General Discussion:

compost woes


Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
alnoro06-May-02 09:27 AM EST 8   
Greg06-May-02 08:46 PM EST 6a   
DAVE06-May-02 09:02 PM EST   
alnoro06-May-02 11:19 PM EST 8   
Sue07-May-02 10:44 PM EST 6a   
Wendy09-May-02 04:02 PM EST 3a   
ALNORO11-May-02 02:46 AM EST 8   
Wendy11-May-02 06:00 PM EST 3a   
alnoro11-May-02 10:22 PM EST 8   
Grace28-May-02 02:04 PM EST   
DAVE29-May-02 12:23 PM EST   
Greg29-May-02 05:30 PM EST 6a   


Subject: compost woes
From: alnoro (alnoro@shaw.ca)
Zone: 8
Date: 06-May-02 09:27 AM EST

Because of our cool spring, My compost bin has not been cooking. the material has broken down but not nearly well enough for me to be able to use it properly.Like most of you I'm just waiting for the warm weather to get going outside but I'm lost without my compost. Could someone from a colder climate please tell me how to quick cook my compost.I keep it well watered and its healthy, warm and full of worms but not soily. thanks


Subject: RE: compost woes
From: Greg
Zone: 6a
Date: 06-May-02 08:46 PM EST

Alnoro. You haven't said much about what your compost is made of, or how long it has been in the composter. Do you have a good mix of green and brown materials? How long have you had the current batch in the composter?

Generally, in a colder climate like S. Ontario, the compost goes dormant in the winter and may be partly frozen. If I have been adding kitchen waste all winter, I need to add leaves and garden soil in the spring to jolt it back into life. The top layer (with the winter kitchen material) will not likely be composted until fall or even next spring - at least using my low-maintenance composting methods.


Subject: RE: compost woes
From: DAVE
Zone:
Date: 06-May-02 09:02 PM EST

The fastest way to cook your compost is to get a forty gallon drum. Fill it about 80% full and keep it in full sun and rotate/mix the compost every day. With the combination of heat, oxygen and compost, it'll be ready in two weeks(less time if the compost is already partly broken down as your's must be) The more drums, the more compost.


Subject: RE: compost woes
From: alnoro (alnoro@shaw.ca)
Zone: 8
Date: 06-May-02 11:19 PM EST

thanks fellas. I can't do the drum idea as I'm not well enough but I see the merit in it. As far as the content It's only one of those ones you get from the city, about the size of 3 garbage cans. I started it in the fall with a bed of dirt and garden waste then I have been fairly dilligent with adding soil, leaves,shredded newspaper,household and garden waste. My son-in-law turns it every couple of weeks. And I have watered it when it's been turned. It is alive with worms and has broken down somewhat but not enough to use in the garden yet. Last year after following the same regimen It was almost full of black gold by now.I have seen a product called ROT-IT at the garden center what is this made of? should I use this?


Subject: RE: compost woes
From: Sue (makeuplady@rogers.com)
Zone: 6a
Date: 07-May-02 10:44 PM EST

Be patient - my compost is not as advanced as other years - probably because I moved it to a shaded area in the fall - probably by July it will be ready. Sounds as if you have been doing everything the correct way - so just be patient. I bought some composted sheep manure over the weekend along with some loam in lieu of my own "garden gold".


Subject: RE: compost woes
From: Wendy
Zone: 3a
Date: 09-May-02 04:02 PM EST

Is it always necessary to keep a compost bin in the sun or will it work in the shade just as well? Thanks in advance


Subject: RE: compost woes
From: ALNORO (alnoro@shaw.ca)
Zone: 8
Date: 11-May-02 02:46 AM EST

WENDY: I HAVE HAD MY COMPOST BINS IN A FAIRLY SHADED AREA FOR 4 YEARS NOW AND ALWAYS GOT GOOD RESULTS. tHE ONE I FILLED WITH SUMMER/FALL GAREN REFUSE AND OCCASIONAL WINTER HOUSEHOLD COMPOST WAS USUALLY ALMOST PERFECT FOR SPRING USE. THIS YEAR IS THE FIRST YEAR THAT THE COMPOST ISN.T READY


Subject: RE: compost woes
From: Wendy
Zone: 3a
Date: 11-May-02 06:00 PM EST

Alnoro, Great to here because I would like to have something that I can put on the deck in the winter and then at the end of each day put the days collection in it. Did you put red worms in it or did you just let the natural stuff ferment....so to speak?


Subject: RE: compost woes
From: alnoro (alnoro@shaw.ca)
Zone: 8
Date: 11-May-02 10:22 PM EST

wendy:i did put some worms in it but usually just the ones that were on some clumps of soil I had when I threw a plant away roots and all.the worms have grown and multiplied. as a matter of fact my hubby who was never interested in the compost and had to be begged to turn it has started babying it. it keeps him and his fishing buddies in worms now!I too keep a closed bucket on the deck that can collect about a weeks kitchen scraps. it's amazing once you start kitchen composting how fast a container will fill up. good luck


Subject: RE: compost woes
From: Grace
Zone:
Date: 28-May-02 02:04 PM EST

Are you saying normal garden worms will do well in the compost bin? And, is it really necessary to cut kitchen scraps, like potato peels into little bits every time?


Subject: RE: compost woes
From: DAVE
Zone:
Date: 29-May-02 12:23 PM EST

Grace- An abundance of worms in your compost is one of the best indicators that it is in the final stages of composting. If you have too much dry ingredients in your compost, worms will avoid it, as well as if you have too much wet material. But when the compost is nice and moist worms will invade it looking for dinner. I've never added worms to my compost but they seem to find their way and some worms I've seen are 5-6 inches long and incredibly fat. I've wouldn't chop up any of the wet compost (potato, lettuce etc.) but the dry, brown ingredients (last years plant stalks, small twigs etc.)tend to mix better and breakdown faster when relatively small.


Subject: RE: compost woes
From: Greg
Zone: 6a
Date: 29-May-02 05:30 PM EST

Grace. I have a regular composter and have had a vermicomposter as well. If you have worms in the top part of your compost, they are red wigglers or red worms. They actually eat the organic material that isn't broken down or composed yet. Regular earth worms, however, will be down on the bottom layers where the compost is broken down and more like humus - they eat dirt! They will avoid the top layer. Greg


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