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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Mark's first SFG - Page 8 Toplef10Mark's first SFG - Page 8 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Mark's first SFG - Page 8 I22gcj10Mark's first SFG - Page 8 14dhcg10

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Mark's first SFG

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Mark's first SFG - Page 8 Empty Re: Mark's first SFG

Post  jimmy cee 4/19/2021, 10:51 pm

markqz wrote:Day #3 of a small compost pile, and it's fairly hot:

Mark's first SFG - Page 8 AId3h672weeks

The question is, how many days can I expect it to stay hot, if I regularly stir it?

"The book" suggests that compost can be done in two weeks if it's constantly stirred.
2 weeks ?...I find that very hard to believe. I have maintained a 27 cubic foot pile to completion it took 3 to 4 weeks.
compost cannot be stirred constantly, temperature fluctuation must be allowed to continue from low to hi. Hi being in the 150 to 160 Deg F range.
Microbes have temperature ranges they become active , then stop as temps go higher where other microbes take over. When temps start to drop, that is when the pile should be stirred, mainly bringing in the outside to the center., where temps start climbing again.when temperatures stop increasing compost pile is finished....
I did this by having a supply of fresh horse manure along with horse manure that was composted...
The earliest composting I have ever heard of is the Berkley Method...18 days...
Size of the pile is very important also....mass is needed for bacteria  to be moving against each other creating this heat...minimum suggested size is 27 cubic feet and up...

https://deepgreenpermaculture.com/diy-instructions/hot-compost-composting-in-18-days/
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Post  markqz 5/7/2021, 6:38 pm

Here's how my compost is looking after a month. Obviously it needs more time, but not too bad, I hope:

Mark's first SFG - Page 8 VSuzqyB
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Post  OhioGardener 5/7/2021, 6:43 pm

That is looking pretty good for month-old compost. It does need more time, but making good progress.

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Post  sanderson 5/8/2021, 1:35 am

Mark, nice. If you screen out the wood with 1/4" hardware cloth, you can toss those into a new pile and use the rough compost as mulch for the summer.

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Mark's first SFG - Page 8 Empty Compost - finished?

Post  markqz 6/2/2021, 5:29 pm

Here's my compost after another 3 weeks and screening for the larger stuff:

Mark's first SFG - Page 8 4NyxciX

I think I'm going to put it in a barrel and consider it more or less done.
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Post  jimmy cee 6/3/2021, 8:50 am

I like the looks of that....
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Post  sanderson 6/5/2021, 10:17 pm

It looks like the screened compost is at the front and the wood screenings are at the back?

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Mark's first SFG - Page 8 Empty Snow Fairy great and small - benefits of starter cups

Post  markqz 8/17/2021, 1:43 pm

This picture illustrates why I start plants in starter cups before transplanting to the garden. The two tomatoes on the left (and one hiding behind the dill) were inserted as soon as they germinated. The two tomatoes on the right were started in peat pots after germination. Of course, this may just mean that my compost isn't nutritious enough for the new plants. But it could also be that the new plants are surrounded by taller neighbors and not getting enough light.

Mark's first SFG - Page 8 YwMCyxZ
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Mark's first SFG - Page 8 Empty Six (6) foot okra

Post  markqz 9/14/2021, 3:11 pm

I know it's commonplace in some parts of the South, but I've never grown a six foot okra before.

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Post  yolos 9/14/2021, 10:06 pm

I grew okra one year.  Okra plants grew at least 12 feet tall.  To harvest I had to stand on a step ladder (see bottom right corner for top of step ladder) and then bend the Okra stalk over in order to harvest any.
Mark's first SFG - Page 8 Okra_022
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Post  markqz 9/14/2021, 11:28 pm

yolos wrote:I grew okra one year.  Okra plants grew at least 12 feet tall.  To harvest I had to stand on a step ladder (see bottom right corner for top of step ladder) and then bend the Okra stalk over in order to harvest any.
Mark's first SFG - Page 8 Okra_022
As always your garden is amazing!

I wonder if anyone makes a garden drone that can zip up top and snip off the fruit. Or is it an invention waiting to be created?


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Post  markqz 1/5/2022, 5:10 pm

I collect household scraps for almost a year, saving them in a "anerobic" composter. Which usually means that nothing is very composted. Here I'm drying the contents out in preparation for making real compost. Most of it has already composted! Including tea bags, coffee filters, paper towels. When it dries out I'll use it as the nitrogen portion of this year's compost batch.



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Post  OhioGardener 1/5/2022, 5:29 pm

markqz wrote:I collect household scraps for almost a year, saving them in a "anerobic" composter. Which usually means that nothing is very composted. Here I'm drying the contents out in preparation for making real compost. Most of it has already composted! Including tea bags, coffee filters, paper towels. When it dries out I'll use it as the nitrogen portion of this year's compost batch.

Interesting. Lots of future compost there.  I collect kitchen scraps throughout the winter in Bokashi buckets, along with some Bokashi bran. After they have completed the fermenting process, I either bury it in a bed if the weather permits, or dump it in a compost tumbler to finish composting.  After the Bokashi has finished fermenting, it turns into good compost in the ground within 2 weeks.

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Post  Simso 1/6/2022, 3:17 am

markqz wrote:Here's how my compost is looking after a month. Obviously it needs more time, but not too bad, I hope:

Mark's first SFG - Page 8 VSuzqyB

It looks good for a month, are you shredding your browns, i put all my browns through a mulcher first, gives a really nice compost when finished
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Post  sanderson 1/6/2022, 11:56 pm

Mark's first SFG - Page 8 3170584802 I'm a big proponent of screening compost. The fines can be used in the beds and the chunks can be used in the next compost bin, pile or tumbler.

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Post  markqz 1/7/2022, 10:36 am

Simso wrote:It looks good for a month, are you shredding your browns, i put all my browns through a mulcher first, gives a really nice compost when finished

I have a small wood chipper that I use for pre-processing. Eucalyptus and acacia twigs stay somewhat intact, so I screen afterwards.
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Post  sanderson 1/7/2022, 6:37 pm

Using a small chipper first is good. If using wood chips in a compost pile, do screen like Mark does.

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Mark's first SFG - Page 8 Empty Brussel Sprouts 2020-2022

Post  markqz 1/30/2022, 5:11 pm

This is the "stick" left over from the last Brussels sprout plant. It was nearly two years old!  I don't think I'll be trying this experiment again. They grow here, but the buds form slowly and at different times. So slowly, that I can't really control insect infestations. Also, they create a lot of shades on other plants. I'm going to set the stick aside and see if it hardens the way my dinosaur kale did. Right now it's too soft to use as a walking stick.

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Post  sanderson 2/1/2022, 1:11 pm

Interesting experiment in your perennially sunny area. I'm with you on pests finding anything that's past its initial prime. Heck, I fight them when the plants are in their prime. Shocked

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Mark's first SFG - Page 8 Empty Compost at 155F

Post  markqz 2/3/2022, 11:21 pm

I've got my yearly batch of compost going. After 24 hours, the thermometer is showing 155F. To the left is the seed tray, that's keeping the compost company since it will be warmer there than in the house!

Mark's first SFG - Page 8 XGkaEvm
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Post  sanderson 2/4/2022, 2:54 am


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Mark's first SFG - Page 8 Empty Compost bin for starting seeds

Post  markqz 2/5/2022, 3:06 pm

The bok choy seem to like the compost bin -- starting to sprout in 3 days:

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Mark's first SFG - Page 8 Empty Compost at 144F

Post  markqz 2/10/2022, 11:16 am

Dumped, reloaded and moistened the pile. After 12 hours, it's back to 144F

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Post  sanderson 2/12/2022, 7:05 pm

Mark's first SFG - Page 8 3170584802 Did you try to get the outside material inside and top to bottom?

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Post  markqz 2/12/2022, 7:10 pm

sanderson wrote:Mark's first SFG - Page 8 3170584802 Did you try to get the outside material inside and top to bottom?
It was completely dumped and reloaded. A day later, it has burned down to half its starting size.
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