Compost Help Please!


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So I went to dig up my compost pile to add to my garden beds last week, and I was a bit disappointed that not a lot had broken down over the winter. I found some at the very bottom, but not very much.

This is what I put in it:
- grass clippings
- leaves
- kitchen scraps including eggshells and coffee grounds, no meat or dairy. I make a little hole in the pile, put in the scraps, and cover it back up with the grass / leaves

I don't ever toss it or anything, but maybe I should. some leaves were "mulched"- run over with my lawnmower- but that got tiring so I didn't do it with all of them. I found that I had dry pockets in the pile. I don't water it, I figured since it was outside it would get plenty of water? But maybe that's wrong. The grass clippings just kinda matted together and didn't really break down all that much.

Also, I don't use a bin, it's just a pile in a shady corner of my yard.

Any advice?
 
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So I went to dig up my compost pile to add to my garden beds last week, and I was a bit disappointed that not a lot had broken down over the winter. I found some at the very bottom, but not very much.

This is what I put in it:
- grass clippings
- leaves
- kitchen scraps including eggshells and coffee grounds, no meat or dairy. I make a little hole in the pile, put in the scraps, and cover it back up with the grass / leaves

I don't ever toss it or anything, but maybe I should. some leaves were "mulched"- run over with my lawnmower- but that got tiring so I didn't do it with all of them. I found that I had dry pockets in the pile. I don't water it, I figured since it was outside it would get plenty of water? But maybe that's wrong. The grass clippings just kinda matted together and didn't really break down all that much.

Also, I don't use a bin, it's just a pile in a shady corner of my yard.

Any advice?
A pile must have adequate moisture. To speed up the process pour on some liquid carbohydrates like stale soft drinks or beer. Diluted molasses is the best. There should not be dry areas. Stirring up the pile with a stick or shovel makes sure this doesn't happen
 
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I do essentially the same, but use no discard food scraps.I rototill the pile once or twice and also stir the pile with a fork periodical to prevent matting. Grass mats easily if too thick. Leave need be chopped with the lawn mower. Whole leaves mat. In general the pile has to be large to compost well. It takes a lot of material to get any quantity of compost. I generally leave the pile one year accumulating and let it compost for another year and get almost nothing, four or five wheelbarrows.

http://www.durgan.org/URL/?AEVBL 17 September 2011 Composting.
All my spent vegetation is chopped into small pieces in the chipper/shredder. The spent vegetation should be slightly green (corn stalks in this case) to facilitate chopping, and it composts quicker, which takes about a year. There is only about a month left of good weather, so I am removing vegetation a bit at a time.

http://www.durgan.org/URL/?AKMED 5 June 2012 Mixing Compost Pile.
Two cubic yards of compost produced (2011/2012) was mixed for placing on the garden in the Fall. This is the vegetative material from my yard, plus grass clippings from two other properties. The bin was mixed and moved with the rototillers.The new pile was covered with a heavy rubber sheet to prevent getting too wet. All the plants are shredded in the chipper/shredder. No large pieces are placed in the bin.A new bin for 2012 vegetative material was prepared.
 
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I was wondering if the pile maybe had too much moisture. I find a bin of some sort works better than just an open pile. It's easy enough to make one by drilling holes in the bottom of a large storage tub. (The holes let the worms in.) Heat is also a factor in compost, another reason for a bin or at least a cover.
 
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I can definitely pour out leftover soft drinks, beer, maybe wine (?). I will try to remember to stir it up with a fork every once in awhile and will force myself to do the leaf chopping this year with my lawnmower.

I don't have a chipper. I could cut things with my clippers but that sounds very labor intensive. Looks like renting one would be $167!

In the meantime I guess I will just try to add some moisture and turn it more.
 
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I can definitely pour out leftover soft drinks, beer, maybe wine (?). I will try to remember to stir it up with a fork every once in awhile and will force myself to do the leaf chopping this year with my lawnmower.

I don't have a chipper. I could cut things with my clippers but that sounds very labor intensive. Looks like renting one would be $167!

In the meantime I guess I will just try to add some moisture and turn it more.
I wouldn't do wine. It might might turn into vinegar. A good stirring up about every month or two is plenty. And add a big shovel full of your garden soil to the center of the pile to aid in speeding up the process too. By adding the soil micro-organisms already present in your garden soil they will multiply and greatly help in decomposition.
 
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This thread gets me. If is puzzle but not really puzzle why the compost did not decay. Maybe the cold weather had prevented the microbes to eat the food. I really don't know because we do not have winter here. But I know that cold weather like the interior of a fridge can preserve food. Don't you have any earthworms there? I would suggest that you dig around and try to find an earthworm that you can include in your compost bin.
 
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You can use bio organism or calcium carbonate to decompose the waste on compost pit. You must also cover the compost pit with plastic sheet. This makes decomposing easy.
 

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