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Use Podocarupus fruit in compost? Empty Use Podocarupus fruit in compost?

Post  markqz on Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:28 pm

I know it's a bit of a forlorn hope to ask, but I'll try.

As I've mentioned before, I don't have a lot of organic material with which to make compost.

EXCEPT, I do have a lot today, in the form of Podocarpus fruit. Podocarpus is a tree, or at least in my case it is. Developers love to plant it because it grows fast and is a fine tree until it hits 15 years or so. Then it starts to fruit, if it's a female type. Then it develops tons of mostly inedible, yellow, olive size fruits that squish under your feet, but with a round pit inside.

The fruit is oily, so don't think of apple or citrus. I suppose composting it would be on a par with composting olives or similar fruits.

My attempts to Google the question just led me down the wrong garden path.

Ideas?

Thanks!
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Post  sanderson on Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:09 pm

Podacarpus leaves, yes. The fruit, I'm undecided. You would have to sift out the pits in the finished compost.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:37 pm

The pits will take forever but if you can get rid of those I think you’re good.
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Post  Dan in Ct on Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:59 am

I am for composting just about anything that grows. The factor to keep in mind is diversity of ingredients except tree leaves as long as there is a variety of species in those. I would never go beyond 20% on any other ingredient even coffee grounds and I swear by those. I would be more worried about having a rather large amount of the Podcarpus tree seedlings sprouting in the compost. Might be time to get a worm bin going and see if they enjoy the fruits. I try and not let any biomass leave The Crazy Half Acre, even diseased plants as I want to try and run them though a couple of worm bins to see if the intestines of some species of earthworms can negate and/or suppress soil borne diseases. I just try and remember too much of a good thing is not necessarily a great thing.
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Post  markqz on Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:09 pm

@Dan in Ct wrote:I just try and remember too much of a good thing is not necessarily a great thing.
Think this might be too much of a good thing?  Smile

Use Podocarupus fruit in compost? RpUlLX4

I can't imagine coffee grounds ever being more than 3% of the total. Maybe I need to drink more  Use Podocarupus fruit in compost? LlDLzoz
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Post  OhioGardener on Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:11 am

@markqz wrote: I can't imagine coffee grounds ever being more than 3% of the total. Maybe I need to drink more 

I pick up about 200# of coffee grounds from Starbucks 2 or 3 times a week. The coffee grounds in my compost tumbler frequently are 30% to 40% of the total, and it makes great compost. I have a lot more coffee grounds than I have kitchen scraps.  Last year I experimented with making a compost tumbler of nothing but coffee grounds, rock dust, Biochar, and pine pellets. It made some really good compost.

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Post  markqz on Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:29 am

@OhioGardener wrote:
I pick up about 200# of coffee grounds from Starbucks 2 or 3 times a week.

Wait -- Do you mean 200 pounds of coffee? Or a quarter ton every week? Or did an extra zero slip in there?

Years ago I remember hearing that earthworms don't like coffee grounds. Maybe that was just an urban legend?

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Post  OhioGardener on Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:47 am

@markqz wrote:
@OhioGardener wrote:
I pick up about 200# of coffee grounds from Starbucks 2 or 3 times a week.

Wait -- Do you mean 200 pounds of coffee? Or a quarter ton every week? Or did an extra zero slip in there?

Years ago I remember hearing that earthworms don't like coffee grounds. Maybe that was just an urban legend?


Yep, 200 pounds, not a typo.  We have 4 local Starbucks, and they all save their coffee grounds. In the summer I take in some vegetables for them as a thank you, and they can't believe their coffee grounds turn into those great tomatoes! Very Happy 

Earthworm LOVE coffee grounds, and they can't wait for the next batch of them to arrive. If I sprinkle them on top of the soil in the raised beds, the next morning I can see all of the holes where the nightcrawlers came up to get the grounds overnight.

Here is an example of a pick up from the stores:
Use Podocarupus fruit in compost? Coffee13

And, after the bags were emptied:
Use Podocarupus fruit in compost? Coffee14

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Post  countrynaturals on Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:59 am

@markqz wrote:Years ago I remember hearing that earthworms don't like coffee grounds. Maybe that was just an urban legend?
A few years back, we had a coffee machine that used paper filters. I used to dump the grounds and filters onto the compost heap and pull out the filters as needed for pot liners. That task got backed up, as tasks tend to do around here, so, one day I went down to the heap with a shallow box, and collected the used filters. They stayed in the box on the deck for a few weeks, until I got ready to do some container planting. When I reached in to get a filter, there was the biggest, fattest, happiest earthworm you ever saw. He had all of those used, loaded, damp coffee filters for several weeks, with no competition or hungry chickens to worry about. So I'm here to tell you, earthworms love coffee grounds, and can thrive on nothing else to eat for at least a short period of time. Wink
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Post  markqz on Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:00 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:
@markqz wrote:Years ago I remember hearing that earthworms don't like coffee grounds. Maybe that was just an urban legend?
When I reached in to get a filter, there was the biggest, fattest, happiest earthworm you ever saw. He had all of those used, loaded, damp coffee filters for several weeks, with no competition or hungry chickens to worry about. So I'm here to tell you, earthworms love coffee grounds, and can thrive on nothing else to eat for at least a short period of time. Wink

Doesn't that just say that they like coffee filters ? Or are you saying that the filters were still loaded with coffee grounds?
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Post  markqz on Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:06 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:
Yep, 200 pounds, not a typo.  We have 4 local Starbucks, and they all save their coffee grounds. In the summer I take in some vegetables for them as a thank you, and they can't believe their coffee grounds turn into those great tomatoes! Very Happy 
It sounds like you're starting a farm more than a garden. Smile
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Post  Dan in Ct on Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:45 pm

Ohio Gardener, at the end of a garden season in October, awhile ago, I collected Canadian nightcrawlers that were in or underneath my buckets. I put them in a 5 gallon bucket (250-300 adult worms) with coffee grounds, pulverized roasted eggshells and shredded newspaper by March their number had easily doubled as I divided them into 2- 5 gallon buckets but earthworms eat the microbes and not necessarily the food stock. I have seen research where some seeds germination rates are suppressed by coffee grounds when surpassing either 20% or 25%. Now if the coffee grounds are thoroughly and completely composted, I would have to double check. I do know that red wigglers, Eisenia fetidas and Canadian nightcrawlers, Lumbricus terrestris both love coffee grounds from first hand experience. Plus I never argue with anything that works for someone else. The working part negates debate.
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Post  OhioGardener on Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:14 pm

@Dan in Ct wrote: earthworms eat the microbes and not necessarily the food stock.

Research that I have seen says that the earthworms use coffee grounds in their gizzard for grit to help digest food.

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Post  countrynaturals on Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:16 pm

@markqz wrote:Doesn't that just say that they like coffee filters ? Or are you saying that the filters were still loaded with coffee grounds?
The filters were still loaded with coffee grounds.
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Post  markqz on Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:37 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:The filters were still loaded with coffee grounds.

Ok, got it.

The comment I heard more than a decade ago on a NPR game show (maybe Wait! Wait!) might have been referring to this study:

Evaluation of 3 composting systems

which I found from this website:

Should I put coffee grounds in a worm bin

from Washington State. Apparently coffee grounds can kill earthworms under some conditions.

However, the internet is in favor of coffee grounds 100 to 1, so it seems to work for most people. I've been throwing mine in except when I'm in a hurry.
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Post  Dan in Ct on Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:19 pm

One of the things you hear over and over again is that coffee grounds are acid. The truth is only slightly, 6.5-6.8 pH. Rainwater is 5.6 and acid rain below 5.0. Even in vermicomposting you should watch your carbon to nitrogen ratio. You want to have it at about or slightly above 40:1 that way it doesn't heat up and make the worms scurry away. Spent coffee grounds are about 20:1 so you can add a good amount of carbon, coffee filters being part of a carbon source. Your are composting to create a microbial feast for the earthworms. Different ingredients of feedstock creates diversity in the microbiology. Keep the process aerated, I use a hand cultivator on my totes. Slightly more moist than a seed germination mix. Earthworms move on a film of calcium (mucus) and also need calcium to lay eggs. So I am not afraid to give a few heaping tablespoons of roasted pulverized eggshells. I have heard that a one pound bag of coffee grounds, dropped from a third floor roof could cause damage but I am waiting on a government grant, to study if it really does harm or do I just end up with hundreds of worms.
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Post  OhioGardener on Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:13 am

@markqz wrote:from Washington State. Apparently coffee grounds can kill earthworms under some conditions.

As Dan suggested, possibly dropping a bag of coffee on the worms from the 3rd floor might kill them!

  lol!

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Post  OhioGardener on Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:25 am

@Dan in Ct wrote:Your are composting to create a microbial feast for the earthworms. Different ingredients of feedstock creates diversity in the microbiology.

I have a 35-gallon drum with the bottom cut out that I store coffee grounds in until I can use them for either spreading on garden beds or composting - it is presently about 3/4 full. When I tip that barrel over to scoop up the grounds, the bottom of it is a mass of earthworms. The only things in that barrel had in it were the Starbucks coffee grounds and filters, and maybe a few teabags.

Oregon State University has a short article on Coffee Grounds and Composting

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Post  countrynaturals on Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:39 am

@OhioGardener wrote:Oregon State University has a short article on Coffee Grounds and Composting
Good one! Thanks, OG. thankyou
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Post  sanderson on Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:16 am

@OhioGardener wrote:
@markqz wrote:from Washington State. Apparently coffee grounds can kill earthworms under some conditions.

As Dan suggested, possibly dropping a bag of coffee on the worms from the 3rd floor might kill them!

  lol!
rofl

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