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turned compost piles - need to find the advil

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Post  bwaynef on 7/18/2013, 2:55 pm

@sanderson wrote:
Second week I finally bought a 24" bulb digger that attaches to a hand drill.  Husband "loaned" me his electric drill and I had fun.  A 100 times easier than shoveling.

I've been suggesting this for a while now. You're the first person I've seen say they've used it. Its a LOT easier isn't it?
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Post  sanderson on 7/18/2013, 3:19 pm

Camp,  Over-engineer here.  Assuming I screen the existing compost with 1/4" hardware cloth . . . and build a brand new one adding the screened compost chunkies to it.

1.  Can I used ammonium sulfate instead of dried blood meal?  16-0-0.  I have some Ammonium Sulfate on hand

2.  Instead on layering, can I mix thoroughly on a tarp?  I did that with the current compost.

3.  Can I use my bulb auger instead of metal stakes?  Or does that introduce too much air?  Oh, wait a minute.  I'm supposed to remove the stakes when it heats up.  That leaves skinny air tubes, correct.  Then when it cools, I fork or auger to mix.  I will have to auger instead of forking because of my back.

4.  Do you see anything wrong with the list of ingredients in my existing compost?

5.  I plan on using (assuming I screen my existing compost) the compost in harvested squares, removing one or two large hand spades of my poor Mel's Kellogg Mix (my name for it) and adding one or two large hand spades of existing compost.

Option 2:

Husband shovels out all of existing compost. I add chopped produce haul from Friday night Farmer's market, plus screened coffee pucks, plus ammonium sulfate or alfalfa pellets, mix well, wet, and husband shovels it all back in. Then pray for heat, rest 2 weeks when cool. Sound okay? Leaves won't be available for a few months.

I will be building a new 3 x 3 box as soon as I figure out how to move all of the worms from the worm tube in the dirt!!  Another topic.

Thank you

PS  What about alfalfa pellets instead of Ammonium Sulfate.

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Post  sanderson on 7/18/2013, 3:23 pm

B Wayne,  I know you have.  We found it at OSH, called a bulb digger or something similar.  It will be great in the dirt flower bed, mixing in small areas of compost instead of dragging out the 2-cycle rototiller, then draining and cleaning for storage. I can even use the digger myself as there is a reverse on the power drill if I get stuck.
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Post  camprn on 7/18/2013, 3:42 pm

@sanderson wrote:Camp,  Over-engineer here.
quit it. Don't over think this, it will make you mental.
@sanderson wrote:  Assuming I screen the existing compost with 1/4" hardware cloth . . . and build a brand new one adding the screened compost chunkies to it.

1.  Can I used ammonium sulfate instead of dried blood meal?  16-0-0.  I have some Ammonium Sulfate on hand
I suppose so.

@sanderson wrote:2.  Instead on layering, can I mix thoroughly on a tarp?  I did that with the current compost.
How did that work for you? You seem to have had problems with your compost pile. I don't know why you want to do that,  for me that's too much hassle,  too much work.

@sanderson wrote:3.  Can I use my bulb auger instead of metal stakes?  Or does that introduce too much air?  Oh, wait a minute.  I'm supposed to remove the stakes when it heats up.  That leaves skinny air tubes, correct.  Then when it cools, I fork or auger to mix.  I will have to auger instead of forking because of my back.
I use wooden stakes. You use whatever tool you need to aerate, TURN OVER and not just mix up the pile.

@sanderson wrote:4.  Do you see anything wrong with the list of ingredients in my existing compost?
No, but you should not be using that pile to make a new one.

@sanderson wrote:5.  I plan on using (assuming I screen my existing compost) the compost in harvested squares, removing one or two large hand spades of my poor Mel's Kellogg Mix (my name for it) and adding one or two large hand spades of existing compost.
No need to remove any of the mix, add your hand fulls of compost, then add one more per square.

@sanderson wrote:
Option 2:

Husband shovels out all of existing compost.  I add chopped produce haul from Friday night Farmer's market, plus screened coffee pucks, plus ammonium sulfate or alfalfa pellets, mix well, wet, and husband shovels it all back in.  Then pray for heat, rest 2 weeks when cool.  Sound okay?  Leaves won't be available for a few months.

I will be building a new 3 x 3 box as soon as I figure out how to move all of the worms from the worm tube in the dirt!!  Another topic.

Thank you

PS  What about alfalfa pellets instead of Ammonium Sulfate.
Do not mix your completed compost with new ingredients, it will never be done and usable if you keep doing that. I hear some folks have success with using alfalfa as a compost activator.

I gave you my advice to have a successful 3 week compost pile, making all the accommodations that you have mentioned above will really not be following most of my recommendations.

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Post  sanderson on 7/18/2013, 3:48 pm

Embarassed 

Got it!
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Post  camprn on 7/18/2013, 3:56 pm

@sanderson wrote:Embarassed 

Got it!
You'll get it! Follow the directions, make a little 3 sided bin with pallets and give it a whirl......... YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL! I have confidence in you!rahrah 

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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