Compost Happens!: GOOD article!

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Compost Happens!

By Anderwood
June 16, 2014

Here are some nuts and bolts on basic composting. If you don't get it right, don't worry. It all turns into dirt in the end.

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Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Jun 16, 2014 7:19 AM CST
Where were you when I was trying to convince an engineer that he didn't have to study too deeply to just start? Hilarious!

Honestly, now I will refer beginners to your article and that should be nuff said!
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Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
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Anderwood
Jun 16, 2014 7:24 AM CST
Wow, I really appreciate that @crittergarden!

Glad to know it was helpful. Big Grin
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crittergarden
Jun 16, 2014 7:53 AM CST
It was, it WAS!
I mean, I've been composting for decades, but I meet with so much resistance based on "It's too complicated" that I get frustrated.
Because it's NOT so complicated!
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
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rocklady
Jun 16, 2014 9:11 AM CST
Loved the article. I have been composting for years and come from a long line of composters! My mother had such lovely flowers, mainly because of the compost she worked into our sandy, nutrient deficient soil.
Any day you wake up on the sunny side of the grass is a good day.

"The moving hand writes and having writ moves on. Neither all thy piety nor all thy wit can lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it." The Rubiyat by Omar Khayyam
Name: Toni Melvin
Sherwood Oregon (Zone 8a)
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Toni
Jun 16, 2014 10:39 AM CST
Awesome article Reid. Hurray! I love, love, love composting. I started with a tumbler, that got to be to heavy to tumble quit quickly. Then I started a cold pile about 2 1/2 years ago. Then this winter I got brave and tried a Berkley method compost heap. Wow, was that awesome nodding Other than trying to turn a massive pile by hand with a healing broken leg ~ it turned out incredible. I think with practice and action, we all can improve the world, one compost heap at a time Rolling on the floor laughing
Toni
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Jun 16, 2014 2:23 PM CST
Well said. If you pile it, it will rot.

In my case, it is very small and never gets hot. It's just a pile, not a bin, and isn't enclosed. So it goes slowly, but it gets there.

One way that I "manage" the brown/green ratio is that I usually have lots more browns than greens. As I pick up coffee grounds or fruit stand rejects or collect kitchen scraps, I bury them in my heap. Thus the center rots faster than the edges. Maybe I mix it some every few months (it is a small pile and has twigs for aeration).

There are "enough greens" in it when it looks more black than brown, or whenever I need to use it. I take from the center and leave the browner edges in the pile to be mixed with more greens as I acquire them.

P.S. You really are right that "cold composters" are better off throwing away weeds with seeds. I felt like I couldn't "waste" those big, green weeds. But now I have millions of those weeds everywhere!

It's one more reason to weed often. If you catch them before they go to seed, you can use them for composting.
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crittergarden
Jun 16, 2014 2:33 PM CST
RickCorey said:It's one more reason to weed often. If you catch them before they go to seed, you can use them for composting.


That's my approach!
I don't mind the minutia of pulling small weeds. I find it relaxing to sit on the ground and focus.
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
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canadanna
Jun 16, 2014 7:12 PM CST
I never thought of the hot/cold...maybe should be called overachieving/lazy, Smiling Great article!
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Jun 17, 2014 5:16 PM CST
I used to get coffee grounds by the 5 gallon buckets from a coffee shop. My compost was really hot then. Mine heats up pretty well without much effort.

Karen
Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Anderwood
Jun 17, 2014 6:22 PM CST
Yeah, if you combine 5 gallons of coffee grounds to a 4x4 pile and mix it up, that is the very best compost you can make. By mid April for me it is finished. The only thing that I can recognize is kitchen scraps.
Name: Dinu
Mysore, India (Zone 10a)
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Dinu
Jun 17, 2014 10:54 PM CST
Nice compilation!! My garden is not big. I have 3 trees in the yard. I use some green leaves also for composting. I have made two small pits, one 'active' and one 'closed'. When the latter is fully broken down - it will take about 2-3 months depending on climate, I remove them into a plastic bag for using a few days later. So this pit becomes empty. The pit is about 15 inches L,B and H. When the former is full, I transfer them into the empty pit and by doing so, rotation happens. I use this pit for fresh additions. I'm doing this way since two years. I also add coffee and tea wastes into it along with some dry leaves, green leaves and vegetable/fruit wastes. I'm enjoying it, so do the plants. I'm seeing some improved results since I started composting - no wonder!! What I compost is just about enough for my requirement. Sometimes I buy 'vermicompost'. I learnt some new things in that article, thanks.
The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for Him there. ~ GB Shaw, 'Adventures of the black girl'
Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Anderwood
Jun 20, 2014 3:42 PM CST
You're welcome @Dinu ! Glad you learned something.

leemarie
Jun 23, 2014 12:42 AM CST
I have a pile of "everything" that I keep adding to all year. Also bury my kitchen scraps and they rot very fast. Even egg shells and orange peels! Makes lovely, light soil.
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crittergarden
Jun 23, 2014 6:13 AM CST
Yes it DOES!
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/

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