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Is my compost ready? Toplef10Is my compost ready? 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.

Is my compost ready? I22gcj10Is my compost ready? 14dhcg10

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Is my compost ready?

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Is my compost ready? Empty Is my compost ready?

Post  hartge01 5/9/2011, 2:31 pm

Greeting everyone!

I opened my trash can compost bin this past weekend, dumped it out and there was plenty of moist, dark, black matter in there. It looked pretty good. Except... there are still some small pieces of identifiable plant matter, mainly pine needles. Maybe it is just that I know what I put in there Smile I started the bin in early January I believe and rolled it around the yard every week or so.

Although there are small identifiable pieces of plant matter, the vast majority of the compost is again moist, black and unidentifiable. Does this seem ready to use? There doesn't seem to be any heat being generated outside of the matter being in a black garbage can in warm Florida. Actually, the compost looks a little better than some that I have purchased as far as identifiable plant matter goes.

Thanks everyone!

Gary
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Post  walshevak 5/9/2011, 3:08 pm

I'm wondering about mine as well. That is old coir pot lines on top.


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Post  killjug 5/9/2011, 4:43 pm

If you are conserned about the plant matter you can screen it by building a 2x4 frame and stapling 1/4" hardware cloth on it and pouring the compost on the screen over a wheel burrow or contanier and moving the compost around with a trowle or your hand. The good stuff will fall through into the container and the unfinished stuff will stay on the screen. Just put the unfinished stuff back in and continue to compost.
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Post  hartge01 5/9/2011, 5:11 pm

Thanks KillJug,

I should have mentioned that I did screen it the way you described. All the material I am talking about came through the screen.

Gary
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Post  Furbalsmom 5/9/2011, 5:35 pm

If it came thru 1/4 inch screen, the compost should be done.

CONGRATULATIONS
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Post  Aub 5/9/2011, 5:46 pm

I have often wondered the same thing. When does it change from a pile of gunk to compost? Now we know!
I also wonder the same about chicken stock. When does it stop being chicken flavored water? I have to call my mom on that one quite a bit!
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Post  hartge01 5/10/2011, 7:09 am

Thanks everyone!

I should have plenty of compost for my summer and fall plantings. My spring crops are doing well and are providing a nice after work snack as I tend to to the garden each afternoon.

Blessings,

Gary
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