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Messages posted to thread:

Deirdre18-Apr-01 06:49 AM EST   
Greg18-Apr-01 05:32 PM EST   
The Budding Poet..........................Zn4b18-Apr-01 09:00 PM EST   
Deirdre 19-Apr-01 07:11 AM EST   
nance19-Apr-01 01:47 PM EST   
Betty23-Apr-01 07:51 AM EST 5a   

Subject: Compost
From: Deirdre
Date: 18-Apr-01 06:49 AM EST

The hint to put fresh horse manure in the composter is a great idea. I'm sure any nearby horse farm will gladly let you shovel up as much as you want. I read recently that the stuff from the bottom of "furry critters" cages, such as gerbils, hamsters and guinea pigs, is also very good for the garden. Two years ago I had wonderful compost, with tons of very active worms. Last year, no worms, no heat, just gazillions of those little grey bugs that look like roly-poly's. I'd like to get my worms back. Any ideas? Can I just go to the bait shop & buy compost worms?! :)

Subject: RE: Compost
From: Greg
Date: 18-Apr-01 05:32 PM EST

The City of Toronto composting brochure says that gerbil & hamster poo is OK for composters. Manure too. Although don't put in dog and cat stuff as it carries pathogens that can be transmitted to people. Too bad about the lack of worms. Last year I had no worms either, at least not in the upper part of the composter. I noticed that my compost had more un-digested kitchen stuff which didn't break down as fast as other years - perhaps due to the cooler and cloudier weather. Maybe that's why the worms didn't visit. I believe they (earthworms) eat soil not food scraps. You could get "red wigglers" from the bait store if you really want them. I had a vermicomposter a few years ago which used red worms. They do a great job of breaking down the food scraps. However, they are different from the earthworms that occur naturally in the soil. And they will die out in the winter. Good luckthis year.

Subject: RE: Compost
From: The Budding Poet..........................Zn4b
Date: 18-Apr-01 09:00 PM EST

Gardening can open the doors to many thrilling discoveries. Even an old compost pile can have its shining moment. Talk about your roly polies, did I ever have a thrill with a compost pile last summer. On a warm moon lit evening that was too dark to garden and too nice to call it quits, a two year old compost pile beckoned for attention. I wheeled in my electric vibrating sieve (described in another thread) that helps make the best compost in this part of the country, plugged it in and reached for a shovel. The first shovel full uncovered thousands of tinkerbells, bioluminescent larva with their own little electric lights -a shining moment to remember. In all my years gardening ,I had never witnessed a phenomenon like this............ perhaps because I had never been crazy enough to dig in old compost at dusk.

Subject: RE: Compost
From: Deirdre
Date: 19-Apr-01 07:11 AM EST

Thanks for the replies. Now my curiosity is caught. Perhaps Greg, we could have a thread describing the vermicomposter and how it works - I have heard of them, and I love the idea. As I am ever conscious of budget, is it possible to use a home-made one? Budding Poet, I have this wonderful mental image of everyone across Canada and anywhere else who reads your wonderful tinkerbell tale, rummaging around in their compost at night, hoping to find that phenomenon. I know I will be, and soon. Thanks for the morning spirit lift :)

Subject: RE: Compost
From: nance
Date: 19-Apr-01 01:47 PM EST

I also want to see those little critters in my pile.I have a large garden on a rural ranch in Baja, Mexico It is nice to know all over the world others are just as excited about their compost piles as I am...thanks a bunch of arugula from Mexico.

Subject: RE: Compost
From: Betty
Zone: 5a
Date: 23-Apr-01 07:51 AM EST

Two questions for you fellow compost lovers 1) Is finding large amount of snail shells in compost - good or bad? 2) What about adding deer manure? Since my neigbour's dogs are not well behaved Dachsies, they feel my well covered lawn is their own private spa and have been enjoying the powers of rolled in deer dung. By adding to the compost, I am just re-recyling some of my plants and trees anyway.

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