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Afraid of my own compost... Toplef10Afraid of my own compost... 1zd3ho10

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Afraid of my own compost... I22gcj10Afraid of my own compost... 14dhcg10

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Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]
Afraid of my own compost... Toplef10Afraid of my own compost... 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.

Afraid of my own compost... I22gcj10Afraid of my own compost... 14dhcg10

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Afraid of my own compost...

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Afraid of my own compost... Empty Afraid of my own compost...

Post  jillwilliams1 1/13/2012, 3:49 pm

I'm a sfg newbie, but long time single row devotee....I admit to never using compost; but rather synthetic fertilizers. I'm very comfortable using a packaged compost from a garden center, but I'm not so sure about my own pile that I've been working on for 18 months....it's only got wheat straw and chicken manure from all the coop cleanings. Maybe that's not enough variety of ingredients; I worry about it being too strong and hurting my plants. Any thought or suggestions would be great...I'd really like to see this pile be one of my 5 composts; they're hard to find!
jillwilliams1
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Posts : 11
Join date : 2012-01-10
Location : Georgia

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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 1/13/2012, 3:56 pm

It already is one of your five....maybe two of your five, technically. But, calling it "one" is likely the more conservative route.

I can tell you I understand your apprehension. We've all been there. You just have to trust it and toss it in the mix. Understand that once all that stuff breaks down, it's likely better than anything you can buy. I wish I could help with the "strength" of it, but I can't. You can always dilute it with a couple bags of "trusted" compost from your local stores. If you like your results, add more next time and use more of your compost.

Either way, I'm glad you are converting and joined us. Welcome aboard if I haven't already said so!
BackyardBirdGardner
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Post  littlejo 1/13/2012, 4:00 pm

Use your nose and smell it. If it just smells like dirt, it's ok. If it smells like manure or ammonia, then it's got to work longer, and try to add just some straw without the chicken poo. Have you been adding to it constantly for 18 months? That's plenty of time! But, start another pile to add new stuff to.
littlejo
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Post  jillwilliams1 1/13/2012, 4:09 pm

Excellent feedback everyone. I have been adding to the pile continually....I've not turned any of it so I can probably remove several layers till I get down to some broken-down material? I'll definitely start a new pile.
jillwilliams1
jillwilliams1

Posts : 11
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Post  llama momma 1/13/2012, 4:24 pm

During the first year all I had was 3 yr. old composted llama poo containing straw and hay. It looked like dark soil, that's what you want to find when you dig down into your existing pile.
I can say the garden grew beyond my expectations even though I didn't have a 5 way compost mix at the start. If you wanted to cross your fingers and gamble like I did, you could try using your limited ingredients of old composted stuff. But start your five way compost asap. We all have to start somewhere!
llama momma
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Afraid of my own compost... Empty Chicken manure

Post  tomperrin 1/13/2012, 5:26 pm

I'd love some chicken manure. But if I had it, I would cut it like I cut my horse manure compost - with something a little less potent.
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