let the grass clippings dry out for a day or so, then rake them up and toss them in. Letting them dry out turns them from a 'green' to a 'brown' - even if they are still a green color. Think of them more as wet or dry instead of green or brown, or if you would rather, fresh or stale.....

GG
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Re: Silly questions

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 7/7/2011, 7:39 pm

@MPalmer wrote:This might sound so silly, but what if some "green" item gets pretty moldy in your compost pile? Is that just part of the process?

Also, what can you use in the summer to start a composting pile. Since there are no leaves yet...how to you come up with enough "brown" mass that will help create a pile 3'x3'?

Yes, moldy grass is part of the process from everything I've ever seen.

But, can I be brutally honest for a second?

Composting is not rocket science. Yes, we can perfectly balance greens and browns with climate and whatnot, while turning 5.3847560 cranks per day to achieve the fastest possible production. But, the end process is the same. Garden ready, rich as Bill Gates, nutrients for your SFG. Sometimes things take longer than others, but.....

Eventually, you will get compost. Just toss in kitchen scraps (not meat or dairy), grass clippings, a little other biodegradable stuff, turn the pile once in awhile, and wait it out. When it's done, you will know. You won't be able to determine what anything originally was.

You can start composting any time of year. However, things take longer in winter, obviously. My advice would be to start one asap because the sooner you start, the sooner you get compost.

Happy Composting. (That in no way was meant as an attack on OP's question. The question is valid. We just tend to overthink things when it comes to "natural processes.")
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Re: Silly questions

Post  staf74 on 7/7/2011, 9:01 pm

how to you come up with enough "brown" mass

Shred cardboard boxes perhaps. It is perfect for your browns. Not sure if you have a shredder or have access to one at work perhaps but I bought one last year for $20 from Wally world and boy that thing is crazy strong. It will shred CD's, credit cards etc....NOT for my compost pile of course ... LOL but veritably CHEWS through cardboard boxes. I just tear them into managable pieces and VOILA...instant browns when no leaves are around.

Just make sure it is plain cardboard. No plastic covering, waxes or tape etc.
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Re: Silly questions

Post  Denese on 7/7/2011, 9:23 pm

Maybe I'm wrong, but my understanding has always been that if the grass is green when cut, it's still a "green' for composting even if it's dried. I don't think it loses its nitrogen content, just because it lost its moisture.
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Re: Silly questions

Post  staf74 on 7/7/2011, 10:35 pm

Denese,

I believe you are correct. Water is mainly all that is lost when dried but the ratio of C:N is not changed much. SOME nitrogen is lost to the atmosphere but it still counts as a green. Again, I'd go for cardboard as an plentiful source of brown during "leaf droughts."

Just me though Smile
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Re: Silly questions

Post  Barkie on 7/8/2011, 5:08 am

I don't think there are any silly questions. In the end all living matter that has died does eventually rot down and many organisms have a hand in the process or live on the material as it changes and becomes temporarily suitable for them including mould.

Straw, hay, and dry grass clippings are also useful for the nutrients they add to compost if you haven't got dry leaves.

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Re: Silly questions

Post  Lindacol on 7/8/2011, 11:35 am

@MPalmer wrote:This might sound so silly, but what if some "green" item gets pretty moldy in your compost pile? Is that just part of the process?

Also, what can you use in the summer to start a composting pile. Since there are no leaves yet...how to you come up with enough "brown" mass that will help create a pile 3'x3'?

Check Craigslist for local ranchs. Any horse or livestock owner will have extra manure and many times it can be had free. Manure mixed with whatever is used to bed the livestock on (hay, straw or shavings) makes a very good start for a compost pile.
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Re: Silly questions

Post  Goosegirl on 7/8/2011, 1:52 pm

@Denese wrote:Maybe I'm wrong, but my understanding has always been that if the grass is green when cut, it's still a "green' for composting even if it's dried. I don't think it loses its nitrogen content, just because it lost its moisture.

I stand corrected! You are right - it just is less smelly and gooey when used as mulch if you let it dry before using it around plants but is still a high nitrogen.

GG
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Thank You!!!

Post  MPalmer on 7/8/2011, 5:54 pm

Thank you so much for your responses!!! It is a wonderful help!

I am ready to get this pile started~

Michele

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