I'm all set to make compost!

Discussion in 'Organic Gardening' started by cherylad, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    Last year, we just set up an area surrounded by wooden pallets for a compost area. We didn't take care of it really well and it just ended up being a place to throw out anything... scraps, weeds, etc.
    So... I vowed to be a better girl in 2013 and followed the lead of some Stewbies... and now have a "real" compost bin.


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    compost bin ( photo / image / picture from cherylad's Garden )

    Hubby got it all set up about 10am today. As soon as he was done, I "christianed" it by adding the contents of my morning's tea bags. By 2pm... I'd added some "goodies"... onions peels... potatoes (which may have been okay to eat... but I just couldn't help myself!). I also added just a small shovel full of dirt. Don't know if that was okay or not... but I wanted to see how well it mixed up when rolled! :D
    We BBQ yesterday and I was planning on adding the ashes, but I read this posting http://www.gardenstew.com/about295.html
    And it mentioned NOT to use ashes.
    Why shouldn't it be added to compost?

    And oh yeah... that link is my first officialy "SAVED" posting! :stew2:
     
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  3. Jerry Sullivan

    Jerry Sullivan Garden Experimenter Plants Contributor

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    While wood ashes are safe to compost, coal ash is not safe. Coal ash contains high levels of sulfur and iron and could damage plants.

    Jerry
     
  4. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    Thanks Jerry. I didn't know that. For years, I've added ashes from the BBQ pit (charcoal) around some plants.
    I'll stop doing that now!
    But I do need to clean out the firebox of the big bbq pit which only had wood used for cooking.
    Glad I asked!
     
  5. Jerry Sullivan

    Jerry Sullivan Garden Experimenter Plants Contributor

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    Use wood ashes sparingly as they are on the alkaline side of neutral and could upset the PH of the bin which works better in the acidic range. (makes fungi grow and helps the breakdown of cellulose)

    Jerry
     



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  6. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    Thanks Jerry... I'll have to do some more reading on what not to add to it.
     
  7. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    You look serious, Cheryl.
    Good luck with that bin.
     
  8. Donna S

    Donna S Hardy Maple

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    I started my third compost bin yesterday. Hubby found one on sale and brought it home. Composting cut my trash bags down to about two a week. It's amazing how much you can compost.
     
  9. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    Thanks Sjoerd. Yes... I want to do it right this time.
    There's still a "pile" for all the other stuff. Right now there's a tomato plant in there about 18 inches doing just fine. :D
    I showed it to my brother and hubby and said "And this is why I wrote 'No Seeds' on the barrel".

    Donna... I may have to add at least one more... but not until I'm sure I'm doing it right.

    I had an extra cup of tea this morning just so I could use up another one to toss in there! ;)
     
  10. Donna S

    Donna S Hardy Maple

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    Cheryl,
    Cover your food scraps with soil or any brown matter (leaves,straw,old mulch,shredded paper,dryer lint)etc. Do not turn barrel for a few days. If you don't cover it will draw flies. Check out the compostjunkie.com
     
  11. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    I meant to rake up some leaves yesterday to add to it, but forgot. I did throw in some grass I pulled up from around some shrubs trees.
     
  12. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Your compost barrel and stand look mighty good!!! The first load of compost you get out of the barrel will be so exciting.
    ;)
     
  13. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    Thanks Toni.. and thank Evil Roy also... I showed Hubby the one he made for you and he used it as his guideline.
    I have a question though... I remember you mentioning that it was getting kind of hard to "roll" the barrel. Did you ever add a handle? And if so, how?
     
  14. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    Great decision Cheryl, compost away!!!
     
  15. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    Thank you KK.
    I suppose I should mention that the barrel is a 30 gallon one that contained soap that I got for free from a car wash.
    Hubby used treated 2x4s for the stand. I wanted to paint it a darker color, but since we had some gray paint leftover and that needed to be used... guess what? The stand got painted gray! :D
    I'm sure it'll look gross with good ol' stuff being dripped all over it... maybe then I'll splurge and buy some dark-colored paint.
    The hinges were stashed away in my dad's old stuff... so I think I did pretty good money-wise. Only had to buy the wood.
    And wait... sssssshhhh... don't tell Hubby.... I "accidentally" bought too much wood so now he has to build me another stand for a second rain collection barrel.
    :snicker:
     
  16. vineyardflute

    vineyardflute New Seed

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    Congratulations for composting in a more formal way. Good for your plants, too. Wait and see how they thank you. Did you know that you can also use your compost on the lawn? Just spread lightly anytime of year. This helps make room when the barrels get too full.
     

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