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putting compost out too early

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sanderson
GWN
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Post  GWN 6/26/2014, 1:47 pm

Hi all you com posters out there....
I have many compost piles and I am not sure any are truly ready yet, they SMELL Like soil, but I can still see evidence if what they were before in there.

I am thinking I really need to start loading compost/mulch around many plants right now, an I cannot really see the harm in using it early
THOUGHTS....?
GWN
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Post  sanderson 6/26/2014, 2:02 pm

I have read that some ingredients may still be recognizable but it's okay to use it. I have had to use compost that I wasn't sure about (Newbie here), I just kept it away from the main stems. I hope Camp gives am answer!
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Post  camprn 6/26/2014, 2:06 pm

I use my compost when I can still recognise some leaves yet they crumble when I rub them in my hands. I add it to my mix and I use it as top dressing. It will continue to break down. I always add any earthworms I find to my boxes. They will go through the cold compost and make casting in place.

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 6/26/2014, 2:25 pm

I do the same thing.  Once it's at least 75% or more decomposed, I don't hesitate to use it as a top dressing.  The watering makes it basically compost tea that seeps down to fertilize my plants, the smaller pieces migrate down to the soil level and my worms from my worm tubes finish up the rest.  

However, finished, sifted compost is the only thing I mix INTO the MM when planting.
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Post  GWN 6/26/2014, 2:29 pm

great,,, and thanks that is what I am doing.
I have been trying the berkely method and never quite get to turning it as often as suggested and then the pile sits for a few weeks after it has been up to temps of 160, 
So I figure at that point, everything is just fine.

thanks
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Post  southern gardener 6/26/2014, 2:30 pm

GWN wrote:Hi all you com posters out there....
I have many compost piles and I am not sure any are truly ready yet, they SMELL Like soil, but I can still see evidence if what they were before in there.

I am thinking I really need to start loading compost/mulch around many plants right now, an I cannot really see the harm in using it early
THOUGHTS....?
not sure how much of the "big stuff" you have, but we started screening our last year and LOVE it! The bigger stuff just goes back in the pile to finish up. My nephew and grandson did 4 barrels in about 1/2 hour? It went really really quickly and was well worth the little effort it took. If you can't screen, I'd go ahead and use what you do have as a top dressing, so as not to mix in the big stuff with your soil Smile  Good luck!!
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Post  GWN 6/26/2014, 4:36 pm

I really need to create a screen for my compost.    
Since my stuff goes through the chipper first there is not too much large stuff though.

I know everyone would advise against it, but MUCH of my compost is my weeds.
I have been doing it for a few years and after they have been chipped and then heated up to 160 degrees, I really do not notice any growth of weeds in my beds as result.

I guess I figure that weeds have such deep roots that they must have LOTS of nutrients in their dead carcasses....
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Post  southern gardener 6/26/2014, 6:20 pm

GWN wrote:I really need to create a screen for my compost.    
Since my stuff goes through the chipper first there is not too much large stuff though.

I know everyone would advise against it, but MUCH of my compost is my weeds.
I have been doing it for a few years and after they have been chipped and then heated up to 160 degrees, I really do not notice any growth of weeds in my beds as result.

I guess I figure that weeds have such deep roots that they must have LOTS of nutrients in their dead carcasses....
I TOTALLY agree with composting weeds! As long as there are not seed heads or they have those "node" thingys?? I don't know what they're called, lol. I agree with you, those looong tap roots bring up lots of minerals!!  Good for you GWN!!
 PS..if you want, I can try and hunt a pic our our sifting set up. It's totally homemade, but works great! My 5 yo grandson does it!!
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Post  Marc Iverson 6/26/2014, 9:25 pm

I'd feel more confident doing that after solarizing them a bit. I've pulled weeds before, left them out on some nearby rocks as I ran off to do random stuff, come back a few days later, and found them re-rooted! They can be very vigorous, and I don't trust my compost to be uniformly 160 throughout no matter how much or well I turn it.
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