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Post  bwaynef on 8/24/2012, 3:07 pm

I've got two old bags of "composted" pine bark nuggets. They're pretty finely chopped, and I used it for planting a couple of trees into containers earlier this spring.

I'll be coming into more leaves than a person should ever have to deal with in the next couple of months, and likely can get a bagging or two of grass clippings.

I've had good luck with Starbucks and their coffee-grounds, so shouldn't have a problem getting more of that as needed.

I have a family of four and the resulting scraps that come from it, though my wife is a little reluctant to have much in the way of scraps build up and be left in the kitchen so I'm working on a suitable solution to this. Currently I'm snagging scraps & peels and cramming them into an old bulk-salsa container and emptying it every couple of days. (I'll take suggestions on this, as well as things to compost that aren't just plant material.)

I've called to see about getting horse manure and am assured that I can get as much as I can carry ...which won't be much since I've got to transport it in the back of my SUV. This one is the most work and the least likely to happen, but I'll do it if I'm not able to get enough bulk to build my pile.

I think I've got blood meal, and can probably come up with some rabbit food, flour, or something like that to get it activated.

What do you think? Would this be a "complete" compost? Am I overlooking anything? Underthinking something? Also, could I go ahead and start without the leaves?
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Post  bwaynef on 8/24/2012, 3:19 pm

Just confirmed that I can also get free (if I can haul it) municipal mulch.
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Post  walshevak on 8/24/2012, 10:09 pm

The only problem with municipal mulch is the weeds and the herbicides/pesticides that other people put into their yards. I stopped getting local mulch because of an invasive weed that I now can't get rid of in my flower bed. Fortunately, I never put it in my veggie beds.

Horse manure is known to be weedy unless you can get the pile really hot. But would certainly make a more rounded compost.

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Post  bwaynef on 8/25/2012, 7:05 am

@walshevak wrote:The only problem with municipal mulch is the weeds and the herbicides/pesticides that other people put into their yards.

...

Horse manure is known to be weedy unless you can get the pile really hot.
My goal is to get my compost hot enough to kill the weeds. What effect will that have on the *icides, ...and why will I regret it if I'm stubborn enough to go through with it?
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Post  Pollinator on 8/25/2012, 9:28 am

@walshevak wrote:The only problem with municipal mulch is the weeds and the herbicides/pesticides that other people put into their yards.
Kay

I can't make any sense of this. Herbicides ARE pesticides, just like insecticides, miticides, rodenticides, etc.

It's kind of like saying Baptists and Christians...
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Post  cheyannarach on 8/25/2012, 9:40 am

All Kay is trying to say is that you don't want someone's lawn waste that has been sprayed with Round Up for the last year going into your box!
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Post  camprn on 8/25/2012, 11:05 am

@Pollinator wrote:
@walshevak wrote:The only problem with municipal mulch is the weeds and the herbicides/pesticides that other people put into their yards.
Kay

I can't make any sense of this. Herbicides ARE pesticides, just like insecticides, miticides, rodenticides, etc.

It's kind of like saying Baptists and Christians...
This statement is very confusing. The chemicals of herbicides and insecticides are designed for different actions. But they are all poisonous for the garden.

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Post  gwennifer on 8/25/2012, 12:48 pm

As far as ideas for collecting kitchen scraps, have you read the thread "Show Us Your Kitchen Compost Container"? Here's the link:

http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t9800-show-us-your-kitchen-compost-container
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Post  bwaynef on 9/2/2012, 9:27 pm

Blended the Refrigerator rejects yesterday, added that to the pile, a little blood meal, some water, and turned it just a little.

Then this happened:
Odds and Ends to build a pile. Photo-10
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Post  camprn on 9/2/2012, 9:30 pm

your read out should be higher in a few days! alrighta

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Post  bwaynef on 9/4/2012, 9:00 pm

It got to 131 and change the night I posted this picture. I woke up to it at 127, by lunch at 129, and when I got home it was at 130. This morning it was at 127, at lunch it was 125, and a little bit ago it had dropped to 121.

I REALLY want to see it up near 140. I went and bought one of these:
http://www.colorblends.com/Tool/Bulb-Auger/
Odds and Ends to build a pile. 9324_24inchBulbAuger_0275

Granted, I went to Lowes and got it for about $15 (a different company, but same idea).

I went out and "turned" my compost pile. I just drilled down and through. (It couldn't have been ANY easier.)Then grabbed a shovel and turned it a little by hand to make sure ('cause I can...).

We'll see where it is in the morning. I think I could use some more moisture in the mix, so if it doesn't warm up I'll wet it when I turn it again.
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Post  sceleste54 on 9/4/2012, 10:21 pm

You know if you have any concerns about pathogens or weed seeds, you can always sterilize the raw components in the oven, that is if your wife will go along with it !! My dear Hubby tries to keep me in check !! if I am using outdoor compost inside the house for starting seeds etc, I always "bake it" first... but I have to do it when Hubby is away...Smile That will not help with pesticides tho...Sad
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Post  bwaynef on 9/5/2012, 8:42 am

@sceleste54 wrote:That will not help with pesticides tho...Sad

I read recently that pesticide persistence isn't what it used to be and that there would likely be little carry-over from pesticides on the lawns, through compost, applied to gardens the following year.
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Post  Pollinator on 9/5/2012, 9:59 am

@bwaynef wrote:
@sceleste54 wrote:That will not help with pesticides tho...Sad

I read recently that pesticide persistence isn't what it used to be and that there would likely be little carry-over from pesticides on the lawns, through compost, applied to gardens the following year.

The ones used in suburbia likely would not be a problem in compost, because they do break down.

However one group of herbicides that are used commercially, can be a serious problem: http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/sfn/f09Herbicide
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Post  plantoid on 9/5/2012, 5:17 pm

On coming back off 15 days of holiday the garden had gone grazy , it took three days to hack it down and remove weeds and excessive plant growth into two of my 11 cu foot composter bins.

As I loaded the vegetation into the bins I gave every six inch layer a generous sprinkle of raw rolled porridge oats . I phoned a pal who had put six bags of neat chicken muck to one side for me & collected them the day before yesterday then set about making up a proper layering of vegetation & chook muck .

The green veg alone was well past 150 o F , it took me all day to make the bin up using two bags of the muck .
I was dead chuffed with myself for it has usually taken me two or more days to build a new bin of mixed goods.

Last night my wife said it wiffed a bit and that the lower lid had fallen off so she had put it back and could feel the heat of the bin even from the outside.
The dog then came in proud as punch , high stepping like a horse in a desssage comp on a tight Martindale ....... to the bedroom door to see me then off into the lounge and hooped up all over the lounge carpet ..you guessed it yet ?

He upchucckied about two pounds of prime chicken muck and his evening meal . I laughed so much I hurt my back even more . I'm not allowed to type what Alison said ...... either to the dog or to me Wink
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Post  greatgranny on 9/5/2012, 6:03 pm

@plantoid wrote:On coming back off 15 days of holiday the garden had gone grazy , it took three days to hack it down and remove weeds and excessive plant growth into two of my 11 cu foot composter bins.

As I loaded the vegetation into the bins I gave every six inch layer a generous sprinkle of raw rolled porridge oats . I phoned a pal who had put six bags of neat chicken muck to one side for me & collected them the day before yesterday then set about making up a proper layering of vegetation & chook muck .

The green veg alone was well past 150 o F , it took me all day to make the bin up using two bags of the muck .
I was dead chuffed with myself for it has usually taken me two or more days to build a new bin of mixed goods.

Last night my wife said it wiffed a bit and that the lower lid had fallen off so she had put it back and could feel the heat of the bin even from the outside.
The dog then came in proud as punch , high stepping like a horse in a desssage comp on a tight Martindale ....... to the bedroom door to see me then off into the lounge and hooped up all over the lounge carpet ..you guessed it yet ?

He upchucckied about two pounds of prime chicken muck and his evening meal . I laughed so much I hurt my back even more . I'm not allowed to type what Alison said ...... either to the dog or to me Wink

That must have been something. I'm impressed that you could keep a sense of humor. I would have probably followed your wife's reaction. Laughing
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Post  nycquilter on 9/5/2012, 8:54 pm

@Plantoid---One of my labs did something very similar with deer hide. It was left in the woods after a hunter took most of the meat. He ingested it==I don't know where he put it as what came out didn't look like it would fit in his 70 pound body. Gross doesn't begin to describe it!
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Post  camprn on 9/5/2012, 10:09 pm

Blargh! pale

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Post  llama momma on 9/6/2012, 5:43 pm

@nycquilter wrote:@Plantoid---One of my labs did something very similar with deer hide. It was left in the woods after a hunter took most of the meat. He ingested it==I don't know where he put it as what came out didn't look like it would fit in his 70 pound body. Gross doesn't begin to describe it!
nycquilter - interesting how a deer hide would be 'returned'. I had a neighbor whose afghan hound ate a large box of chocolate cherries and died. It's too bad the dog couldn't purge it like deer hide instead of dying from all that poisonous candy.
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Post  bwaynef on 11/7/2012, 1:52 pm

I never really got the pile up to the temps I was shooting for since my last post to this thread.

I have ton's of Oaks in my yard and had been collecting lawn clippings over the summer, so Monday I mulch mowed the pile of leaves I collected nearest the compost pile, deconstructed the old pile, and rebuilt it using the accumulated kitchen scraps, dried grass, and mulch-mowed leaves. I managed to stack everything to the top of the bin @ 3x3x3 or so, maybe a little taller than that. It is presently not covered.

Then, yesterday it was pretty cold and overnight it got colder and rained. It is currently 45ºF outside. My wireless thermometer says that about 18" from the top of my pile that the temperature is 100.2ºF!

I'm wondering how I can adapt this to warm my greenhouse over winter...
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Post  camprn on 11/7/2012, 2:18 pm

Over the years, Mother Earth News has had several articles about this subject.

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Post  bwaynef on 11/9/2012, 8:59 am

112.8°F when I left this morning, though I did see 113 even temporarily.
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