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Old 03-17-2013, 04:48 PM   #1
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Default Composting

We have a compost pile outside where most of the organics go. We put just about everything in there: leaves, veggie scraps, grass clippings, and every other safe organic material you can think of. A couple times a summer, the kids and I will turn it with rakes and shovels and add a little dirt to it. By the following year, it is pretty usable in the gardens.

Not only that, but when the kids go fishing, they have an endless supply of worms. The compost pile is a wormalopolis! They are good for the compost pile because they break it all down into the precious, precious worm poop (Vermicast). I have never seen worms like this before. They have so much energy! If I didn't know better, I would think they were baby snakes because they practically jump in the air. The fish seem to like them too.

After having one for the last 6-7 years, I just hate it when I see people bagging their leaves and putting them on the curb. What a waste!

Anyway, I have been sitting here thinking about what I will be doing with the garden this year and this came to mind so I thought I would share.

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Old 03-20-2013, 08:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: Composting

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Originally Posted by Jafo View Post
After having one for the last 6-7 years, I just hate it when I see people bagging their leaves and putting them on the curb. What a waste!



I'm the 'crazy guy' who will go out and collect leaves and bring them to my house. I always love the peeks out the windows of houses when I pull up to take their leaves.
My neighbors have gotten used to me bringing in 5-6 truck fulls of other peoples leaves.

I've been doing no-till for the last 2-3 years, with heavy mulch. SO much easier than the old way.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Composting

How does the not-till method work out for you? It must require quite a bit of compost I would think. My garden is pretty large so I don't think I could manage that, not unless I got a backhoe or something to turn such a large compost pile lol!

I generally put a bunch of organics on the garden at the end of the season and till that under, and then repeat that process in the Spring. No-till does sound interesting though, especially in an environment like mine where the soil is sandy.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Composting

I essentially do the same, except maybe a little deeper with the mulch and I don't till it. I put about a foot of leaves on in the fall. Over the winter it compresses, composts, and provides worm and microbe food. By this time it is about 4-5" thick still with leaf, and about 1/2" of fresh, dark, perfect compost underneath. By fall the ground will still be covered, but it will be time for more. I start most of my seed indoors, except for beans/peas/beets/radishes/ etc. To plant just move the mulch, dig a hole big enough for the start, and put in the plant. Leave the mulch a little bit away from the stem, until the plant matures a bit.

EDIT: Maybe I should have put this in your gardening thread. Sorry, I got excited

I grow lots of comfrey for composting. Check out bocking #4 or bocking #14 comfrey plants. Very good for fertilizer/composting, but they are sterile, so they won't spread everywhere like regular comfrey.

I consider my gardening style to be a garden growing in about a 6" compost pile, with no-till.
For actual compost piles, I prefer wood dominant static piles. Hugelkultur type pile/beds.

Last edited by Yurting; 03-20-2013 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: Composting

We have composted everything since 1970. It used to be a turn the pile a couple of times a year with the fork, but for the last thirty years everything goes through the hammer mill. Doing this will get the heat up by the second day, and if passed though the mill every two weeks, compost is ready in two months. We store up material in a covered shed until the pile is large enough for a new pile (about 4 yards) This means in the summer there are two piles working, and one pile collecting. Since we keep the piles working, it is too hot for worms. All three piles are under one roof.
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