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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-27-2008 03:49 AM
Mariann Composting is not something a lot of people tend to do around here (I live in OKlahoma, USA) unless on a farm. So, options of purchasing different bins are not there - people mostly build their own. I have been wanting to have a worm bin in the kitchen and a compost bin outside - would be extremely helpful. And, I, too, had heard about the liquid off them is great for plants as well. I will have to try it next year on my garden.
07-24-2008 02:21 PM
Indian Summer Looks like our fly problem is gone! I followed bluesand's suggestions (layer of soil + damp newspapers) and tonight when I was dumping some kitchen waste in there, there wasn't a single fly!
07-21-2008 01:52 PM
CaptainSwab What we do is have two seperate bins, one for compost that is in some varying state of decompostion and one for stuff that I need to layer.



I have a stacking bin type thing so I stack as many as I need and fill it to the top and cover it. Out where I live we have a problem with keeping the stuff moist enough. Once a week or so we go out and turn the thing to add air back into the mix. As the it starts breaking down we remove some of the bin stacks because you don't want all kinds of excess air at the top.



we were having trouble with our compost getting to that final state of usuable compost so I went to one of our local compost classes and I think I had too much air at the top.



Also, they recommended against putting worms in an outdoor pile. If you want to do worm composting for things liek mostly food scraps you should try one indoors. It sounds like you don't have a lot of grass clippings or anything so it may be something you want to look into.
07-14-2008 10:56 AM
IamJen Thanks for the tips, bluesand! I'd heard that about coffee grounds before, and thought about asking our neighbors for their spares.



The wet newspaper idea is helpful, as we have much veg/fruit matter inside (in Tupperware), waiting to go into the compost bin. IS is growing some basil, so we may be able to try that as well.



There is a composting workshop of sorts at our local hippy establishment on Wednesday, and I'm going to try and drag the man along.
07-14-2008 07:25 AM
bluegold And if anyone is near a coffee shop



http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0707171641.htm



Coffee grounds can be an excellent addition to a compost pile. The grounds are relatively rich in nitrogen, providing bacteria the energy they need to turn organic matter into compost.

About 2 percent nitrogen by volume, used coffee grounds can be a safe substitute for nitrogen-rich manure in the compost pile, explained Cindy Wise, coordinator of the compost specialist program at the Lane County office of the Oregon State University Extension Service.

"A lot of people don't want to use manure because of concerns about pathogens," said Wise.

Contrary to popular belief, coffee grounds are not acidic. After brewing, the grounds are close to pH neutral, between 6.5 and 6.8. The acid in the beans is mostly water-soluble, so it leaches into the coffee we drink.

Since 2001, Wise has trained and coordinated OSU compost specialist volunteers. They have collected and composted nearly 200 tons of coffee grounds from 13 coffee shops and kiosks in Eugene, Springfield, Florence, Cottage Grove and Veneta. That's the equivalent of about 25 large dump trucks full of coffee grounds.
07-14-2008 06:37 AM
bluegold ^^ BTW basil will deter flies , I use to grow it inside and it actually worked . So if you have any spare Basil around you could throw a few stems in there and see what happens . Although i have never seen it used in a compost bin as a fly deterrent .
07-14-2008 06:31 AM
bluegold
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indian Summer View Post




Hm, so how long before we can throw kitchen waste in there again?

..!



Well just layer some damp newspaper over the kitchen waste if you think you will have fly strike again.
07-14-2008 06:23 AM
Indian Summer
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesand View Post

IS , you could try and put a layer of soil over your compost , about 5 cm .

I had an almost full bag of flower soil lying around, so we threw that in there along with some cardboard and a newspaper. It seemed to cover it up, so hopefully that will solve the problem.



Hm, so how long before we can throw kitchen waste in there again?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post

I've recently become interested in composting and I think I'm going to start a composting forum. I'll post more once it's ready for members.



Ooh, this should be interesting...!
07-14-2008 06:06 AM
Michael I've recently become interested in composting and I think I'm going to start a composting forum. I'll post more once it's ready for members.
07-12-2008 06:58 AM
cstadt My townhouse development says no composting for me I've always wanted to try it..
07-12-2008 06:34 AM
Indian Summer
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesand View Post

IS , you could try and put a layer of soil over your compost , about 5 cm .

Thanks bluesand, that sounds like good advice. I'm guessing the soil will suffocate the little devils, or at least keep them away from the compost. I'll try this later.
07-12-2008 05:59 AM
bluegold IS , you could try and put a layer of soil over your compost , about 5 cm .
07-12-2008 05:06 AM
cinders7 The compost in my bin is quite clumpy and some of the food hasn't quite decomposed but after a year i put it on my garden regardless and my plants grow like monsters.Pee is a good activator aswell as beer(not sure what beer is veg*n as i don't drink the stuff lol)Mice get into my bin and i keep meaning to put a thin wire mesh at the bottom,instead i just bang on the bin first in hope they'll ran off.I live in the uk too.I also add shredded paper to mine,vacuum bag contents veg peelings.My hedge trimmings i put around my bushes to act as a mulch to keep the weeds down
07-12-2008 03:56 AM
Indian Summer I think we now officially have a fly problem. I opened up the bin to throw in a banana peel, and a whole swarm of flies came out of there. I threw the lid back on as fast as I could, but the sky was already visibly darker. I feel like I'd opened some sort of Pandora's box.



Is this the whole green vs brown issue? Because we just don't have that much grass to throw in there. So what can I do? Get more toads?







04-07-2008 08:24 AM
DLS Suitable compost ingredients include:

Animal manure, straw or hay, grass clippings, leaves, shredded stalks and bark, kitchen vegetable scraps, floor sweepings/ contents of vacuume bags, seaweed, mushroom compost, shredded newspaper, weeds, and sawdust are a few. Idealy you should layer your compost with green stuff {kitchen scraps, grass clippings etc.}and dry stuff {leaves, hay etc.}

I grow comfrey beside my comopst and add the leaves, comfrey acts as an activator



04-05-2008 02:36 PM
Gita
Quote:
Originally Posted by LucidAnne View Post

i guess "a lot" would be when your compost blows up in your face!! lol.





So where's the part where I can run my light-bulbs off this? Do I just plug them in?
04-03-2008 05:55 PM
LucidAnne i guess "a lot" would be when your compost blows up in your face!! lol.
04-01-2008 07:41 PM
Gita They are very nitrogen-- If you have a lot it is recommended to dry them a bit. This is all

Subjective. How much is "a lot?" who knows.
04-01-2008 05:15 PM
LucidAnne gita...grass clippings are fine to use, you just want to mix it in well w/ your carbon materials. its about keeping the ratiio. keep it aerated by turning it often and you should be safe.
04-01-2008 04:35 PM
Gita Hi well, I got some wood and some hardware wire today.



I was just reading that grass clippings (I guess during certain times) burn way too hot, and need to be dried some. (nitrogen vs carbon in the right combinations). We have explosions here of dry corn silos that kill people. A lot of people tend to forget that this stuff is chemistry and very powerful.
04-01-2008 04:59 AM
Indian Summer Thanks for that ... um, not sure I have that many old freezers lying around, but at least this seems to indicate that heat and insulation are factors to be considered. And the base thing too. I'll try to take all this into consideration whenever I set up a new composter.
04-01-2008 01:51 AM
bluegold IS ...was going to mention it when you originally kicked of the thread , but did not know if the idea worked (I was there when they built them ) any way , have heard back that the idea does work . That is , to use a couple of old freezers with holes drilled along the bottom for air circulation and liquid (smelly ) drainage . You use the liquid as a feeder for your plants . Because of the insulation , they have fast heat generation and break down . You use the second one to shovel the contents of the first one into .

The base inside is best to be made pallet like or the first layer a very course mixture , otherwise , you wont get air flow .
03-31-2008 03:11 PM
Gita I see this thread is relatively fresh. Tomorrow I am going to the hardware store for 2X4s and chicken wire to make a big compost bin with 3 separate sections. I had a lot of garden waste in the yard and decided that this was the year to begin to compost. I already have some "leaf piles" that have yielded nice black leaf mold.
02-23-2008 01:42 PM
Indian Summer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soy 6-Pack View Post

HEre is a good composting troubleshooting guide

Hm... I think I'm going to try some of that. I'll try to chop up the contents better, and maybe see if there's some grass that needs cutting.



I'll have to see if I can shut that hatch properly as well. Don't want little rodents nesting in there! On the other hand, the neighbourhood has a huge cat population...
02-23-2008 01:30 PM
Indian Summer
Quote:
Originally Posted by abroadinSacto View Post

Grass clippings are great because they are loaded with nitrogen which has obvious benefits as a fertilizer. I understand that nitrogen also helps keep the temperature up in the composting process. I read of one case (I think it was in Rodale's Book of Composting) where a small tropical community was composting chopped up saplings using their own urine as the primary nitrogen component. It worked so well the compost was ready to use in just over a month. Of course, if you choose to use this method, please be discreet.

Re: urine ... The parents of a friend of mine were experiencing some troubles with their compost. I guess the dad had been hearing stories about the benefits of this method, and so he tried it. And supposedly it worked really well!
02-23-2008 01:19 PM
Byzantea HEre is a good composting troubleshooting guide
02-23-2008 01:16 PM
bluegold
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indian Summer View Post

Sizewise it's roughly about a meter high. It's barrel-shaped with a diameter of roughly 0.5 meter. So that gives us a volume of about 1m*3.14*(0.25m)^2 which is approximately 0.2m³.



No ventilation holes except the hatch on the bottom where I can rake out composted matter. I can't seem to close this hatch completely, Maybe that's a good thing.



Grass and leaves: There isn't much in there now, since it's winter and I haven't been cutting any grass or raking leaves.



You might be right about temperature, although I'm still not convinced on that one ...



^ Well in some ways your concerns are correct about the temp . Temp generated is a big part in composting and outside temp might slow it down slightly .



The size sounds o/k





Holes in the side might help for more ventilation . But best not to put holes in top of bin . The only thing I have found with those bins (a good one is very efficient ) is that the mice get in them ...they love them , you might have to mesh up the vents if you think it will be a problem . So you come to getting the compost out the bottom hatch if its not closed and you have mice nests coming out with the compost .



Worms have a freeze point so I don't know the temp where you are , so maybe it might not work . You can build a worm farm in a shed (non smelly) and freeze point wont worry them, there are no end on designs on the net .



Its best to layer your compost , branches , coarse material at the bottom and layer it different material to the top , about 20 cm each . Fulling it up with grass clipping is not the greatest of ideas .



To accelerate the composting (if you have a rotor mower ) just run the mower (with catcher on ) over clippings , even leaves . It really saves space and helps with the composting .



Two to three bins is an excellent idea . you can pick them up at garage sales cheap



best of luck
02-23-2008 08:25 AM
abroadinSacto My bins have come with a couple of slit vents on the side near the top. They're not terribly obvious looking down from the top.



Grass clippings are great because they are loaded with nitrogen which has obvious benefits as a fertilizer. I understand that nitrogen also helps keep the temperature up in the composting process. I read of one case (I think it was in Rodale's Book of Composting) where a small tropical community was composting chopped up saplings using their own urine as the primary nitrogen component. It worked so well the compost was ready to use in just over a month. Of course, if you choose to use this method, please be discreet.
02-23-2008 07:31 AM
IamJen re: the bags, that's only about 1/3 of our kitchen waste, so while it may not help, I don't see that as the root of the problem. I check it every now and then and try to stir things up with the shovel, but it not decomposing very much, even the "free" waste.



In talking earlier, I said that I suspected the lack of "brown" stuff is part of the problem. I'll have to do a bit of raking on the front lawn this week and toss that in.



I've wondered too about adding some worms. We had a compost bin (very small) at a school where I once worked, and the worms were a big part of the decomposition process.



Thanks for the tip about ventilation. I've not seen that on any of the sites/directions I've read. Our form of bin seems to be pretty commonly used too, so I wonder if people are poking holes in the lid perhaps. Hm.
02-23-2008 07:09 AM
Indian Summer
Quote:
Originally Posted by abroadinSacto View Post

zikes - that tree ain't helping! I'd tear the bags open before putting them in. That way it'll mix better when you turn the compost.



I've always had luck with plastic bins, but I've always lived south of you. I partially buried mine once, and I think it helped things tremmendously. I guess the most important thing there is that you allow for some ventilation.

Thanks ... I might go looking for a new bin, since ours doesn't seem to have much in terms of ventilation. Or I guess I could poke some holes in the one we have ...



My boss told me he has three bins. The waste first goes into bin #1, then proceeds to #2 and finally bin #3. I guess this way one is sure that the compost gets mixed around somewhat etc.
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