Compost piles


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Get me started here. I think I can get away with a compost piles and have seen some very inexpensive solution on Amazon to help contain them. What are the basics? Mostly yard waste, lawn clippings and leaves. Of course I could throw in kitchen scraps, but probably a fairly minimal amount. Cardboard or paper waste? Ash from cleaning out the fire pit? Add worms to get it started?

What about unwanted animal pests? Is a compost pile likely to attract critters? Even if I bury in the kitchen waste I've got to imagine raccoons and such will snif it out. We have black bears here too and they can be a problem for waste bins.
 
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The BASIC is heat. Find the hottest place you can. The next basic is water source. If you have those, then the third basic is purpose. Tea Anyone? If so then you need a waterproof bottom where the thing can drain into a catch basin of some design that is situation appropriate. As attractive as your setting is from the pics of your lovely home, I would suggest one of the LARGE barrel types that are sideways on wheels where a certain aesthetic would be maintained. It would also prevent critters. I have 3 types of piles. One kitchen, one leaves, one wood chips and longer decycling type dense material that readies itself over a longer term. That is something my property has a say in, as it is what the property produces for me to recycle. Though I did start with one pile, I find the the timing of finished material and more importantly the use of those materials is behind separating those piles to a purpose. I would not use the compost of man made materials around edibles for example, just lawn and ornamentals.
 
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There are bound to be critters making nests in compost bins. You surely can try your best to avoid it, but even if there are rodents, they are part of a food chain. So just try not to add food and try your best. We always need a healthy food chain or the chain will break!
 
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There are bound to be critters making nests in compost bins. You surely can try your best to avoid it, but even if there are rodents, they are part of a food chain. So just try not to add food and try your best. We always need a healthy food chain or the chain will break!
Your suggesting just don't use kitchen scraps? I'm not worried about works and spiders and such. But if rather not have a raccoon nesting best what he see as a good source. I have small kids that play here. Can you make good compost with just yard waste?
 

alp

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Yes, sure. You can make leaf mould using just leaves and it is very good for mulching woodland areas. Or pure woodchips with cow manure or chicken manure mixed in. Horse manure is good, but you might end up weeding like an idiot!

You could enhance the potash value by adding ash and cinder if you have a fire burning logs. Make sure they don't burn the roots. If you have access to comfrey or stinging nettles or even seaweeds, you can use them as additional fertilisers for your plants.

Have a look here please
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/jul/27/garden-waste-compost-ideas
 
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We have a fire pit, so Ash is readily available. We like to have fires and make smores:D
 
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The BASIC is heat. Find the hottest place you can. The next basic is water source. If you have those, then the third basic is purpose. Tea Anyone? If so then you need a waterproof bottom where the thing can drain into a catch basin of some design that is situation appropriate. As attractive as your setting is from the pics of your lovely home, I would suggest one of the LARGE barrel types that are sideways on wheels where a certain aesthetic would be maintained. It would also prevent critters. I have 3 types of piles. One kitchen, one leaves, one wood chips and longer decycling type dense material that readies itself over a longer term. That is something my property has a say in, as it is what the property produces for me to recycle. Though I did start with one pile, I find the the timing of finished material and more importantly the use of those materials is behind separating those piles to a purpose. I would not use the compost of man made materials around edibles for example, just lawn and ornamentals.
I certainly don't want an eye sore. I was eyeing the Gizmo linked below. I have a small wooded area I can hide it behind where it's out of site.
Compost Bin by GEOBIN https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0085O6NXQ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_SF5NBb4VXXFK2
 
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I'm a lazy composter. The only drawback to lazy composting is that if the bin dont heat up, most of your seeds will germinate in the spring when added to the beds which isnt too big of a deal if you mulch heavily. I do a lot of trench composting during the growing season that seems to work well.

I compost my weeds also, if they have gone to seed, I place them in a 5 gallon bucket and fill with rainwater, after a week or so, I dump it in the compost bin.

Get your bin and start filling it, yes, put in Kitchen scraps, I go by the rule... you can compost anything that was alive including animals, however many stay away from meats because of problems with animals. I on occasion will add meats like chicken or turkey carcass, but have more recently been burning the meats and bones as a Bio-Char.

I compost almost everything, wood ash is placed directly on my raised beds. Bio-char is charged for several months then added to the beds directly. The only thing I dont compost in my yard is any diseased plants, these are added to the firepit for Bio-char.

I shred cardboard for a mulch and also use it when adding kitchen scraps and other greens to the compost bin to try and balance greens and browns a bit.
 
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Your suggesting just don't use kitchen scraps? I'm not worried about works and spiders and such. But if rather not have a raccoon nesting best what he see as a good source. I have small kids that play here. Can you make good compost with just yard waste?
We recycle all our kitchen waste in one of those upright bins. It is a pestilence and the insect swarm changes by the seasons so keep it away from the house.
 
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I certainly don't want an eye sore. I was eyeing the Gizmo linked below. I have a small wooded area I can hide it behind where it's out of site.
Compost Bin by GEOBIN https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0085O6NXQ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_SF5NBb4VXXFK2
4 foot tall roll wire fencing is cheaper and bigger. Remember you need 27 cubic feet of material to retain and develop that precious purifying heat, or you basically have a mulch storage device on your hands instead of a composter. The weed seeds will teach you the difference.
 
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I'm a lazy composter. The only drawback to lazy composting is that if the bin dont heat up, most of your seeds will germinate in the spring when added to the beds which isnt too big of a deal if you mulch heavily. I do a lot of trench composting during the growing season that seems to work well.

I compost my weeds also, if they have gone to seed, I place them in a 5 gallon bucket and fill with rainwater, after a week or so, I dump it in the compost bin.

Get your bin and start filling it, yes, put in Kitchen scraps, I go by the rule... you can compost anything that was alive including animals, however many stay away from meats because of problems with animals. I on occasion will add meats like chicken or turkey carcass, but have more recently been burning the meats and bones as a Bio-Char.

I compost almost everything, wood ash is placed directly on my raised beds. Bio-char is charged for several months then added to the beds directly. The only thing I dont compost in my yard is any diseased plants, these are added to the firepit for Bio-char.

I shred cardboard for a mulch and also use it when adding kitchen scraps and other greens to the compost bin to try and balance greens and browns a bit.

I forgot about water composting. I always wanted to know if adding molasses or sugar made an effect? As in overall speed of the process?
 
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The BASIC is heat. Find the hottest place you can.
If you don't go for heat, it just takes more time. :)

vette-kid, anything edible can be composted. I tend to not compost meats because they take too much time, and I worry about the smell. Anything organic can be composted. If you decide to compost in a bin, don't bother adding worms, as they can't survive temperatures over 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Just an idea - you could always make a "worm bucket" for your kitchen scraps. Get a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. Start about one inch up the bucket, and drill some half inch holes in it. (Wormholes!:LOL:) I'd say at least 20 holes. Dig a small pit, and sink it. Throw in some damp shredded paper (and anything else you want,) then you can throw your kitchen scraps in there. Add another layer of damp, shredded newspaper on top. Snap on the lid, and wait for your compost! (Added bonus of worm castings. ;) They may choose to not poop where they eat, but they will still be distributing that goodness through your garden. (y))

To help disguise it, you can brush a layer of mulch over it. To discourage raccoons, put a heavy rock or decorative planter on it. If you don't have that many scraps, or don't want to be getting in and out of it that often, you can save scraps in the freezer until you are ready to dump them. (The expanding of the freezing helps to break down the molecules to make them easier for the worms to eat. The smaller you can chop the bits into, the better. A worm's mouth is very small!)

When the bucket is full, just lift it out and take it where you want it! :D
 
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4 foot tall roll wire fencing is cheaper and bigger. Remember you need 27 cubic feet of material to retain and develop that precious purifying heat, or you basically have a mulch storage device on your hands instead of a composter. The weed seeds will teach you the difference.
4' diameter times 3' tall is around 38 cubic feet I believe, so it should be big enough. I'll investigate wire fence or other such materials. I think the benefit of the one is it's pretty easy to handle and move of need be. Reading the reviews it seems people also use them for growing potatoes!
 
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4' diameter times 3' tall is around 38 cubic feet I believe, so it should be big enough. I'll investigate wire fence or other such materials. I think the benefit of the one is it's pretty easy to handle and move of need be. Reading the reviews it seems people also use them for growing potatoes!
Yes I have seen that about growing setups. It is a really easily deal I would think, toss in the fall debris, and plant in the spring!
 
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I forgot about water composting. I always wanted to know if adding molasses or sugar made an effect? As in overall speed of the process?
I've had a compost pile for a LLLOOOONG time. I do not use any type of meat or dairy except egg shells. Everything else goes in, kitchen scraps like carrot tops and apple cores. And all healthy garden plants except tomatoes. I don't use cardboard because of the glue but many folks do..All composting is, is to cause materials to rot in a controlled way. The secret is moisture. Too little moisture is much better than too much moisture. When you add a few kitchen scraps place some of the compost/soil on top. I try to turn mine over but seldom do. Folks always mention heat. Greens make the heat but in reality heat isn't needed for the rotting process. How does Mother Nature heat up all of her dead vegetation. Sugars speed up the process. I mix a couple of ounces of molasses in a gallon of water. Sometimes I have stale beer or soft drinks that I add. Many folks complain of a foul odor. This comes from too much moisture causing it to go anerobic or they added meat, dairy, processed foods or cooked foods. People also ask about having an impermeable barrier on the bottom. You do not need this although it does make it easier to turn the pile over when your shovel doesn't dig into the ground. If you use green grass clippings scatter them onto the pile and mix them in. Don't just dump them into a pile. Dead leaves the same way. A solid pile of dead leaves takes much longer to rot than thin layers of leaves. It's really simple and very little work plus you end up with the best seed starting mix there is.
 
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Thanks. Would a bag of black kow or similar be a good way to start off? I'm going to have plenty of clippings, but much less of other items to start off with.

I read that a good hot compost will get around 130-140 deg. So warm, but not rediculously so
 
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I've had a compost pile for a LLLOOOONG time. I do not use any type of meat or dairy except egg shells. Everything else goes in, kitchen scraps like carrot tops and apple cores. And all healthy garden plants except tomatoes. I don't use cardboard because of the glue but many folks do..All composting is, is to cause materials to rot in a controlled way. The secret is moisture. Too little moisture is much better than too much moisture. When you add a few kitchen scraps place some of the compost/soil on top. I try to turn mine over but seldom do. Folks always mention heat. Greens make the heat but in reality heat isn't needed for the rotting process. How does Mother Nature heat up all of her dead vegetation. Sugars speed up the process. I mix a couple of ounces of molasses in a gallon of water. Sometimes I have stale beer or soft drinks that I add. Many folks complain of a foul odor. This comes from too much moisture causing it to go anerobic or they added meat, dairy, processed foods or cooked foods. People also ask about having an impermeable barrier on the bottom. You do not need this although it does make it easier to turn the pile over when your shovel doesn't dig into the ground. If you use green grass clippings scatter them onto the pile and mix them in. Don't just dump them into a pile. Dead leaves the same way. A solid pile of dead leaves takes much longer to rot than thin layers of leaves. It's really simple and very little work plus you end up with the best seed starting mix there is.
I have this thing about getting the whole pile to a pastuerization 140f temp. I have gotten the centers that hot, but the outer sides no. Then at some point even when flipping them around the totality of the pile is not pastuerized, only rotted. Thus when spread out for use, those pesky weed seeds show up.
 
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I have this thing about getting the whole pile to a pastuerization 140f temp. I have gotten the centers that hot, but the outer sides no. Then at some point even when flipping them around the totality of the pile is not pastuerized, only rotted. Thus when spread out for use, those pesky weed seeds show up.
It's, at least for me, almost impossible for the entire pile to reach 140. If one had enough green stuff to keep adding it wouldn't be so difficult. My piles are 4x8x4 and I keep the seeds down by a light raking. When the seed sprouts are about 2 inches high I cover them up with a rake. I always get a bunch of weeds in my garden but my hula hoe makes short work of them.
 
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Thanks. Would a bag of black kow or similar be a good way to start off? I'm going to have plenty of clippings, but much less of other items to start off with.

I read that a good hot compost will get around 130-140 deg. So warm, but not rediculously so
I think that's a waste of Black Kow, but sure it will definitely work. A good combo of greens and browns with proper moisture will get you going. Don't forget to add some urea, does wonders for a compost heap.
 
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I think that's a waste of Black Kow, but sure it will definitely work. A good combo of greens and browns with proper moisture will get you going. Don't forget to add some urea, does wonders for a compost heap.
Black Kow is pretty sterile because they can get the big piles really hot. Good starter is some handfuls of soil from around the pile. The common decomposition fungi starts first, and is everywhere in soil. Then come a series of other fungi and bacteria which in turn brings worms and insects if the pile is on the ground.
 
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