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Post  MrBooker on 7/15/2016, 2:06 pm

Did I read somewhere on this forum not to put onions in my compost and also, did I read to stay away form Miracle-Gro in my SFG?  Seems like I read it somewhere.
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Post  countrynaturals on 7/15/2016, 2:46 pm

@MrBooker wrote:Did I read somewhere on this forum not to put onions in my compost and also, did I read to stay away form Miracle-Gro in my SFG?  Seems like I read it somewhere.
I use Miracle Gro and put onions in my compost so I hope it's okay. Shocked (I'm using real dirt, however, not MM.)
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/15/2016, 4:44 pm

I know worms are not fond of onions. That's probly why it shouldn't go into compost.

From what I understand, Miracle-Gro leads plants to become "addicted" (in a way) and they end up not responding well if they don't get that jolt. You're better off with well-made compost! It's gentler and safer.
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Post  sanderson on 7/15/2016, 6:28 pm

I think many of us put some onion in our compost piles.  Onion, garlic, broccoli, cabbage stink, so just be prepared!!   What a Face  Chopping veggies allows for faster composting.  http://compost.css.cornell.edu/worms/basics.html

Just my personal take on adding fertilizer, whether organic or non-organic (MG).  The questions should be, why add any, what's wrong with the current Mel's Mix that things are not growing?  I used MG my first summer because I didn't make the MM correct.  After that, I made my own compost and worm castings.  MG and other non-organic fertilizers can be harsh on the microorganisms and worms.  If a mid season boost is needed, organic fertilizers such as the Espoma line, are easier on the soil life.  When I use the term organic fertilizer I mean literally composted feathers, manure, bones, etc.


Last edited by sanderson on 7/15/2016, 6:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  countrynaturals on 7/15/2016, 6:31 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:From what I understand, Miracle-Gro leads plants to become "addicted" (in a way) and they end up not responding well if they don't get that jolt.  You're better off with well-made compost!  It's gentler and safer.
I'm not consistant enough to get them hooked on it.  rofl Next year I'll have real "black gold" compost, so it shouldn't be an issue. rock on
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Post  Kelejan on 7/15/2016, 9:27 pm

Worms recoil from onions and citrus fruit, but are OK once they decompose as the worms do not actually eat onions or citrus or anything else actually.  They eat the extrudates? that the plants produce.  That is why it is safe to have worms in flower and veggie beds.

If you do place onions etc in your worm bin, put it in a corner so that the worms can find their own away space untll the plants decompose.
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Post  jimmy cee on 7/16/2016, 10:17 pm

I sometimes get boxes of onions from produce, chopped up in my poor mans shredder, all in the compost they go. I try to distribute them in the pile. I do the same with citrus fruits, it all goes into the compost.

As far as miracle gro ...Commercial fertilizers destroy microbes...PERIOD. destroy the microbes and you're duty bound to use chemical fertilizers until that soil food web is returned.  When using commercial fertilizers over 80% is wasted, leached past plant into the earth.. The soil food web explained in the microbe book is unique insofar as the ways it takes up nutrients, microbes bounce nutrients around like in a football game until their all set up and go for the goal line.
They finally get to the goal line where fungi help to get them into the root zone...I think this is how it all comes about...or close to it..
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Post  camprn on 7/16/2016, 11:34 pm

I throw onion scraps and citrus in my co.post without any troubles at all.

You can use miracle gro in your garden if you want or need to. But if you use good compost you shouldn't need it.

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Post  countrynaturals on 7/17/2016, 12:05 pm

@camprn wrote:I throw onion scraps and citrus in my co.post without any troubles at all.

You can use miracle gro in your garden if you want or need to. But if you use good compost you shouldn't need it.
We keep getting donations of Miracle Gro so I used it on flowers. When my sfg got off to such a bad start, I blamed it on the cheap store-bought soil I used and started putting Miracle Gro in there, but it didn't help so I stopped using it. Every bit of my compost went into filling those huge waist-high beds, so now I'm starting over. I won't have my bins until fall, so right now composting is just throwing stuff in a pile and letting the chickens "turn" it for me.
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Post  jimmy cee on 7/18/2016, 10:44 pm

We are using miracle gro in wifes flowers, only because she hasn't acquired the confidence I have in my compost.
Once that is used though, I believe using compost is a waste of material, it will not harm the plants, only adding material.
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Post  gibschmitt on 12/11/2016, 6:29 pm

I keep three compost bins of dog wire three feet across and wrapped in chicken wire.  One is a finishing bin, one a starter and working bin and a now empty bin for the fall leaves that are mulched.  In the working bin goes the kitchen scraps including lemon peels, coffee filters and used paper towels that have not been used with soaps or grease.  In the spring I'll fill a three cubic feet wheelbarrow three or four times with screened compost and the screenings go back to the working bin.  During the season the working bin will be turned into the third bin until finished.  I've dug some worms out of these bins that look like small snakes.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/11/2016, 8:42 pm

Sounds like you have no worries, Gib!  I haven't needed to use Miracle Gro, but did supplement my first year boxes with blood and bone meal because I didn't have enough compost types.  It worked well.  And tons of wigglers.

I am a big advocate of blood (nitrogen) and bone meals ( phosphorus and calcium) for organic fortification. Slow releasers, very dependable.  

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Post  jimmy cee on 12/12/2016, 9:30 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Sounds like you have no worries, Gib!  I haven't needed to use Miracle Gro, but did supplement my first year boxes with blood and bone meal because I didn't have enough compost types.  It worked well.  And tons of wigglers.

I am a big advocate of blood (nitrogen) and bone meals ( phosphorus and calcium) for organic fortification. Slow releasers, very dependable.  

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I've become a fan of both items also. They have no ill affect on microbes
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Post  sanderson on 12/12/2016, 2:51 pm

@gibschmitt wrote:I keep three compost bins ... I've dug some worms out of these bins that look like small snakes.
I have two questions. 3170584802

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Post  plantoid on 12/12/2016, 3:49 pm

@jimmy cee wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:Sounds like you have no worries, Gib!  I haven't needed to use Miracle Gro, but did supplement my first year boxes with blood and bone meal because I didn't have enough compost types.  It worked well.  And tons of wigglers.

I am a big advocate of blood (nitrogen) and bone meals ( phosphorus and calcium) for organic fortification. Slow releasers, very dependable.  

I have two questions. 3170584802

I've become a fan of both items also. They have no ill affect on microbes
 Can you get the dried waste fish meal  mixed in with your blood & bone meal  ?

For dried blood  ,fish & bone meal is truly an effective long term slow release booster.

Just make sure you don't breath in the dust or get it in your mouth . Wear rubber gloves don't use your bare hands even thought eh product is supposed to be sterile .  For if it's been kept in damp conditions it can be quite harmful ..like handling a rotting corpse with your bare hands .

 Always wash you hands & face well after using it .
 
Don't let it drop in the folds ,  crooks or crannies   of leaves/stems of any plant for it goes rotten very very quickly & when it's in direct contact with green plant it also starts rot in them .
Only apply direct to the soil , in between the plants & then water it in to kick start it off .

 Each dressing is good for about 6 weeks .


 A light sprinkle of dried B,F&B meal in a lidded plastic composting tub is also a fantastic way to get the materials rotting down quickly & lots of useful bacterial up & running .
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Post  jimmy cee on 12/16/2016, 10:52 pm

Back to citrus fruits.
There are many nutrients in these items. When shredded or chopped up they break down quicker, as most all items do. The only main concern about citrus is, they are heavily sprayed with chemicals during their growing season.
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Post  sanderson on 12/18/2016, 2:52 am

Jimmy, Do you have a reference source regarding sprays used on oranges?

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Post  jimmy cee on 12/18/2016, 12:56 pm

@sanderson wrote:Jimmy,  Do you have a reference source regarding sprays used on oranges?

Rodales book of composting page 85 and 86 of items used for composting explains my above comment.
Does not specify oranges, just citrus fruits in general.

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Post  plantoid on 12/18/2016, 6:35 pm

From what I've been able to ascertain via books , TV programmes & a couple of agricultural product orientated seminars most shipped in fruit and veg that has a cumulative time of a couple of days from harvest to the store shelf are treated to some sort of spray or dip coating to reduce moisture losses and keep things like vinegar flies & spiders away as well as anti mould treatments .

 So along with the sprays & other stuff fed to commercial crops , the worms & bacteria in the compost heap have to deal with that before you can get a quality compost session up & running .

 Unfortunately most of us ANSFG folk have to rely on having some of this low level contaminated kitchen & garden waste in our composts.

 Even car exhaust fumes will be in the heap , as well as aircraft burnt paraffin fumes & microscopic droplets of unburnt fuel .

 Sometimes I wonder what we as humans are storing up for ourselves in the not so distant future .
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/18/2016, 10:02 pm

Just an FYI, blood meal is a super nitrogen catalyst for speeding up your compost pile.
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Post  sanderson on 12/19/2016, 2:35 am

Pesticides used with orange groves in CA.
http://www.pesticideinfo.org/DS.jsp?sk=2006

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/19/2016, 8:45 pm

I don't put citrus in my compost piles because they don't break down.  Doesn't look like the pesticide use is horrible.  

I also quit putting stuff that germinates like crazy.  Squash, tomatoes, seedy things.  Nope.  Too much upkeep and tending.
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Post  jimmy cee on 12/19/2016, 9:10 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:I don't put citrus in my compost piles because they don't break down.  Doesn't look like the pesticide use is horrible.  
Do you chop / shred the citrus ? I've placed cases of lemons / oranges / grapefruits in my piles, within a week or two they are indistinguishable. Best for the microbes to work from inside out.

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Post  gibschmitt on 12/20/2016, 11:14 am

I've been following the citrus topic here with interest.  I do use some citrus peels, mostly lemon, in the compost.  After I juice the lemon the whole peel is left.  At times I'll grate the peel first for using as zest in recipes but most of the time the half peels goes to the compost.  They break down quickly and it usually take several weeks until that batch is ready to use.  I take compost out and screen it twice a year, first at spring bed prep and later in the fall.
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