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Old 05-01-2008, 11:37 PM
 
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I would love to know this as well.

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Old 05-18-2008, 05:50 PM
 
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I ordered "let it rot" through interlibrary loan but it's taking for.ever to come.

My question is - how much sun does a compost pile need? This is where my open compost pile currently is. compost pile I would like this part of our lawn to be open and want to start a second pile to let this one finish. There is another corner of our lawn that is very shady. Would this be an okay spot for my compost piles?

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Old 05-18-2008, 05:59 PM
 
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It will be slower in the shade and therefor might smell more bit it will still break down eventually.

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Old 05-18-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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Thank you, thank you!

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Old 05-18-2008, 10:13 PM
 
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I've got another "can I" question;

Can I compost tea bags?

Can I compost wine corks? ~ My FIL said that I could, so I of course have to guess that the answer is "no."
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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I compost those things.

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Old 05-20-2008, 09:58 AM
 
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Yes to tea bags! I have no idea of corks, but would think that's fine

The problems I've had with shady compost piles are the heat issue, like PP mentioned - you want that to get really hot, and shade is not helping.
Also critters! Mice and rats want hiding places, and often shady areas (trees, underbrush, etc.) can provide just what they need for a quick escape route to/from your pile.

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Old 05-23-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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Does anyone have a compost bin to recommend? I've done some research & I don't think we can do an open or wire pile. We don't live in a very crunchy area & I suspect I'll have to order online.
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:04 AM
 
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So I have a compost pile. It's gotten up to 100 degrees but I want it to get hotter. It doesn't stay hot for long either. It's just a heap right now--but in the next couple days, I plan to move it onto a wooden pallet to get air from underneath. And maybe I need to build it bigger too and add some more of the bagged leaves in my garage? Eventually I'd like a 2 or 3 bin system, but I can't give attention to that right now.

But should I start a second pile somewhere so that this one has a chance of becoming finished compost by the end of summer? I would like to either till it into the garden soil or use it as a mulch so the soil is better off by next summer. If I keep throwing banana peels, etc. in the main compost pile, it doesn't seem I'll get finished compost quickly.
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimono View Post
] If I keep throwing banana peels, etc. in the main compost pile, it doesn't seem I'll get finished compost quickly.
Exactly so--you need to let it sit without adding new material for a while before it is done, and a second pile is the best solution.
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:14 PM
 
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What a fantastic thread! I'm fairly new to composting and am finding we have way more greens than brown. Someone told me that just spreading some peat moss over the food scraps each time will provide enough brown and keep flies/smells down. I happen to have a big bag of that lying around, so I'm hoping that's true.

Anyone know about this?
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:13 PM
 
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I'm not sure about peat moss but it sounds like it would work. Very insulating.

I added a bunch of organic fertilizers to my compost yesterday because it wasn't getting hot at all. Some blood meal and some premixed ph/p/k fertilizer. Hoping!
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:46 PM
 
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My pile is growing nicely. I do have a TON of fruit flies and I am wondering if they will affect my veggie garden which is near the compost pile. I'm happy to report that it isn't very gross and smells just fine.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:40 PM
 
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I have a HUGE pumpkin vine growing in my compost from seeds leftover from Halloween '07. I have to start a new pile because my folks are shelling peas and beans for the public and I won't have room for all the hulls in my current pile (which I need to turn and sift!). Not only that, but I have to go get a load of chicken manure from their barn. I've asked the local electric co to dump off their shredded trees on my property, but I've yet to see anything.

At my old house I had my compost in a very shady spot, and it broke down in a matter of weeks instead of months. I also had a very large earthworm population in that particular spot, so I'm sure that didn't hurt. I could dig through with a strainer and come out with POUNDS of worms as big around as my pinky finger. It gets really hot here, and I've found that a bit of shade keeps it at the proper moisture levels and doesn't hurt the decomp at all.

I haven't done much with this pile, but I'm getting ready to kick it into high gear because I'm starting a community compost pile. I have a listing on Local Harvest and everything! I'll be busy this fall, I hope. I'd love to get my hands on a chipper/shredder, but that's not in the budget right now.

I hope one day to have a full compost/mulch/worm operation going, but for now I'm still small potatoes.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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Ok, I am a compost failure.

Look here:
http://risingphoenixmama.wordpress.c.../compost-help/

This is what I found today when I lifted off the Earth Machine.

Should we just bury it and start over???

We aren't good at covering our kitchen scraps, which is like 98% of what we throw in there. We are in serious lack of 'browns', too.

Help!!!

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Old 06-24-2008, 09:39 PM
 
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You need dirt and you need to stir it. That was the most disgusting thing ever!
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:48 PM
 
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That was the most disgusting thing ever!
Tell me about it!! I had to go and shower after dealing with it.

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Old 06-24-2008, 10:06 PM
 
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So, why don't you get some browns?!? No need to throw away all those good compost fixins Post to Freecycle and Craigslist, say that you'll come rake their leaves if you can have them - bring bags and a rake (or ask to use theirs if you don't have one). Or ask any friends who have wooded land if you can come rake some leaves. Or go to the recycle center and grab a heap of newpapers, shred 'em up and stir them in.

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Old 06-24-2008, 10:23 PM
 
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So, shredded newspaper would be enough? Or should I get some dirt AND newspaper? We do line our compost bin in the kitchen with newspaper, so there is some already mixed in....but not that much, relatively speaking.

I guess my main concern is....will the bug carcases (ew!) compost down ok if I do add in some browns?

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Old 06-24-2008, 10:34 PM
 
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If you can get both, I would. But lots more newspapers would do it, technically speaking. Yes, all those lil' bug exoskeletons will turn right back into dirt

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Old 06-30-2008, 02:39 AM
 
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I'm reading through the thread, getting ready to start composting. We have a rotating tumbler we got free from my son's preschool - they were getting rid of it. I think someone had donated it to them but they never used it (they have a garden there).

I noticed some postings about peat moss - and I read somewhere that peat moss is not great to use because the peat bogs it comes from are habitats for endangered animals and are not well managed - and it's a finite resource...so I've tried to stop using any peat moss for planting. Just thought I'd mention it before there is run on the peat moss...LOL
peace,
robyn
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:39 AM
 
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I noticed some postings about peat moss - and I read somewhere that peat moss is not great to use because the peat bogs it comes from are habitats for endangered animals and are not well managed - and it's a finite resource...so I've tried to stop using any peat moss for planting. Just thought I'd mention it before there is run on the peat moss...LOL
peace,
robyn
You can use coco peat instead. They have an endless supply of that stuff.

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Old 07-06-2008, 11:21 PM
 
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my husband cut up some cactus plants and put them in the composter without letting them dry... they are drying but i am worried that this was not a good idea. has anyone done this?

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Old 07-07-2008, 09:51 AM
 
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Does anyone know if it is OK to compost the shells of shellfish? Like clamshells (if I crush them) or the shells of shrimp?

Thanks.
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:32 PM
 
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A bunch of gigantic beetles were visiting my compost pile this morning. Is that normal/okay? I remember reading somewhere that certain bugs are a sign that you need to do something different...

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Old 07-19-2008, 04:21 PM
 
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ricky jean:
i'd say that in general beetles are good, they help in the breakdown process. we have fairly large black beetles in our compost and they almost never venture outside of the bin (meaning, i don't see them in the garden). so i imagine they're just doing the job of composting.

to me, the smell of the bin is the best indicator of it's overall "health." it should smell earthy, but not rotten.

wild kingdom:
clamshells, maybe...so long as they are really truly clean of all traces of clam. and i imagine they'd need to really be crushed well, since they are hard and wouldn;t necessarily break down so well on their own (in one or a few pieces). but i imagine they'd add a lot of calcium to the compost, so that's good.

shrimp shells i wouldn't do. i think no matter how you clean them, they'll likely attract unwanted pests and vermin to your pile.

almadiana:
i think cactus is fine, and it'll dry out or rot in the pile, so no worries. just be careful when you're turning the pile in the beginning few months because there may still be un-composted thorns that could get you.
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Old 07-19-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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ricky jean:
i'd say that in general beetles are good, they help in the breakdown process. we have fairly large black beetles in our compost and they almost never venture outside of the bin (meaning, i don't see them in the garden). so i imagine they're just doing the job of composting.

to me, the smell of the bin is the best indicator of it's overall "health." it should smell earthy, but not rotten.
Thanks!

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Old 07-20-2008, 12:09 AM
 
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I'm still wondering about placement of my compost pile. It has a lot of fruit flies and it is next to my veggie garden. Was that a bad idea? Will the fruit flies affect my veggies?
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:38 AM
 
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Will a whiskey barrel work for composting? Does it HAVE to be lidded?
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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OK, dh just built me a tumbling composter. We got a load of grass clippings from the neighbor and I've started throwing my kitchen waste in it. It is already half full of the grass clippings and I am realizing I need to add some browns. I'm going to start shredding the newspaper that we get once a week, can I also add shredded office paper? I work from home and have a whole box full of paper that needs to be shredded. How quickly do you think that would decompose in a tumbler? I'd like to have this ready to put on the garden late October so that I can till it in and start another bin for spring (at which time I should have lots of leaves bagged from FIL's farm).
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