Any composters here?

Discussion in 'Organic Gardening' started by marlingardener, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

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    I just came in from sifting and spreading compost on the fallow part of the vegetable garden, and other than a slightly sore back and being absolutely filthy (note to self: do not toss compost into prevailing wind) I'm so happy! We have two piles, one working and one ready to go. I now have at least 3" of compost on the big vegetable garden, and I'll be planting next week.
    Anyone else compost?
     
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  3. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    We compost here in Scotland and have three composting bins on the go. It's great having your own compost to hand instead of buying the processed stuff from gardening centres. The plants in my garden certainly seems to appreciate it as much as we do. :-D
     
  4. Pricklypear

    Pricklypear Seedling

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    Yes, I keep at least one compost pile going all year round. I don't have rotating or stationary bins. I just pile it all against the garden wall.

    Right now I have two piles. One is "cooked" and ready to use for fall planting (now).

    Currently I'm designing a small chicken coop. I want a small flock of chickens--no more than 5 hens and a rooster to help with processing all the garden waste.

    One of my garden friends has a nice little system where everything goes through the chickens. She has two runs--one where the chickens are allowed to roam and scratch to their hearts content. The second run has been planted and waiting for the girls to move in for the fall.

    The chicken coop and runs get raked frequently into a compost pile that's turned every other week.
     
  5. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    I do, but only to the extent of tossing kitchen peelings ect on my manure pile. Sure don`t do all that turning and sifting stuff.
     



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  6. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    I compost! I have a couple of piles plus a composter that I throw my kitchen waste into. I usually spread the finished compost in the spring. I had some wonderful things pop up in my veggie garden this year ... Acorn Squash, Pie Pumpkins, Tomato plants, gourds and Cantaloupe!!
     
  7. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

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    Prickly Pear,
    We have hens, and you wouldn't believe what their coop cleanings do for the compost pile! The only danger is using the "processed" stuff from the hens before it has a chance to rot. Fresh, it's pretty hot and can damage plants.
     
  8. Jewell

    Jewell Incorrigible Gardener Plants Contributor

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    We do a lot of mulching in place and the city provides a "green bin" for compostibles that we keep filled with the things that need to be in "heated piles". After 27 years on the same lot some mulching/composting areas are a good foot or more higher than when we moved in :D It is amazing how much organic matter nature produces.
     
  9. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    Yes I compost and that is the only food my veggies get. I compost by piling and turning the stuff once every other day if I am up to it :D . I collect compostable from the kitchen and around my mini-farm, most of it are grass clippings from my own lawn.

    Fresh compostable are put into a first pile which I call it the collection area. Next when there are ample quantity, I'll move the whole pile to the second station which I called it the coposting area. This is where I turn the stuff every now and then whenever I feel like it. Finally when they are "cooked" like Pricklypear said, they are moved to the third station which is the holding area waiting to go into action :D .

    Every station is occupied year round and it is a on going cycle. Adding chicken manure would be great but I have to restrain myself from rearing chickens because the neighbours will definately complaint :( .
     
  10. fish_4_all

    fish_4_all In Flower

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    I vermi compost. Small scale but my plants seem to love it. I hope to soon have a better composting worm to get a lot more castings for setting up bins and possibly a raised garden for next spring.

    If we buy this house I will be starting to compost on a much larger scale and hope to use nothing but compost in my raised gardens. I love my buckets but I hate watering them so often.
     
  11. SanDiegoLarry

    SanDiegoLarry New Seed

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    I certainly do enjoy composting! I keep two compost bins going, one in progress and one ready to go. I actually got the compost bins from the city of San Diego. Back when I lived in a rural location I just had piles on the edge of my woods, but here in the city you need sturdy bins or you may attract rats. (So I hear, very rarely ever see rats in my neighborhood.) Biggest challenge in my dry climate is keeping the bins moist inside.
     
  12. Member8170

    Member8170 New Seed

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    I built a double section compost bin from free plans at Lowes.com. It works beautifully and I only wish I had extended it to three bins. But, very happy with the results.
     
  13. Droopy

    Droopy Slug Slaughterer Plants Contributor

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    We compost too. One for last year and one for this year. :D We also heap twigs and such in heaps, leaves and all, in the hope of attracting hedgehogs looking for a new home. We use a lot of horse dung, both in the bins and underneath the veggies. In spring, when we empty the veggie beds, the composted dung goes into the borders. Our plants love it too.

    We don't use a lot of chicken manure since it's got chalk in it, and we've got lots of acid-soil borders. We add seashell sand instead to the plants who need it.
     
  14. halfway

    halfway Seedling

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    I just finished the 3rd bin to our compost area. Now I can turn the 2 bins while keeping one open for finished compost or the new batch. This, I believe will make it much simpler.

    I also snagged a few bags of leaves from the curbs!!!! It feels kind of funny, but nothing wrong with it. I don't have many leaves and these are headed to disposal.

    I keep a pile of lawn clippings and leaves available as I add kitchen scraps to the heap throughout winter. I add the scraps, a handful of leave, a fork full of grass clippings and I am set.

    8)
     
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  15. halfway

    halfway Seedling

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    I am wondering if I should drill some holes in pvc and insert into the pile before we get snow?? My thought is to allow air to circulate where normally the snow would compress it and shut it down.

    I'm not sure how much more breakdown I would get, but it seems as if it would.

    Anyone have pipes or tubing in their bins to extend the breakdown?
     
  16. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

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    Halfway, I like your idea of the third bin. We have so much compostable material here on the farm that two bins just aren't sufficient. I think we'll add on a third for finished/finishing.
    About that pipe--I don't know about air circulation, but we used a leach-line pipe (about 6" diameter with lots of holes already in it) upright in our town compost pile to add water (we're in Texas and don't get enough rain to keep a pile cooking). It worked pretty well, so if it added water, it likely would add air, also.
     
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