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Name: Trish Anderson
Binghamton NY (Zone 5a)
May 19, 2016 10:15 AM CST
Good Morning!
I am happy to have found this site. I feel that I may have a lot to offer too! I've been gardening all my life.
My question is about my compost pile. It is just a sodden mess. I've tried several different methods and the last 1 is a circle of chicken wire. It was kind of ok at first but my yard slopes down and with all of the rain that we've had the lower layer has eroded away into a rocky weedy part of the yard. I realize that it needs more chopped leaves to loosen it, but what about the potentially usable soil? Should I just start again? This should have been ready for use now!
Thank you
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Charter ATP Member Bulbs Bookworm Amaryllis Houseplants Annuals
Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Foliage Fan Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Frogs and Toads
May 19, 2016 10:22 AM CST
You could try layering what you have with newspapers or cardboard or grass clippings.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
May 19, 2016 10:38 AM CST
Figure out a way for the water to go around instead of under. Wooden sides? Or just burying your chicken wire a few inches so the compost can't flow under it. Its not hopeless but you do have to turn the contents once in a while so a way to open one side it helpful. If you don't have enough leaves, add paper: newspaper, paper towers, paper plates... And heat - add a bag of manure.

I have always had two compost piles. Year 1 I add to Pile 1. At the end of year 1, I add to Pile 2 and let Pile 1 compost. When Pile 1 is ready to move out, use it and start adding to that bin again and let Pile 2 process.

I read an interesting study recently about heating compost with black plastic. My daughter wanted to compost her turtle's litter but she doesn't know if they carry salmonella. Her thought was to supper-heat the turtle littler than add it to the compost pile. But, from my reading, if you super-heat your compost, you kill the salmonella but also all the good bacteria. The first, and often only, bacteria to grow back is salmonella.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Rabbit Keeper Frugal Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Region: Georgia Native Plants and Wildflowers Composter Garden Sages Bookworm Vermiculture
May 19, 2016 1:21 PM CST
Welcome! Trish10-
Member davidsevit who gardens in Jerusalem, Israel had asked for help with his compost a while back; lots of good information resulted. If you have time please read the threads:

The thread "keeping a compost heap airy" in Ask a Question forum
The thread "pictures of the final stage of the composting container" in Ask a Question forum
The thread "mission complete with the compost" in Ask a Question forum
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"

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