Soil and Compost forum: My Composting . . .

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Name: Teresa
Indiana (Zone 5b)
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TsFlowers
Nov 27, 2017 5:53 PM CST
Today I went about taking some quick photos of my composting efforts.

First, this was my original method of 'compost bin' probably 20 years ago. It sat at the back door step, where I previously lived, and I easily emptied in contents just by opening the door. My mom also used this method for several years before she got her small tumbler composter. These tall laundry-baskets can last outdoors with compost 4-6 years, maybe more, I left the original one behind.

However, the one in the photo is not that original one. The one in the photo was actually purchased for the collection of black walnuts. It was placed in a slightly out-of-sight place under the carport, and before I knew it, the dang squirrels had chewed a hole in it and taken the majority of the walnuts. On the original one, I had made holes in the bottom (which is solid plastic), and a couple holes on the bottom-side near the ground. This one, I didn't get any of that done. I needed a quick fix this spring to pile in leaves to clean up my potted plant area:

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More to come . . .

. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
Name: Teresa
Indiana (Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
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TsFlowers
Nov 27, 2017 6:02 PM CST
This is my new compost bin at the back of the house. Originally cost about $50-$60, but I got it on sale for about $30 with tax.

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Lid opened (full), but I added one more bagger full of chopped leaves today, so it's now piled higher:

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The bottom door, I've yet to try to get any out, but I can imagine it won't be easy. I did open the door once to look, but the contents started wanting to push out, and I'm not ready yet.

Thumb of 2017-11-28/TsFlowers/e1b6d9

. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
Name: Teresa
Indiana (Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
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TsFlowers
Nov 27, 2017 6:07 PM CST
These are my composting crates. They are full of compost materials except the top one. The tray of little potted plants was sitting on the north side when I piled up the crates, and didn't think they would appreciate not getting any sun, so I just plopped them down on top of the compost.

Thumb of 2017-11-28/TsFlowers/620064

. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
Name: Teresa
Indiana (Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
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TsFlowers
Nov 27, 2017 6:11 PM CST
These are some of the bags of leaves I rescued from the ravishing of the maple tree:

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. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
Name: Teresa
Indiana (Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
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TsFlowers
Nov 27, 2017 6:19 PM CST
This was one of my first compost efforts, and you really can't see it very well from the photo. After about 3 or 4 years, I realized you can't compost near a maple tree. Nobody told me, I tell ya!!! But there is quite a mound there, probably rises 2 feet above the surrounding surface. (It originally probably was a pile about 5 feet high.)

So now it still contains the once nice tarp that covered it and some old hose that needs gotten rid of. But my trash pick-up won't pick up anything unless it's in a bag. So this is a large clean-up project that needs done, but probably at the bottom of a long list. (The portion of the lawn swing was only sitting there so I could mow, and never got moved back. Shrug! )

Thumb of 2017-11-28/TsFlowers/b3dd82

. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
[Last edited by TsFlowers - Nov 27, 2017 6:50 PM (+)]
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Name: Teresa
Indiana (Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
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TsFlowers
Nov 27, 2017 6:28 PM CST
This is my tarp compost pile. Now of course I had already contended with maple tree roots before, but I didn't know how quickly they would come up and over the edges of black plastic. So formerly black plastic lay here, and it's still under the tarp, but I was trying to salvage some of the former contents, plus it's the *easiest* place I can dump my bagger of leaves. It is also my plans/hopes, to monitor it monthly by pulling up all four edges of the tarp to make sure no tree roots have invaded. What sits next to the pile is a lilac bush, and I think it benefited from the former compost pile that was there, but re-done.

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I also think I can pull this tarp with my lawn mower.

. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
Name: Teresa
Indiana (Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
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TsFlowers
Nov 27, 2017 6:44 PM CST
This is my concrete bin. Almost the whole top row of blocks got stolen (well, by me, needed for another purpose). I laid some (one row) of the blocks on their sides for aeration purposes. It's been in place about 10 years or so, but often didn't get used.

I once owned a large Sears Craftsman gas power chipper-shredder. Used it once, and it was put back in the shed never to be used again (and ended up burning in the shed fire). I specifically wanted to chop corn stalks and sunflower stalks and shred up several other garden plants like the zinnia foliage and so forth. It constantly clogged up. I took hours just to chop up a few sunflower stalks. Blaah with that; don't have the time!

So the concrete bin became a compost of large materials. Of course it will take a lot longer to break down, but oh well.

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Great photo huh??! At the last minute, before I *had* to get to work, I realized I hadn't got a photo of it. So I quickly took one from a distance, not caring to walk all the way over to the other side. So the kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate plants are much obstructing the view. Whistling
. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
Name: Teresa
Indiana (Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
Image
TsFlowers
Nov 27, 2017 7:08 PM CST
Last is no compost at all, weelll, maybe. This is my rain barrel that you could see in one of the above photos. Perhaps this could be called fish compost. Whistling

I originally tried mosquito dunks, because the mosquitoes became really bad in the barrel. They didn't work at all (for me anyway). Then I tried putting screen over the top, but it was a complete pain-in-the-rear to remove every time I wanted to dip out water. So I tried installing goldfish, and what a blessing those goldfish have been. Poor things though, started out with 10 tiny ones at 20-cents each. Right away, a few died. The first winter I bought a small plastic aquarium for those 7. Way too many for a small aquarium even if it does have a filter and pump!!! So all of those perished but 4, and then 2 more perished upon returning them to the barrel. The amazing part is, that last winter I just didn't care to make the effort to try to catch those 2 fish . . . they were *very* difficult the first round. So they were left in the barrel. They somehow survived the winter in that barrel. My mom and I were both amazed as that thing froze almost solid from what I could see. Who knows what will happen this winter.

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I'm sure my potted plants enjoy the fish emulsion they get when I water from the barrel. No mosquito larvae now!

The interesting thing about this photo is I was paying so close attention to try to snap the shot when the fish were together (they were swimming around), that I didn't even realize I had a reflection of the maple tree and the house siding in the water.

. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 27, 2017 7:30 PM CST
@TsFlowers Do you compost in the winter? I mean add to it? We are revamping and repairing our ignored compost bins and I wanted to start over. But it's so cold and I wondered if I should wait til spring?
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Teresa
Indiana (Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
Image
TsFlowers
Nov 27, 2017 7:38 PM CST
The only compost I'll be adding to in the winter is the large plastic new bin behind the house. So no, I don't add to the compost piles and so forth in the winter. But just because of the cold, and I only go out when I have to.

But for you, in zone 9a, if you can stand your weather, go for it on the nice days. From my understanding, compost piles work and heat in the winter too.

And I hear you about revamping and repairing - - I have a lot of that to do as well. But I figure I will just keep keeping it and adding to where I can, until I can get it done. Some will be ready for spreading in the garden this coming spring, and then tilled in.

. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
Name: Jason
Oregon (Zone 8b)
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TomatoTango
Jan 31, 2018 10:50 AM CST
Here's a picture of my compost bins. I fill each 4x4 cube with food scraps, straw, horse manure, leaves, and then the worms pretty much do the rest. Last year I filled an entire bin with horse manure, cardboard, and fertilizer. Worms turned the whole thing into castings in about 6 months.
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