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My Compost Pile

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  southern gardener on 11/10/2011, 7:21 pm

Plantoid: What would you do to soil that has a LOT of mushroom compost? The plants are turning yellow, and I think it might be from salt in the compost? It seems like you know a lot about this stuff :0)

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  llama momma on 11/10/2011, 7:37 pm

Plantoid, interesting info. Thank you!

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  plantoid on 11/10/2011, 8:29 pm

@southern gardener wrote:Plantoid: What would you do to soil that has a LOT of mushroom compost? The plants are turning yellow, and I think it might be from salt in the compost? It seems like you know a lot about this stuff :0)



Water it well afor a couple fo days and a few days later do a home soil test look for a pH of 6.5 to ( parts Hydrogen ).



It depends how big your plot is and how much is under cultivation .. if you are prepared to wait then dig in well rotted stable muck that has straw and urine content , it tends to be quite acidic when it is dark brown from the middle of the heap .

You might get a quick fix from crushed basic slag .. which can be the scum offf molten steel that is ground up or volcanic rock that is ground up or ground up slate .

For some reason used grapes and leaves from a vinyard enters my mind .. I think it has a reasonable acetic acid content ( vinegar ? ) crushed windfall apples but you get the pests with them.

There are also chemical sprays & granules avqailable that can acidify the soil but you need to use them with care.

Citric acid comes to mind and I seem to recall ferric chloride but your best using a search engine to track the chemicals down and find out more about them with respect to using them in your garden ..



Over time ( several years the excessive lime content of the overdose of mushroom compost will reduce naturally if you can wait that long and add the stable muck every year


Guest, lurkers, and beginner SFGer's please note: Plantoid, this poster, is not a SFG gardener. His information may or may not be correct. If you follow the instructions in Chapter 5 of the ALL NEW SFG book, none of the information in this post will be necessary or relevant.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  plantoid on 11/10/2011, 9:35 pm

Seeing as how you have added to my post with your blue stuff ..perhaps you'd be kind enough to explain as to why you think I am not a squarefoot gardener and why you think the remedy for too much alkaline manure is incorrect please.



I've been doing square foot gardening for over 8 years and have done intense cultivation of 3 foot deep dug veg beds all 39 inches wide for over 21 years .

Chapter five in the old and the new book covers how to make the garden compost not how to remedy a problem of an over dose of mushroom compost surely ?

Agreed in the chapter five of both books .. it does indicate that a high akaline soil down South may need sulfur ( sulphur ) on it to help change the alkalinity, but what I have done in my post is given a few things beneficial to the garden that also contain it or other lime reduction devices.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  southern gardener on 11/10/2011, 9:48 pm

thank you plantoid. I was asking because we had too much mushroom compost in our first batch of Mel's mix, and was wondering how to counteract the salts...

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  genes on 11/10/2011, 10:03 pm

i didnt write the blue but you don't use Mel's Mix so your not doing SFG. On page 1 Mel said the original SFG is an antique compared to his new SFG. chapter 5 of the ALL NEW SFG doesnt mention fixing alkaline soil becaude SFG doesnt use soil.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  plantoid on 11/11/2011, 10:02 am

@genes wrote:i didnt write the blue but you don't use Mel's Mix so your not doing SFG. On page 1 Mel said the original SFG is an antique compared to his new SFG. chapter 5 of the ALL NEW SFG doesnt mention fixing alkaline soil becaude SFG doesnt use soil.



OK gotcha ... is that what it was about ?

I now understand that you are referring to a completely new book not the square foor gardening books I have read by Mel so yes i accept that I use a nore natural style soil based growing medium and the " All new book of square foot gardening offers otherwise .. but square foot gardenig is what I do .. calling it any other name is like you having a new small Korean car and my having a Rolls Royce Phanthom they are still both cars at the end of the day.

Does it really matter if you use Mel's super compost concoction up or real soil ? The recipe for a super concoction is in the soft back edition I have ( undated other than the copyright of 1981 ).

The principle of continuous intense cyclic cultivation of smallblocks of growing medium ( That means anything that you can grow stuff in ... natural or concocted ) in 303 mm or 12 inch blocks and replensishing the nutirents in the medium as soon as harvesting has taken place is the same rose under a different name . So yes I do infact practice and enjoy squarefoot gardening.

When Mel says the original book & some of his idea are antique I can run with that , for an antique chair well looked after is still a dam good chair and in lots of cases far outdoes a modern chair by miles .

All Mel has done is bring it back in up to date words , used an almost soil less medium and debunked lots of gardening witchcraft all in one book.




But back to the principle of a continuous intense cyclic cultivation of small blocks of growing medium .
It has been done like that for hundreds of years by monks in monastry's .. they might not have had the same precise measurements but they did do intensive rotational crop cultivation of " one out, one in " , kept off the beds & they added things to the soil such as animal manures and other natural rotted out waste.

Around the 1960's I think it was called perm a culture here in the UK and perhaps elsewhere in the world.

Apparently around 1540 AD someone made a wood cutting depicting an Italian monastry with monks tending their own individual plots attached to their individual dwellings.

If the monks didn't get their square foot gardening right for the year they nigh on starved . For each monk only grew enough for themselves , spending the other time of their lives sleeping or praying to their god etc.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  boffer on 11/11/2011, 11:29 am

This forum is part of the Foundation's network to teach and support SFG in the manner Mel wants it presented. It is the only official forum dedicated to SFG. In his new book, he precisely defines the components of SFG as a box, a grid, and Mel's Mix. That is what teachers and missionaries are presenting around the world.

Obviously, there are many different types of gardening that have worked for centuries. When they are discussed on this forum, it's important that guests understand that they are not part of the SFG method. The old SFG method works quite well. But Mel has abandoned it because the new method is so much better. Your gardening methods at your home, and what you call them, are your business. On this forum, we are tasked to insure that the SFG method is presented as instructed.

Mel created the method, wrote the book, and started this forum so that folks can come here to learn what SFG is about. It's rather audacious and absurd when someone comes here to tell us what SFG is. To argue, debate, and contradict the definition of SFG is to say that Mel doesn't know what he's talking about.

Obviously, you are a knowledgeable gardener. One objective of the new SFG method is that beginning gardeners, and experienced gardeners alike, don't need to know all that stuff. Read the new book, and give it a try. You'll like it.


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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  plantoid on 11/11/2011, 11:45 am

Thanks for that Boffer .



Best change the titles to " The official forum for the New Method Squarefoot Gardening as at 2011 etc " then .Wink



I'd like to get the lastest book available ..can you give me a print date so I don't end up with an older version from the booksellers rather than the latest new superceededbook of squarefoot gardening .. an ISBN code would be most helpful ( hard or soft back code )



Thanks David

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  boffer on 11/11/2011, 12:23 pm

Thanks back at ya; I appreciate you giving my post reasonable consideration. It seldom happens.

Ironically, this was the logo at the top of the page until a couple months ago, when we were given a new one to use:


We've had a number of new members who bought the old book used, and they really got off to a tough start.

From the Foundation:
http://www.squarefootgardening.com/products/ALL-NEW-Square-Foot-Gardening-Book.html

From Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/All-New-Square-Foot-Gardening/dp/1591862027/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1321031340&sr=1-3

# ISBN-10: 1591862027
# ISBN-13: 978-1591862024

We have a number of active members on the forum who haven't tried SFG yet (yes, it's that obvious Wink ), and nobody cares. We had a poll earlier this year, and most of us have some gardens that aren't SFG, and nobody cares. At times, it is the experienced, non-SFGer who can best answer questions about pest and disease issues. All are welcome. But although we are 'members' of this forum, we are still guests of the owner and try to respect his objectives.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/11/2011, 12:37 pm

In every forum I've ever been associated with, there was always at least one person who ruins the spirit of it.

Since this seems to be a currently active thread I'll ask another question about compost....

Some people say cover your compost in wet weather. Other people say don't cover it. I would think that whenever it rains/snows, the moisture level of the compost would increase and that can't be good because compost should never be too wet.

Anybody have any opinions on both schools of thought?

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Lindacol on 11/11/2011, 2:23 pm

@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:In every forum I've ever been associated with, there was always at least one person who ruins the spirit of it.

Since this seems to be a currently active thread I'll ask another question about compost....

Some people say cover your compost in wet weather. Other people say don't cover it. I would think that whenever it rains/snows, the moisture level of the compost would increase and that can't be good because compost should never be too wet.

Anybody have any opinions on both schools of thought?

That will depend to a large part on where you live. Here in southern California I never cover my compost. 9-10 months of the year I have to water it to keep it working. Even when we get downpours the compost pile is seldom very wet more than a few inches in.

I have 2 pallet bins. As soon as I finish using the compost from one, I will fork the contents of the other one into the empty bin, adding some horse manure and maybe some leaves to the working compost of goat manure, alfalfa hay and household stuff(mostly coffee grounds w/egg shells). That bin should be ready for spring planting.


Last edited by Lindacol on 11/11/2011, 2:30 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  plantoid on 11/11/2011, 2:26 pm

@boffer wrote:Thanks back at ya; I appreciate you giving my post reasonable consideration. It seldom happens.

Ironically, this was the logo at the top of the page until a couple months ago, when we were given a new one to use:






From the Foundation:
http://www.squarefootgardening.com/products/ALL-NEW-Square-Foot-Gardening-Book.html

From Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/All-New-Square-Foot-Gardening/dp/1591862027/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1321031340&sr=1-3

# ISBN-10: 1591862027
# ISBN-13: 978-1591862024

We have a number of active members on the forum who haven't tried SFG yet (yes, it's that obvious Wink ), and nobody cares. We had a poll earlier this year, and most of us have some gardens that aren't SFG, and nobody cares. At times, it is the experienced, non-SFGer who can best answer questions about pest and disease issues. All are welcome. But although we are 'members' of this forum, we are still guests of the owner and try to respect his objectives.



It looks like I have a winner for one dated june 2006 thanks.



re

We've had a number of new members who bought the old book used, and they really got off to a tough start.

Perhaps a nice welcome , presented on the new joiners thread or a PM when it becomes apparent that they are still successfully running with the older books when we join as newbies from any of the longer term " Seeen the Holy Grail Wink " members and snippet that ..

" A heck of a lot of the basic idea has changed quite drastically with loads of vaqluable new stuff being added.

I'd suggest a perhaps you need to try and get hold of the feb 14 2006 latest updated version to get better results and see what it is all about " .

Might be very very useful ... Because of my interest in thinking things through and my engineering backgrounds & growing things for well over 45 years or so I most certainly would have done something about it .



re covering things on the heap ..

It helps stop the heap drying out too quick or getting too wet if you have several days of a cold wet down pour . It also helps to keep heat in the pile to make a decent composting temperature and grow the beneficial insects etc. ,bacteria and spores found in good decomposition.

If you have built the heap on a small mound or porous base there will be a natural drainage down through and away from the heap should it need it .

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/11/2011, 2:44 pm

Thanks lindacol and plantoid.

Ever since the hurricane roared along back in the beginning of September it's been raining quite frequently. The grass is very spongy. I wish it would dry out!! Evil or Very Mad

When I had just a compost pile I would keep the whole thing covered whenever it rained. Now that it's in a bin, I keep just the top covered. I always thought that it would be better for me to control the moisture content, but if the majority of what I read on here and on other web pages tells me to cover, then I would....%99.99 of gardeners know more than me!

The rainfall throughout the year here is really hit or miss.

Thanks for the advice. I feel better!

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/15/2011, 8:59 pm

When I added the alpaca and rabbit manures to my compost bin, the temp was around 90F. Tonight it was at 130F!! That's a 10F increase per day!
cheers

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  southern gardener on 11/15/2011, 11:06 pm

mine is cherry sizzling cherry too!! It was doing just ok, but we wet it down, now that baby is STEAMING!! cheers
congrats to you TTT

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/15/2011, 11:20 pm

I've wet it down a couple of times as well.

When I woke up this morning, I checked the weather forecast and they were calling for rain. Not wanting the pile to get too saturated, I covered it with a tarp. I think that's one reason why the temp was up to 130F.
Now if I can maintain that for a few days, I'll be thrilled.


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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  llama momma on 11/16/2011, 4:26 am

sg and ttt, All this talk about steaming compost, haven't looked at mine since my last post. Greatly anticipating daybreak so I can turn over the pile and see whats happening!

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/16/2011, 7:13 am

hey southern gardener and llama momma.......

Do you have a compost thermometer?

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  RoOsTeR on 11/16/2011, 7:41 am

Our temps have unfortunately just gotten to cold. I checked my bins yesterday and they are cold pale
I have been stocking bagged leaves and still hunting for llama pooh around here so I will be ready to get going again come spring.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/16/2011, 7:59 am

nKedrOoStEr wrote:Our temps have unfortunately just gotten to cold. I checked my bins yesterday and they are cold pale
I have been stocking bagged leaves and still hunting for llama pooh around here so I will be ready to get going again come spring.

When I was working yesterday, I drove down this one street and there were literally hundreds of leaf bags lining this 4 block stretch. It was incredible. If I would've had room in the van, I would've picked up as many as I could.

Word of warning.....

llama poop, if left sitting too long, will turn brick-like.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  RoOsTeR on 11/16/2011, 9:16 am

I never thought my life would come to a point of such interest in poop and leaves:lol!:

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/16/2011, 9:20 am

nKedrOoStEr wrote:I never thought my life would come to a point of such interest in poop and leaves:lol!:

I never knew poop and leaves would make great compost.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  llama momma on 11/16/2011, 4:02 pm

TTT To answer your question: I do not have a compost thermometer. It is going on my christmas list though. It's a fun idea to play around with it! Had Too many errands to run today still have to go back out again in a couple minutes. Argh, can't get out to the compost heap today, probably not till the weekend waah. But, driving around today I saw in the very same pasture: horses, goats, and cows. Imagine all that poo in one place. Then another place had dozens of chickens. Within a 15 minute drive I realize now I am surrounded by quite a variety of manures. I knocked on 2 doors for some leaves couple weeks ago, think its time to go knocking on doors again for that golden mix of poo.

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Re: My Compost Pile

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/16/2011, 4:23 pm

@llama momma wrote: But, driving around today I saw in the very same pasture: horses, goats, and cows. Imagine all that poo in one place. Then another place had dozens of chickens. Within a 15 minute drive I realize now I am surrounded by quite a variety of manures. I knocked on 2 doors for some leaves couple weeks ago, think its time to go knocking on doors again for that golden mix of poo.

There's a horse farm about 5 minutes from my house but I decided to travel a bit more to get the horse manure.......it was a woman I found on craigslist who was happy enough to give me all of the poop I wanted. There's alot of farms around me and I just have to work up the courage to go knocking on their door asking for poop. Now if they had a sign in front of their house advertising "Free Cow Poop", I would go there in a hearbeat.

I found a chicken farm about 10 minutes from my house but the woman told me(via email) that they don't have any to give away. There are other chicken farms around here and I just gotta find one that'll let me have manure. Heck, I'd even pay for it.

I had to drive about 35 minutes to get the alpaca and rabbit manures, but I didn't mind that at all.

As much as I would love chicken poop and cow poop, I'm sort of don't want to add it to my compost because I read on a few different websites that you REALLY need to make sure that those two are thoroughly composted before using it on vegetables. I'm not using the compost until spring time but I'm still unsure.

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Re: My Compost Pile

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