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My new compost heap

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My new compost heap

Post  Rue Barbie on 11/11/2017, 12:44 pm

I'm almost finished building a new heap heading into winter. (SoCal) My greens are yard clippings and weeds and miscellaneous, and my browns are dry leaves and ground city green stuff. This pile is about 3.5 by 5 by 3.5 feet tall, but will shrink somewhat. It will be hot. The sides are cardboard-lined wire and other sturdy but light things.

I put just about anything in it, though I've decided to not put in meat scraps since it is somewhat close to the neighbors, and I don;'t want them to get 'nervous'. City folk.

I had a load of ground city mulch delivered earlier in the week, and that pile, even just slightly moist, is already at 140 degrees F. I'm hoping my pile will get to about 150 to kill anything harmful in it.

I love composting. Very Happy
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  CapeCoddess on 11/11/2017, 1:10 pm

Nice!  I likey!  Tell me...do you put dairy and moldy foods in, too?

Also,  glad you\'re here to the forum?

CC
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  countrynaturals on 11/11/2017, 1:45 pm

Welcome, Rue Barbie. Lots of compost-lovers, here. geek
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  Rue Barbie on 11/11/2017, 3:06 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Nice!  I likey!  Tell me...do you put dairy and moldy foods in, too?

Also,  glad you\'re here to the forum?



We don't use much dairy, or I'd probably put it in. Unless it was something with a high fat content. No problem with most moldy foods either. Again, unless it was something high fat. Though I'm not sure why I avoid those other than hear-say.
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  Rue Barbie on 11/11/2017, 3:08 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:Welcome, Rue Barbie. Lots of compost-lovers, here. geek


Thanks for the welcomes. It was the many compost-lovers that pushed me over the edge to join. albino
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  AtlantaMarie on 11/11/2017, 3:23 pm

Hi Rue Barbie. Welcome from Atlanta, GA as well!
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  sanderson on 11/11/2017, 4:06 pm

Hi Rue Barbie,  Welcome to the Forum from California.  glad you\'re here Many of us compost according to what is available in our area.  I use leaves, some grass, old bedding straw, Starbuck's used coffee grounds, horse manure, farmer market culls and household veggies and fruits scraps.   Occasionally seaweed if we go to the coast.

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Re: My new compost heap

Post  Rue Barbie on 11/11/2017, 8:17 pm

when I was first seriously making large piles of compost, and my yard was  \not supplying enough, I used to go and forage for stuff. Piles of leaves, manure, etc. Now I don't do that much anymore. The manure I've been able to find is either very inconvenient, or has too much soil mixed with it.

As for collecting leaves, once I was raking some oak leaves under a tree in a public area. The trees had low branches. Someone though that was suspicious behavior and called the police. They asked what I was doing... and were nice, and I think humored that I was raking leaves for compost. I don't look like the criminal type, lol. And when foraging 'out there' I always made sure I was wearing a very nice piece of jewelry so, even in grubby clothes, you could tell I wasn't a vagrant.

Well, I didn't get the pile completed today. It's close, but I ran out of time and energy. I only have a few more layers to go. Air temp is about 70. The pile inside is approaching 100*F, so it's on its way.  (Half built yesterday, half today)

I'll turn it maybe in a week, and then probably that's that. But you never know. I don't need it for several months. I still have some from the last pile. And with all there is left to trim, I might even start another pile. But a much smaller one.
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  brianj555 on 11/12/2017, 11:03 am

Welcome Barbie!

I try to turn mine once a week also, but that is a chore.  Turning what has been said to be the perfect size pile is no joke.

That was about six weeks ago.  (Raining out now so can’t get current picture). I don’t use meats or dairly either.  The critters already tear into my for the fruit rinds every night. It is a little smaller now and I have added a new bin and started another pile because this size is a pain to turn and I needed to stop adding new stuff so this could turn to dirt.  I need mine at the end of February.  I hope it will be ready.  I need about 20 cubic feet, so every little bit will be less I have to buy.  Welcome again.
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  Rue Barbie on 11/13/2017, 1:08 am

Brian, what a nice setting for a compost pile.

You are lucky to get rain. Water is usually the limiting factor here - a pile can dry too much so if it's heading towards summer, I have to cover the sides and top with plastic.

I did not finish the pile today. One more layer of semi decomposed 'stuff', and a final layer of city mulch to go, then done. I suspect I won't turn it for a couple weeks. Was hoping in a week, but crikey, it took so long to build in the first place, lol. Besides, I need to get a few more pieces of rebar from HomeDepot to keep the sides straight.

I definitely will need to start another pile, but it's going to be less formal and just stacked so stuff can begin decomposing.
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  Scorpio Rising on 11/13/2017, 6:07 pm

Welcome, Rue Barbie!  Like your idea regarding the compost heap!  I have a heap also, getting ready to tarp it for winter after leaves are added.  

glad you\'re here
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  brianj555 on 11/13/2017, 9:21 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Welcome, Rue Barbie!  Like your idea regarding the compost heap!  I have a heap also, getting ready to tarp it for winter after leaves are added.  

glad you\'re here
So you just cover it with a tarp for the winter Scorpio ?  Do you come back to compost when you pull the top off?
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  sanderson on 11/14/2017, 2:42 am

Barbie, What city are you in or near? Can you modify your Location (under Profile) to include it? That will give members a better idea of your climate and environment. Thanks

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Re: My new compost heap

Post  Rue Barbie on 11/14/2017, 12:36 pm

@sanderson wrote:Barbie, What city are you in or near?  Can you modify your Location (under Profile) to include it?  That will give members a better idea of your climate and environment.  Thanks


I'm afraid the most specific I ever get with our location on public internet boards is "coastal Southern California, zone 10, sunset zone 24 - the avocado belt." Smile


edit: I just 'saved' it to my sig line, but for some reason, it's not showing up.
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  Scorpio Rising on 11/15/2017, 9:26 pm

@brianj555 wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:Welcome, Rue Barbie!  Like your idea regarding the compost heap!  I have a heap also, getting ready to tarp it for winter after leaves are added.  

glad you\'re here
So you just cover it with a tarp for the winter Scorpio ?  Do you come back to compost when you pull the top off?
Yep!  And I add stuff during the winter, just kitchen veggies and coffee grounds...but yep.
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  Rue Barbie on 11/16/2017, 9:38 pm

A few days old and the new compost pile up to just over 140*F this evening. Very Happy
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  brianj555 on 11/16/2017, 9:39 pm

@Rue Barbie wrote:A few days old and the new compost pile up to just over 140*F this evening. Very Happy
That’s cookin!
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  sanderson on 11/16/2017, 10:49 pm

@brianj555 wrote:
@Rue Barbie wrote:A few days old and the new compost pile up to just over 140*F this evening. Very Happy
That’s cookin!
+1

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Re: My new compost heap

Post  Kelejan on 11/18/2017, 3:20 pm

@sanderson wrote:
@brianj555 wrote:
@Rue Barbie wrote:A few days old and the new compost pile up to just over 140*F this evening. Very Happy
That’s cookin!
+1

I was going to say, that's cool, but that's not quite the right word.
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  brianj555 on 11/20/2017, 2:36 pm

Finally got out there to turn mine today.  It is coming along. A lot of good size worms I transplanted into the bed.  
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  Rue Barbie on 11/21/2017, 12:18 am

Mine probably should be turned one of these days too. And then I think it will just sit till it's ready.

I'm hoping worms will invade my pile once it gets a bit cooler.
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  countrynaturals on 11/21/2017, 11:13 am

@Rue Barbie wrote:I'm hoping worms will invade my pile once it gets a bit cooler.
Unfortunately, the chickens turn my compost pile and they think worms are their reward for doing such good work. Rolling Eyes
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  brianj555 on 11/21/2017, 8:48 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:
@Rue Barbie wrote:I'm hoping worms will invade my pile once it gets a bit cooler.
Unfortunately, the chickens turn my compost pile and they think worms are their reward for doing such good work. Rolling Eyes
I’d trade the worms if some chickens would turn my pile! Wink
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Re: My new compost heap

Post  AtlantaMarie on 11/22/2017, 8:20 am

Me too! (If I HAD chickens, that is...)
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