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Make Compost during the winter?

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Make Compost during the winter?

Post  rod champion on 12/22/2011, 8:37 pm

I live in Peidmont NC. I have been a plow , till and hoe man all my life. Am going organic this year.

My question is will compost make in a tumbler throught out the winter? I have tumbler loaded .. but will cool and cold weather keep it form making?

Thank you in advance for your anwers.

Rod

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  RoOsTeR on 12/23/2011, 10:10 am

Welcome rod champion!
Here is an excellent thread on just that very topic. Full of some great information and pictures.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t9365-are-you-a-hottie

Also, have you read the book by Mel Bartholomew, All New Square Foot Gardening? If not, I highly recommend it. It is like our own little garden bible here. It's an excellent book, jam packed full of great information.

Again, welcome to the forum!

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 12/23/2011, 10:32 am

Welcome aboard. I am certainly no expert on composting, but can tell you it gets done year round. In winter it slows, but doesn't stop.

You've found a great place to cut your workload from being a plow and till guy. Read the book, ask questions, jump in and get active here. You will find it a great place to chat about gardening. Hope to see more of you around!

By the way, you live in a very pretty part of the country. Just thought that needed to be said. Welcome again!

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  rod champion on 12/23/2011, 10:43 am

Thank you so much. How do I get the book by Mel ?

Rod

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  RoOsTeR on 12/23/2011, 10:47 am

You could see if your local library has it, order it online, or purchase from your local bookstore. Very Happy
It's worth every penny.

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  sherryeo on 12/23/2011, 12:17 pm

Hi Rod. If you click on the "website" link at the top of the page, it will take you to the Square Foot Garden Foundation's website where you could purchase the book online from them, if you like.

And welcome to the forum! glad you\'re here

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  camprn on 12/23/2011, 12:51 pm

Here is another link to basic composting information, Compost 101
If you use the Forum search feature there are numerous other threads about composting and such. Welcome to the Forum!!! santa

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  quiltbea on 12/23/2011, 1:04 pm

rod.....compost will continue to disintegrate during the winter, even if you don't turn it. It's a lot slower action, but the compost doesn't stop. In spring you may have to dig the top layer off but underneath you'll find rich compost.



We had so much snow last year that you can't even see my black tumbler compost barrel behind my beds and my beds are shown here just visible by their fence posts (for trellises). I didn't venture to my composter for several months. The snow was too deep. In the spring when it thawed, under the top layer of dead debris, there was rich compost that I could spread on my garden.



Finally in March the snow melted for awhile and I could find my garden. That's my tumbler composter in black in the rear.

So don't despair. Compost will make itself eventually.

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  RoOsTeR on 12/23/2011, 2:24 pm

I was just in Lowe's. They had the book for $17.99 Smile

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  Goosegirl on 12/23/2011, 3:23 pm

nKedrOoStEr wrote:You could see if your local library has it, order it online, or purchase from your local bookstore. Very Happy
It's worth every penny.
Last December I got it on a whim at Menard's ($17.99) to have something to read while I sat at the car dealership getting Ole Betsy worked on. It changed my gardening life!
GG

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 12/23/2011, 3:29 pm

nKedrOoStEr wrote:I was just in Lowe's. They had the book for $17.99 Smile

This is where I purchased mine last Christmas.....with a gift card.....free! It's not too late to have someone spring for a $20 GC to Lowe's for you.

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  staf74 on 12/23/2011, 6:45 pm

Hi Rod,

Sorry to have missed your earlier post but as your new regional host I'd like to welcome you to the forum. Have you guessed yet how friendly everyone is? I've just become Region Host for the middle south and it looks like you fall into our region. You are my first official newcomer....don't you feel special Very Happy LOL.

Seeing as we live not too far apart, I might even be able to help you with local sources. Let me know if I can be of any assistance to/for you and pls stop by our region here on the forum. You might find some nuggets that are more tailored to living in our area. I know your post was regarding compost but once you get the book, we hope you'll be hooked on SFG like the rest of us.

There is lots of info here on the forum regarding compost but in short, NO.... cool weather shouldn't stop the pile from composting but will probably slow it down a good bit. I myself have a pile going right now but in ground but not in a tumbler.

Have you used it before for composting?

Regards,

Staf

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  rod champion on 12/23/2011, 10:27 pm

staf74 I have not made compost before. I have always done things the old, hard way. Plow, Til, hoe, til, hoe, pray for rain... pray for more rains. So at age 62 , it is time for a change.

I will get Mel's book now.

One more question: how about sheep manure? I got some today.. and a right good bit can be had that has already turned to compost.

Rod

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  janezee on 12/23/2011, 11:34 pm

Hi, rod, and welcome!

Jump on that manure! Get as much of it as you can. You're gonna love it!
jane

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  RoOsTeR on 12/23/2011, 11:42 pm

Yes, get the poo...and the book. You will be well on your way. The SFG methods will save you from all that work, and prayin for rain. Very Happy

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 12/24/2011, 12:40 am

nKedrOoStEr wrote:Yes, get the poo...and the book.

Then, combine the two for some fabulous reading! (Sorry...couldn't resist)

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  plantoid on 12/24/2011, 7:25 am

@rod champion wrote:staf74 I have not made compost before. I have always done things the old, hard way. Plow, Til, hoe, til, hoe, pray for rain... pray for more rains. So at age 62 , it is time for a change.

I will get Mel's book now.

One more question: how about sheep manure? I got some today.. and a right good bit can be had that has already turned to compost.

Rod

Rod ,
That sheep muck..if you can get any bits of dirty unwanted fleece /wool as well add that in the compost heap in little bits every now and then , it makes a great long term slow release fertilizer in the compost .... here in the UK we know it as " shoddy "

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  walshevak on 12/24/2011, 7:35 am

@rod champion wrote:staf74 I have not made compost before. I have always done things the old, hard way. Plow, Til, hoe, til, hoe, pray for rain... pray for more rains. So at age 62 , it is time for a change.

I will get Mel's book now.

One more question: how about sheep manure? I got some today.. and a right good bit can be had that has already turned to compost.

Rod

I am also in NC but over by the coast. Amazing how many zones are in our state. I really envy you your find on already composted poo. Best I've been able to get is 3 bushels of fresh horse manure to add to my compost heap. I started with 6 beds and bought everything to fill them. Now I hope to have some of my own compost.

Kay

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Compost turning

Post  braim5 on 12/30/2011, 12:05 pm

I just turned my "HUGE" pile of compost. It didn't seem as big until I started moving it pitchfork by pitchfork! I started it in the fall when I started my summer garden clean up. I was really surpised by the decomposition that it has gone through already. I added a large bulk of corn stalks and okra stalks. The corn stalks have almost completely broken down and the okra stalks have made a lot of progress too. I also added quite a bit of cattle manure mixed with wood shavings as well as some hay and everything from my kitchen that is compostable. I saw some of the biggest earthworms that I have ever seen residing in the pile. I hope there are many many more under my pile that I didn't see. After I turned the pile, I added 4 pumpkins that I acquired from friends. I cut up and froze 2 others for my wormies Very Happy I am planning on covering the whole pile with a bale of hay that was donated to my purpose. Other than hauling my kitchen scraps out from time to time, I plan on just letting the pile work it's magic through the winter. I can't wait to open the pile in the spring and see the results! How exciting, it's like opening a gift. This is my first time to compost. I worked a much smaller pile in the summer and used it for fall planting. I've been very happy with the results.

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  Kelejan on 12/30/2011, 12:43 pm

@rod champion wrote:I live in Peidmont NC. I have been a plow , till and hoe man all my life. Am going organic this year.

Rod

Rod, if you are going to go the complete SFG way then you are in for a real treat. Once you are set up, you can forget about the plow, till and hoe for the rest of your life.

A from Kelejan

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

Post  1airdoc on 1/10/2012, 3:31 pm

Like you, I was not sure my compost pile would do much over the winter. Earlier it seemed that things had just "stopped," and the kitchen scraps in it weren't decomposing at all. In fact, I quit turning the pile about 2 months ago because I just seemed to be seeing the same intact vegetable pieces over and over again.

After re-reading ANSFG book this weekend, however, I went out and turned the whole pile, and much to my surprise I found that the compost was making GREAT progress. In fact, I screened a big bucketful and put a trowel of new compost into each of my garden squares in anticipation of early spring planting.

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Re: Make Compost during the winter?

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