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Old 03-30-2004, 04:14 AM
 
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Hey, a lady I met in New Zealand had several neat stacks of compost aging around her (large) garden. They looked like large baskets made of wooden rails. She had her dad put up 4 fence posts in a square pattern about 3 feet apart. Then she layered 2x2 rails inside the posts, overlapping like a log house....up against the posts at the corners. She just added the sticks up the sides as the pile got deeper. She tossed in grass clippings, wood chips (had a chipper of course) and all her dead plants and veggies. As the pile got higher it didn't need tossing because of the spaces between the sticks allowed enough air. It never smelled and I never saw a fly. Very neat!
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Old 03-30-2004, 08:57 PM
 
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does anyone compost where bears are afoot? I am living in just this place. For now I just put stuff in the garden and bury it pretty deep and it composts rather quickly ( and my 3yo LOVES playing in it! - he'll get out his bulldozer and makes mounds of cornstalks and such:LOL )Anyhow, it is widely known around here not to leave ANY garbage outside to attract bears. I do know folks who have the huge composting barrels outside, but they don't like them, and anyhow I don't like how they look. So I want to just have a regular pile... anyone have exp. w/ this situation?
Also, there are pallets galore in the "free" section of our classified ads. If you don't have that section in your paper, try putting up a little note at the grocery bulliten board or the feed&seed asking for FREE Wooden Pallets.

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Old 03-30-2004, 09:01 PM
 
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oh ALso~ I did call the county extension office about suggestions, but he just didn't even know and suggested worm composting, too. hmmm...

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Old 03-31-2004, 03:30 PM
 
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dready mama, thanks for the tip on wooden pallets. The search begins!

I just found the perfect spot in our yard. I'm just going to have to dig out a couple of plants that I don't like anyways, to get them out of the way. And dig out a bunch of tanbark. Actually, can I add the tan bark to my pile?
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Old 04-02-2004, 12:29 PM
 
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Julie, I am in heavy bear area too. I keep my compost pretty well covered with yard waste (grass, leaves, weeds, etc) after dumping in kitchen scraps. I also have dh pee on it to help keep the bears away. We have had bears knock over the bin in the past, but the more we keep on top of covering it up, the less visits we have. Tis the season for them to be waking up, best of luck!

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Old 04-22-2004, 04:50 PM
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Okay, so my composter is having problems. Right now it is in one of the black barrel type of composter, and I want to change it to a slat type one that we are building. But, it doesn't seem to be working very well. It is composting very slowly and there are tons of flys. We do add grass clippings and straw, but it doesn't seem to be working. As well, with this type of composter, we are having a hard time turning it.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 04-22-2004, 05:58 PM
 
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I have a question for anyone...

Last year when I turned my compost once a week (which I didn't do in the winter) I would find these off white grub looking things in there.
What are they and are they normal?
I wanted to take my compost to the garden and rototill it in but not if those things are bad.

Please help!
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Old 04-22-2004, 06:15 PM
 
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the black barrel composter, is it a trash can??

There should be NO flies.

What kind of drainage do you have in it??

I am thinking it is TOO wet.



Now, the grubs....

You MUST keep your kitchen compost covered with things like grass clippings, yard waste type stuff. I highly reccomend bagging leaves in the fall and leaving the bags around the compost pile, after you dump your scraps into it, cover them with leaves.

our lawn mower is broken, so I have been dumping my pail then hacking down large leafy weeds to cover it. This will keep the bugs from laying eggs on it.



If you have grubs, i would leave it for another year. They are probably some sort of beetle. SO you may want to find some bag a bugs if htey are japanese beetles.
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Old 04-23-2004, 12:34 AM
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No it is the size of a large garbage can, but it has a lid, and a square opening in the bottom that you can remove compost from, and it has holes all over it. I don't think it is too wet, I raised it up on a pallet, so it is out of the mud. And it is very dry and hot here already 18+ celcius. But, it might be. I just don't know what to do to it. I hate turning it because it is nasty with all the flies. Should I add way more straw? We have lots of grass clippings too. I added a lot of those, but it didn't seem to make much of a difference.
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Old 04-23-2004, 09:04 PM
 
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You could try covering it with some dirt, might get the flys out of there.

-Sheryl

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Old 05-04-2004, 01:53 AM
 
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Hi, I'm a composter wanna be.

We have 2 garbage cans that we don't use which I was thinking of using but now I'm thinking they're not as good. We do have some pallets here that dh brought to make a path to walk on when it was muddy and they were talking about giving them to the neighbor to burn in his illegal firepit. I mentioned to dh about whether we could use them as a compost and now I see they're perfect.

This is a stupid question, but by bungee cording them together, I am presuming you mean in a topless and bottomless box right?

I can get alot of grass, does it matter if the leaves are mixed in with the grass?

Does it matter if my household layer is alot thinner than the green/brown layers? In the fall I can get them about even but I'm doubting it in the summer.

How often should you add new layers or does it matter?

Dh's going to be so thrilled that i have another project since I'm already expanding the garden to plant this weekend or the weekend after and I haven't even started yet and it may involve pulling out posts.lol
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Old 05-07-2004, 12:30 PM
 
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Carrie, yes the box would be top and bottomless with the pallet style. This is very good as sun and moisture get in at the top.

Leaves are just fine with the grass. And your mixture/layers can be just about anything you want, adding at any time, so don't worry about that. The only time you may have a concern is if you have a smell or fly problem (then cover well with your grass/leaves) or if you want the compost to be ready at a certain time (fequent turning should take care of this at alomst any mixture). Good luck and have fun!

-Sheryl

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Old 05-07-2004, 03:40 PM
 
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Thanks for all the great info!

What about weeds? I remember hearing you shouldn't add them to compost, but then what should I do with them?
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Old 05-07-2004, 04:39 PM
 
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True you shouldn't add fresh weeds to your compost, but if you have a hot pile you can add pre-composted weeds. Just put the weeds somewhere in a separate bin or pile where they'll die and rot, and then you can add them to your hot pile. It has to be hot to make sure it kills the weed seeds so you are not reintroducing weed seeds into your soil. That is what I have read anyway. If you don't have a hot pile, just put them in your municipal yard waste (if you have that). That is what we do because I don't trust that our pile is consistently hot yet.
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Old 05-07-2004, 04:39 PM
 
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thanks
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Old 05-10-2004, 10:57 AM
 
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what can i do about an ant bed in my compost? anything? i also have tons of fruit flies swarming---although i *do* everything i'm supposed to as far as i know to prevent them. any advice? i have an earth machine composter if it makes a difference. i'm frustrated. i think i've been using this composter for about 6 wks.

thanks!

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Old 05-27-2004, 07:31 PM
 
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How do I tell when my compost is "done"? It's not in any container, just a big heap in my yard.
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Old 05-27-2004, 11:21 PM
 
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I think it's done when it looks like black soil.
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Old 07-18-2004, 04:41 AM
 
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Comments on compost basics... if you have flies or sliminess or smell, then use more dry brown material like straw, old hay, sawdust. My compost gets fresh layers of dry hay almost every day when it's warm and humid like now. (We live in Ky)

You don't want flies, but I see grub-like critters a lot and I figure that they're just in there doing their job, helping process and decompose the material.

I put weeds right in my compost all of the time. I avoid this with persistent perennial weeds that can come back from roots, depending on how hot I'm working to make the pile. I also pile weeds up to dry along the paths and then put them right back as mulch around the plants (The hay we mulch with is just other people's cut weeds anyway)

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Old 10-05-2004, 09:30 AM
 
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Ok, well I came here with questions, and most of them got answered, so thanks for this awesome thread! Once we move into our house, I want to start composting for next year, but it's pretty cold here. The thing I'm wondering about the most is the layering. I see that each time I add kitchen scraps, I should cover with straw or leaves, and I liked the suggestion of having a bag of leaves nearby, but won't those leaves freeze in the winter (I live in Nova Scotia, Canada)? Do I still have to layer in the winter then?
Also, the trees in the yard are oak and maple, and someone told me that oak will make the pile too acidic.
I'm gonna ask dh if they have some old pallets, but I don't see how the bungees keep the walls from falling down. Why not just use a few nails?
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Old 10-17-2004, 11:15 PM
 
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Well my Dh used nails on one. Bright light that he is..first of all, the pallettes can be a pain in the arse to nail through. I watched him bend a few nails. Some were easy, others were hard depends on wood. Now that they are all nailed together, it is darn near impossible to get one side loose to get into the compost. Go ahead and nail three sides together and bungee the fourth one. You want to be able to get into your pile w/o needing to destroy the wood.

As far as winter. I find it important to cover stuff even in winter. It is good to keep it all insulated. But I do not live in an extreme climate, I am in South Ga where even the coldest days are bright and shiny. Someone somewhere else may have more input.

Dunno about the trees.

Ohh and on the weeds in teh pile...I do not usually put weeds in that are in seed. You can usually tell if it has gone to seed. I dont bother throwing them in if they are.
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Old 11-19-2004, 02:03 AM
 
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Um, help. I'm afraid we've created a nightmare in our backyard. We've composted for a few years. It's a big wooden thing with chicken wire walls in our backyard. We put yard clippings, fall leaves, weeds, kitchen scraps (not as often as I should) and...are you sitting down?...dog poop in there. I had read that you shouldn't do that because of bacteria but I thought, how can my dog have more bacteria than a cow?? so we've been doing it anyway. We turn it occassionally but not religiously. We don't use it for anything but it actually looks pretty good (black). Never had critters of any kind. Our neighbors mentioned a stink a couple years ago so we bought something to help break it down quicker and turned it more often and the stink went away. I've been reading up on tetanus since ds#2 isn't vax'd for it and now I'm kind of worried. What should I do with this pile of crap? I think I'll call somebody from the city and see if they can take it away. But then what do people do with the dog poop?
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Old 03-01-2005, 04:35 PM
 
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MY family are agricultural farmers we have been composting for generations and my mother and I are going to purchase the tumble composting bins for our personal gardens this year because we are sick of the rats!!!!!!!!!! I would never try to talk anyone out of composting because it has been wonderful for our gardens (check out Lasagne gardening disscussion) but no matter where we put it around our gardens the rats have found it and I personally hate rodents in the house in the winter! The tumblers are almost $300 dollars but if you are a serious composter I think it is a good investment.

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Old 03-13-2005, 11:58 PM
 
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Hmm. I'm curious if anybody know the answer to the dog poo in compost question?

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Old 03-14-2005, 12:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom
Hmm. I'm curious if anybody know the answer to the dog poo in compost question?
I've always heard that dog poo, people poo, and cat poo are no no's. I think because of the unnatural diets they consume? Meat eating and harmful to humans pathogens and stuff. Probably if you could ensure the temperature of your compost pile got high enough, it might work, but it would be very hard to know that your temp was consistently high enough. I will not use it myself. Plus, it just plain stinks

Sorry if I am repeating anything other's have said, I have not needed to read this thread and didn't try to go back and see which post you are referencing

ETA: Oh, Ok, I just went up only 2 posts and found it, LOL! Hey, I would not use that compost to grow veggies, especially since you have not consistently turned your pile and therefore probably have not had consistently high temperatures. But if you can find somewhere else in your yard to put it, I am sure it will be fine after awhile. Just put it where the baby can't get to it easily
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:30 AM
 
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paddyfinsmom~ I'd bury the 'big pile of crap' if I were you. Deep as possible. Most people put their dog poo in a plastic bag and throw it away. You should not compost dog poo because of the bacteria, but also because you should not put anything in your compost pile that has meat in it (unless I suppose you have a vegan dog). It will attract rodents and/or stink. You could compost it, along with human poop if used for a non-edible garden. Infact, it you really wanted to compost it, I'd only use it for areas of your yard that you don't walk or play in. HTH!

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Old 03-25-2005, 05:08 PM
 
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When I lived in Alaska my neighbor had a compost pile devoted solely to dog poop.....he is a musher and has many dogs. He used the compost for any plants other then what he was eating.....flower gardens etc. He had a regular compost pile for his veggies garden.
I searched the thread and saw no info regarding speeding up the process. Our pile does not seem to want to turn to dirt. I seem to remember nettle tea as a possible solution?
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Old 04-08-2005, 09:26 PM
 
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I've read in the past that it's handy to have a few heaps going, and that after a certain length of time establishing one heap, to keep turning it but not putting more matter in it so that it can really break down [for some reason I recall 9 months or a year for this(?)] and then get another pile brewing. ?

And when you mention breaking into the pallets to access the compost, is the compost being accessed underneath the wire? Or does the wire go around the sides of the bottomless and topless "box" made out of pallets?

I'm so obviously a complete newbie with the design and process, but I'm eager to learn and have been wanting a compost heap for ages and ages...
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Old 04-19-2005, 12:15 PM
 
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Compost makes a great mulch. I would just put the dog poo compost around some trees that were out of the baby's regular play area. Do you have an area like that?

Our Border Collie is kind of particular about his area. He tends to poo in one corner of the yard and then moved to another, so we don't really clean it up since the kids don't go there. I've been thinking about getting a special in ground composter just for the dog poo, since I shouldn't be so lazy.

Just go down a little on the page and you will see the dog composters

We use 4 pallets nailed together except the front that we just tied together. We have a bail of straw next to it. I use that if I need to toss something on top to cover it. I got our pile started by raking up pine needles and pine cones from our yard. We don't get alot of leaves, but we have alot of evergreens. So, I try to add that for some bulk. Then I add our kitchen wastes. We are vegetarians and eat lots of produce. I just dig a little hole and dump it in and cover it back up. I add some straw on top if I notice flies or lots of food on top that isn't broken down. Usually once a week I open the front of the compost and use a fork to move everything around really good and add some more straw on top. Our pile isn't too hot, but we have lots of worms!

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Old 04-19-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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Hey thanks guys. I hadn't checked back here and hadn't been getting update emails. I appreciate everybody's thoughts.
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