Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]
a couple beginner compost questions Toplef10a couple beginner compost questions 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.

a couple beginner compost questions I22gcj10a couple beginner compost questions 14dhcg10

[/td][/tr][/table]
Square Foot Gardening Forum
Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Hardcore Sustainability - Urban Homesteading
by TCgardening Yesterday at 7:59 pm

» N&C Midwest: August 2020
by OhioGardener Yesterday at 3:11 pm

» Tomato Mosaic Virus...Fearing the Worst :(
by Yardslave Yesterday at 12:26 pm

» The SFG journey-Overview of the Redesign Compost Tea Brewer
by has55 Yesterday at 3:50 am

» Tampa newbie
by TCgardening 8/6/2020, 9:11 am

» Hello Usman from Pakistan
by Scorpio Rising 8/5/2020, 8:47 pm

» Pull Bean Plants to Pick Beans?
by Scorpio Rising 8/5/2020, 8:45 pm

» Safety of cardboard in compost
by Scorpio Rising 8/5/2020, 8:42 pm

» Succession seed sowing now
by Scorpio Rising 8/5/2020, 8:37 pm

» Hello from southern Wisconsin
by AtlantaMarie 8/5/2020, 6:07 am

» Stroke - Country Naturals
by countrynaturals 8/4/2020, 7:28 pm

» Cheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting.
by mollyhespra 8/4/2020, 2:19 pm

» Almost 68, and this is a new one on me !!!!
by sanderson 8/4/2020, 2:06 pm

» SFG Journey: Beneficial nematodes experiment
by has55 8/4/2020, 1:01 pm

» New England, August, 2020
by SFGHQSTAFF 8/4/2020, 4:18 am

» Newbie SFGer in N. Virginia needing some advice
by SFGHQSTAFF 8/4/2020, 3:19 am

» Earwigs 2.0!
by OhioGardener 8/3/2020, 2:52 pm

» Happy Birthday!!
by Scorpio Rising 8/3/2020, 12:56 pm

» N&C Midwest—July 2020
by Scorpio Rising 8/3/2020, 12:40 pm

» Tomato Problems - Help!
by Dan in Ct 8/3/2020, 8:33 am

» Fire Ring / Round Raised Bed Planter
by Scorpio Rising 8/2/2020, 8:03 pm

» August Avatar: Beat The Heat!
by Scorpio Rising 8/2/2020, 9:01 am

» Staking Eggplants and Peppers
by sanderson 8/1/2020, 7:46 pm

» Tom Thumb
by sanderson 8/1/2020, 7:19 pm

» What's next? - August
by Scorpio Rising 8/1/2020, 4:47 pm

» Tomato Tuesday - 2020
by Scorpio Rising 8/1/2020, 4:40 pm

» Sprouts and Microgreens
by LilBittyBean 8/1/2020, 4:14 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by Scorpio Rising 8/1/2020, 2:37 pm

» What Have You Picked From Your Garden Today
by OhioGardener 8/1/2020, 11:29 am

» Greetings all!
by Scorpio Rising 8/1/2020, 8:58 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

a couple beginner compost questions

Go down

a couple beginner compost questions Empty a couple beginner compost questions

Post  tkdtara84 on 3/30/2011, 6:50 pm

This is my first year SFG, and I thought I would first do the boxes this year and put off composting until next. However, we are just getting our yard cleaned up from previous elderly owners who couldn't care for it, so it's really overgrown, and we have tons of clippings/trimmings. We cut down a cedar tree last fall that was making our house and roof mildew/rot. Anyhow, there are tons of cedar needles on the ground from where that tree was (at least several huge garbage bags worth), so that got me thinking about going ahead with composting this year so we don't have to figure out how to bag them up and get rid of them all.

First, would cedar needles be okay to compost? I read about someone composting mulberry tree trimmings and ending up with tons of mulberry seedlings because her compost didn't get hot enough to kill the seeds. I'd hate to have the same thing happen.

Second, our yard is heavily shaded. We're using up the few patches of sunlight for the boxes, so the most convenient spot for our pile/bin would be right up next to a wooded spot with very little sunlight. Would that work, or does a pile need sunlight to heat up and do its thing?

Thanks, and sorry for the dumb questions!
tkdtara84
tkdtara84

Female Posts : 68
Join date : 2011-03-29
Location : Lafayette, IN 5b

Back to top Go down

a couple beginner compost questions Empty Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/30/2011, 6:57 pm

Compost is all about internal combustion. Do not use just the cedar, add grass clippings, vegetarian poo (rabbit, goat, horse) is optional, kitchen scraps, fall leaves, more lawn clippings. I'm fairly sure Mel has a chapter on this in his book.
Lavender Debs
Lavender Debs

Posts : 2054
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 63
Location : Everett, WA USA

http://songs-of-coming-rain.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

a couple beginner compost questions Empty Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  tkdtara84 on 3/30/2011, 7:00 pm

Thanks. I will, of course, add other stuff, but my main reason for starting this year instead of waiting until next would be to use the cedar stuff. My husband is a little freaked by the startup costs of the MM, etc., and wants to wait on the compost to make sure the SFG thing "sticks," but if he didn't have to bag and haul the cedar needles, well that might be an offer he couldn't refuse. Wink
tkdtara84
tkdtara84

Female Posts : 68
Join date : 2011-03-29
Location : Lafayette, IN 5b

Back to top Go down

a couple beginner compost questions Empty Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/30/2011, 7:10 pm

Yikes, sorry about that, I feel his pain. My husband is more like middle momma's, He got everything for me partly because he has so many toys...errr hobbies. He likes to go shopping and I do not have a normal female shopping gene. I am the one who gets sticker shock.

Raw compost takes more than it gives. If the older couple had a pile somewhere use that (It might just look like a mound of grass but under that layer of grass is SFG gold. Save the bags of cedar for between the beds (mulch rather than compost)
Lavender Debs
Lavender Debs

Posts : 2054
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 63
Location : Everett, WA USA

http://songs-of-coming-rain.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

a couple beginner compost questions Empty Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  camprn on 3/30/2011, 9:06 pm

I have a stand of spruce and hemlock trees at my place. The fallen needles ARE compostable, but I don't add very many of them to my active compost pile, I just rake up the needle debris and pile in the back yard and let it sit all by itself to rot as it will. Today I was checking last years pile and it is nearly ready to use as compost.
camprn
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14169
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 57
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

a couple beginner compost questions Empty Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  tkdtara84 on 3/31/2011, 1:25 pm

After doing more online reading, I found that the needles are, of course, compostable, but they are very acidic, so it's not good to add too many of them to the pile. However, we're planting a couple of blueberry bushes this year, and they need acidic soil, so I'm just going to use the needles as mulch for them. Problem solved!

Does anyone know if I can put my pile in the shade? Does it make the process go slower?
tkdtara84
tkdtara84

Female Posts : 68
Join date : 2011-03-29
Location : Lafayette, IN 5b

Back to top Go down

a couple beginner compost questions Empty Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  dmsandlin on 3/31/2011, 2:39 pm

Think of what's on a forest floor - acres of compost from last (and previous) year's fallen leaves; it all happened in the shade. It may take a little longer, but shade won't hurt.
dmsandlin
dmsandlin

Posts : 54
Join date : 2011-02-11
Location : central Arkansas

Back to top Go down

a couple beginner compost questions Empty a couple beginner compost questions

Post  Goosegirl on 3/31/2011, 5:08 pm

@dmsandlin wrote:Think of what's on a forest floor - acres of compost from last (and previous) year's fallen leaves; it all happened in the shade. It may take a little longer, but shade won't hurt.

I was thinking the same thing - think Redwood Forest - 300ft tall trees? Not much sun hits the ground - but compost happens anyway!

TC
Goosegirl
Goosegirl

Female Posts : 3435
Join date : 2011-02-16
Age : 55
Location : Zone 4A - NE SD

Back to top Go down

a couple beginner compost questions Empty Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  camprn on 3/31/2011, 7:12 pm

@tkdtara84 wrote:After doing more online reading, I found that the needles are, of course, compostable, but they are very acidic, so it's not good to add too many of them to the pile. However, we're planting a couple of blueberry bushes this year, and they need acidic soil, so I'm just going to use the needles as mulch for them. Problem solved!

Does anyone know if I can put my pile in the shade? Does it make the process go slower?
PERFECT for the blueberries! I would suggest just piling the needles in the most convenient spot and dont think about then again until next year. Very Happy
camprn
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14169
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 57
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

a couple beginner compost questions Empty Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  WardinWake on 4/1/2011, 6:22 am

@tkdtara84 wrote:After doing more online reading, I found that the needles are, of course, compostable, but they are very acidic, so it's not good to add too many of them to the pile. However, we're planting a couple of blueberry bushes this year, and they need acidic soil, so I'm just going to use the needles as mulch for them. Problem solved!

Does anyone know if I can put my pile in the shade? Does it make the process go slower?

Tkdtara84:

Composting will happen no matter the location and the weather. Follow the instructions in the "ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING BOOK" beginning on page 92. Using the method as outlined I had steam coming from my compost pile when there was a foot of snow on the ground, but, none on the compost pile.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
WardinWake
WardinWake

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 935
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 70
Location : Wake, VA

Back to top Go down

a couple beginner compost questions Empty Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  Miss Mousie on 4/18/2011, 8:42 pm

I have a couple of huge ancient oak trees right behind my house and they drop tons of leaves. When I feel compelled to rake, I find the most beautiful black soil. Can I add this to my compost, the leaves and some of the soil? Are oak leaves acidic too?
Miss Mousie
Miss Mousie

Female Posts : 89
Join date : 2010-03-26
Location : Sierra Nevada Foothills, California | Sunset Zone 7

Back to top Go down

a couple beginner compost questions Empty Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  tkdtara84 on 4/18/2011, 9:31 pm

I just dug up around our pile of needles, and lo and behold-- compost! It was all done under the very top layer! So, now I have some good soil to add to the blueberry spot. The rest we just raked into a pile so it can do its business.
tkdtara84
tkdtara84

Female Posts : 68
Join date : 2011-03-29
Location : Lafayette, IN 5b

Back to top Go down

a couple beginner compost questions Empty Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  camprn on 4/18/2011, 9:40 pm

From what I've read, the oak leaf is high in nitrogen and acidic while fresh and beginning it's decomposition, but the overall effect is an alkaline composted product.

Composting Oak Leaves from another forum.
camprn
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14169
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 57
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

a couple beginner compost questions Empty Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  boffer on 4/18/2011, 9:44 pm

Oak leaves have made up ~20% of my compost for four years. No complaints here.

Fir needles are just slow.
boffer
boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 67
Location : yelm, wa, usa

http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

a couple beginner compost questions Empty Re: a couple beginner compost questions

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum