Soil and Compost forum: composting kitchen scraps

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Dec 30, 2013 10:55 AM CST
I'd like to compost kitchen scraps, veggie or fruit leftovers and coffee grinds or eggshells. But how does that work in the winter when everything is frozen. I assume they just sit there ... frozen. do I need to cover it with soil? Don't critters run off w it?
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
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ge1836
Dec 30, 2013 11:13 AM CST
We use a big black composting bin.
http://www.compostinstructions.com/what-you-can-and-cannot-c...
The scraps do pile up in there and kritters ( mice,voles) nest amongst thye vedgtables. It doesnt really freeze solid but thye decomposition is slow.On the otherhand there isnt a need for composted materials untilo spring.
We dont compost meat or bread just old boquets,vedg rinds and peelings plus eggshells and coffee grounds.
We turn it over from time to time and add leaves in fall and grass clippings duering the summer.
An open pit will attract kritters if you toss leftover casseroles and meat .
Kritters who come for vedgtable matter are usually seed eaters.
Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Coppice
Dec 30, 2013 1:29 PM CST
One of the tower composters, or a simple pallet sided bin will work. Its meats or fats that draw visiting critters. If you can set aside a big leaf-bag of leaves, one per month will cover things up and let you nest kitchen scraps.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Dec 30, 2013 5:16 PM CST
ok well you mean your bin has a lid? I know not to put meat or dairy in there, I think the rats would love that! Not to mention the neighborhood cats.
how come you don't compost bread? I am going to check out the link you posted.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Dec 30, 2013 5:25 PM CST
ok it says not to use bread because it can attract maggots or mold. I'm not sure why that is a problem?
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Dec 30, 2013 8:28 PM CST
Not a problem if you like maggots Hilarious! I've had them in my compost many times. They do gross me out when there are enough of them. And it always looks moldy. Doesn't bother me, but my compost is pretty far from my house, in the back of the yard, so less likely to draw critters close to the house. I've found small snakes in my compost, and mice.... Prevention can also include hardware cloth on the bottom of a bin to keep critters from entering from underground tunneling.

The only food I compost is fruit/veggie scraps and coffee grounds. My compost is made of mostly yard scraps.

Karen

Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Dec 31, 2013 8:32 AM CST
I compost all OM from inside and out, except meat (because our dog would tear up the pile to get it,) bones, sticks larger than a finger go to a separate pile, and thorns go to the curb. I have a barrel for 'icky' stuff, the rest gets spread on beds as it shows up. The last time I had a pile, ants ate the whole thing over winter.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
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ge1836
Dec 31, 2013 8:49 AM CST
We have teenagers who put 3 stale pieces of pizza in our box. Maggots turn to flies and they swarmmed around the box all summer.
Our house is situated in the upper corner of the lot. Neighborhood doesnt allow any sheds or yard structures.
The box is next to thye deck near the kitchen door.
Yes it has a lid and sluggs abound plus tons of baby red worms .Its grose to empty house scraps so we make SILdo it.
I also compost plant clippings but rarely weeds.Who wants to see them again.!
You can just see the edge of the box at the left.

Thumb of 2013-12-31/ge1836/ecdac3

Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Dec 31, 2013 10:33 AM CST
Stale pizza would translate to dog food here... but nobody said decomposition was pretty! Another option for the more squeamish is to slightly bury stuff that is or might turn icky. Dig a little hole next to the roses for example, drop your load, cover it up. Done, no need to move that later, like 'finished' compost. Anything that can go in a final spot the first time, that's what I do with it.

Buried or used as mulch, both forms of sheet composting. I was already arriving at this more lazy conclusion, then a back injury, then the ants convinced me I wouldn't get anything from a pile here anyway. It's all going to go on beds, might as well go there the first time I move it. It will decompose as mulch or in a pile, and seems like the closest thing to a natural plan as I can get, though even if I could still fork up heavy loads of compost and cart it around the yard, I don't think I would. Nobody moves compost around in meadows or forests, it just doesn't make sense to me vs. what I've been doing the past couple years.

The barrel I mentioned above, after dumping icky (green) stuff in there, when I don't feel like digging, or it's a big load of something, I cover it with leaves (brown.) This keeps critters such as flies from being able to access it, as well as provide the balance of materials necessary for the most quick type of decomposition. An odor or slimy conditions are sign of a predominance of greens, anaerobic decomposition. By adding browns, maybe stirring a bit, the balance can be restored so this odiferous process stops. Then a layer of browns on top to block as much access as possible. With a big load of icky, put a little in, then some leaves, then more icky, then more leaves. That mixes things up so the decomposition can begin quickly. Spreading some stinky, slimy stuff on the ground will also stop the anaerobic decomposition by allowing oxygen to react with most of the surface area. There's nothing wrong with smelly, anaerobic decomposition, except that it's offensive to the olfactory senses, so efforts to avoid that are worth doing, and not hard to do.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Dec 31, 2013 8:49 PM CST
ge1836 said:Its grose to empty house scraps so we make SILdo it.

Thumb of 2013-12-31/ge1836/ecdac3



I can tell ya'all are the warm fuzzy family type LOL
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
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ge1836
Jan 1, 2014 4:54 AM CST
I dont mind dumping scraps in early spring and winter.Summer ,with slugs and worms,not so much.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Jan 2, 2014 7:53 PM CST
I agree with Tiffany / purpleinopp - if you cover garbage over, it can look or smell as bad as it wants to while it is breaking down. That doesn't bother me!

My basic pile always has more brown than green. And I usually have some tough or woody stems that won't fully dissolve for a long time. They keep the pile aerated and might deter critters. But I never see any critters! Well, it is pretty urban and we have a lot of cats but no dogs.

When I bring home discards from a fruit stand or throw out my kitchen scraps, I put them into the center of the pile and mix roughly with the mostly-brown stuff. Any slimy stuff dissolves before I bury the next load. Eventually the center of the pile becomes balanced with browns and greens, and I can use it as finished compost

Often I have to screen out the twiggy things that are still softening.

I don't worry about a little meat, like uneaten wet cat food or meat scraps that got old enough to be doubtful. I do chop them fine and bury them deep.

I'm sure she's also right about the most efficient way to compost: just put it where it's needed and let it compost in place. That way there is no waste at all. And that has to be the minimum-effort method.

But I like my pile! And I get to see the process when I mess around with it: garbage today, gold tomorrow.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Jan 2, 2014 8:25 PM CST
Yeah, me too. I definitely enjoy playing with my compost.

Karen
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
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ge1836
Jan 3, 2014 4:15 AM CST
Rick love the tag" garbage today gold tomorrow Houshold compost is so much cheaper than commercial fertilizer.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jan 9, 2014 10:11 AM CST
So for those of you that just put it directly on the plants, how strong do you spread it? Like coffee grounds, 2 scoops per plant LOL ? or is that too much? How often? Can I give my plant too much caffeine and cause it to explode? What about banana peels? One per shrub? or do I chop it up and share?
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
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ge1836
Jan 9, 2014 10:43 AM CST
I have never done this before but I have a hydrangea outside my computer window and I have been putting coffee grounds on it.
They are collected daily from my single brew coffee pot,a single brew is 3 spoons. After a week when the plastic container is full I open the window and toss the grounds on the bush.
Its the stuff that looks like dirt around the bare stems.

Thumb of 2014-01-09/ge1836/9e7388

Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Jan 9, 2014 10:53 AM CST
Banana peels are the holy grail of OM, though I'm pretty lazy about sharing. I always put it under the shrub that's due to bloom, especially roses, or a struggling new plant if I have one at the time. Kind of brush the mulch aside, scrape a bare spot, lay the peel, replace mulch. I keep a hand trowel handy by the back door so this doesn't seem like a chore.

Coffee grounds, I would just kind of sling/spread that between plants, working around to diff spots each time. If you miss, just jiggle plants so it falls off, might make spots on leaves. You don't want any visible piles or signs there's 'food' in the yard (that grosses other people out, though coffee grounds are widely known to be used in gardening) spread it around if put on the surface, so it's distributed, and accessible to oxygen. As it decomposes, the particles will be naturally distributed o their proper place in the soil.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Jan 9, 2014 10:59 AM CST
Yeah, JoAnn, nobody would think that's not dirt, and if they did, they 'know your secret.' Bravo!

Forgot to add above, I also make banana water for potted tropical plants when they're outside. Pureรฉ in blender, dilute with water (I usually share 1 peel with 2-3 gallons of water.) Haven't tried it on cacti/succulents, but the 'regular' plants love it. If we ate more 'nanas, I would put it on ground plants too.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jan 9, 2014 11:13 AM CST
bingo! Hadn't thought about the blender, that's a great idea!
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Jan 9, 2014 11:57 AM CST
Glad you like it, and I just realized I've been contradicting myself, really. Why bury so many peels by ONE plant when I could just make more banana water? Thanks so much for asking your question, which apparently helped me too, connect some dots.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.

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