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Pine Needles in Compost

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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  troyvar on 4/21/2012, 11:03 pm

I'm going to try an anaerobic digester for my pine debris this year. Small scale to start with, just a couple of 30 gallon plastic garbage cans.
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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/21/2012, 11:08 pm

Holy Thread Resurrection Batman!


I forgot about this one.
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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  JennAndCompany on 4/21/2012, 11:22 pm

I have read about people making their own composter out of those big plastic garbage barrels - they drill a bunch of holds in the side, fill it, close it, turn it on its side, and roll it around the yard everyday to stir it.

Question: I am guessing they aren't considered food safe, are they??

Thoughts? Thanks!
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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/22/2012, 12:10 am

@JennAndCompany wrote:I have read about people making their own composter out of those big plastic garbage barrels - they drill a bunch of holds in the side, fill it, close it, turn it on its side, and roll it around the yard everyday to stir it.

Question: I am guessing they aren't considered food safe, are they??

Thoughts? Thanks!

I don't know if a garbage can would be labeled food-safe. I've never seen it. That's a good question though.
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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  Chopper on 4/22/2012, 12:35 am

I did that. Added the holes. Never rolled it. Got compost and used it in one box by itself. One of my best boxes.

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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  rod champion on 4/22/2012, 9:36 am

@JennAndCompany wrote:I have read about people making their own composter out of those big plastic garbage barrels - they drill a bunch of holds in the side, fill it, close it, turn it on its side, and roll it around the yard everyday to stir it.

Question: I am guessing they aren't considered food safe, are they??

Thoughts? Thanks!

Just don't eat the com post and you will be ok

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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  givvmistamps on 4/22/2012, 10:30 am

@JennAndCompany wrote:I have read about people making their own composter out of those big plastic garbage barrels - they drill a bunch of holds in the side, fill it, close it, turn it on its side, and roll it around the yard everyday to stir it.

Question: I am guessing they aren't considered food safe, are they??

Thoughts? Thanks!

Jenn, if you look at the bottom of plastic products, you'll see what's normally called the recycling number. That actually tells you what class of plastic you're looking at. I found this website a while ago that helps to understand the quality and approved uses of different classes of plastic:
http://healthychild.org/5steps/5_steps_5/
Maybe that'll help answer your question.
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Zone 3b Pine Compost

Post  acmike on 4/22/2012, 9:00 pm

I'm relatively new to composting. I have a cottage in Northern Wisconsin (Zone 3b) and in no shortage of pine needles. We have the longer variety present as the majority. I've used them to cover an old pile of broken concrete cinder block that was left on the property prior to us purchasing it. I recently mixed in some grass clippings, coffee grounds, and newer compost. My plan is to eventually plant wildflower seeds over the area (which is the side of a small hill) and allow it to progress. Any suggestions anyone has to offer on how I can best include the pine needles into a usable compost setting? Thanks very much.
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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/22/2012, 10:08 pm

@JennAndCompany wrote:I have read about people making their own composter out of those big plastic garbage barrels - they drill a bunch of holds in the side, fill it, close it, turn it on its side, and roll it around the yard everyday to stir it.

Question: I am guessing they aren't considered food safe, are they??

Thoughts? Thanks!



This is a post I made last year, right above the post you made yesterday. Very Happy Is this the type of container your talking about?

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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/22/2012, 11:37 pm

@JennAndCompany wrote:I have read about people making their own composter out of those big plastic garbage barrels - they drill a bunch of holds in the side, fill it, close it, turn it on its side, and roll it around the yard everyday to stir it.

Question: I am guessing they aren't considered food safe, are they??

Thoughts? Thanks!

Seeing Rooster's post just made me think that barrels like his come usually hold some kind of food product. My rain barrel once held food dye so I know that's foodsafe. What a Face
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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  GWN on 4/22/2012, 11:43 pm

Question: I am guessing they aren't considered food safe, are they??
I am curious how far up the food chain plastics are significant.
I never cook in plastic containers, however I wonder how a plastic composter would affect the food grown in the composted material.
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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/22/2012, 11:46 pm

@GWN wrote:
Question: I am guessing they aren't considered food safe, are they??
I am curious how far up the food chain plastics are significant.
I never cook in plastic containers, however I wonder how a plastic composter would affect the food grown in the composted material.

Compost inside a plastic composter would not get nearly as hot as food cooked in a plastic container
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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  plantoid on 4/23/2012, 4:13 am

GWN degredation of the plastics in nearly all plastic barrels that have had bulk commercial food products in them is very very slow .

The concern was that the polymers etc would break down and leech into the contents .. Composting with such a barrel would I suspect not show any contaminations of any account unless the compost remained in the barrel for many years.
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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  1airdoc on 4/23/2012, 7:27 am

acmike: Pine needles make great mulch, but are difficult to compost. They have a waxy substance which is slow to degrade, so they persist intact in the compost for a long time. They can be used, but it will definitely slow down the composting process. Long after all the other compost components have broken down, you will still have whole pieces of pine needles in the compost.
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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/23/2012, 8:02 am

@1airdoc wrote:acmike: Pine needles make great mulch, but are difficult to compost. They have a waxy substance which is slow to degrade, so they persist intact in the compost for a long time. They can be used, but it will definitely slow down the composting process. Long after all the other compost components have broken down, you will still have whole pieces of pine needles in the compost.

When I sifted my compost the other day, I noticed that there were still pine needles in it.. They were completely black but still there.

I won't do that again.
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pine needles in compost...

Post  mlayser on 5/29/2012, 7:32 pm

i'm thinking that shredding/chipping thr needles and then adding them in my compost designated for the potato buckets might be a good idea. I heard they like acidic soil. Any thoughts?
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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  floyd1440 on 5/29/2012, 8:20 pm

@mlayser wrote:i'm thinking that shredding/chipping thr needles and then adding them in my compost designated for the potato buckets might be a good idea. I heard they like acidic soil. Any thoughts?

Pine needles are an excellent sourse of carbon but if you want a fast or banner batch of compost I advice you not to use them as they take a while to break down.

I put some in my pile this spring and they are slow to turn into compost. I will put themin a pile late summer to give it the winter to compost; that is my plan anyway.....

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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  Roseinarosecity on 5/30/2012, 11:27 am

Here's some info about my pine needles. This March I added one year old sugar pine needles to my pallet compost. (I had used them for mulch in my vegetable garden the year before, then I pulled them out at the end of the season and bagged them.) I turn over this compost once a week. After one month the pine needles were still recognizable. It's now the end of May and I completely forgot about the pine needles because they are completely gone! It took three months for my pine needles to decompose.

On the other hand, the pine needles used over the last two years to mulch my pine tree are still there doing their job as mulch. I know that the pine needles closest to the ground are slowly breaking down because I moved it to pull some weed and they began falling apart.

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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  floyd1440 on 5/30/2012, 8:30 pm

I will have to check my pile when I turn it this weekend to see if my pine needles have started to break down and will let you know how it goes.

This is my first time composting and after reading a compost book they suggest using it over a long term method or comfort composting. So should I add them to a new pile in the late summer and let them begin to break down and would it be ready in the following spring?



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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

Post  rod champion on 5/31/2012, 9:45 am

stick them in there..

I am using them as mulch for my strawberrys and tomatoes.

try to keep that summer sun from sucking all the moisture out .

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Re: Pine Needles in Compost

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