compost "?"

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Raindancer, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. Raindancer

    Raindancer Well-Known Member

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    Years ago while first clearing a small garden area I just raked and dumped all the clippings, leaves etc into a pile to get out of the way. I happened to remember that pile while looking for a source of "good stuff" (beside our red clay soil) for potting a bit later. I turned it over and it was actually steaming (to my surprise) and had broken down to some good, rich soil! Now, a few yr's later and wanting to revitalize my forgotten suburban garden and having started a compost pile again, I find myself wanting to do it "right". I've got pine needles, clippings, leaves there now. I've been saving organic kitchen scraps in a little bucket kept by the sink to add when it accumulates, and also spent floating pond plants and bunny droppings. I put those in the middle of the pile and cover. Question...should I put new kitchen/ stuff on top of existing pile and just keep layering with new clippings/leaves, or just fork back the pile, add new stuff to the center of pile and re-cover with what is there now? I didn't even try the first time, but just wondering the right way to do now, so it's ready for Spring.

    Thanks for any input:)
    Dee
     
  2. pinemead

    pinemead Well-Known Member

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    I just put it on top and cover with newspaper and leaves or other organic matter. Turn it every so often so the air can get to the bottom. Unless you have a "hot" compost pile, don't put diseased plants or seeds in it. It's great stuff. I add cow manure as well.
     

  3. Raindancer

    Raindancer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply, pinemead. I've got plenty of yard stuff to toss on top, so good to know I can just keep layering and tossing, and don't have to only add to middle of pile and recovering. I've been tossing some of this horrible dirt on top, and sprinkling with water when dry. Guess it's good to toss maybe once a wk to aerate? Had never put much thought into it, so good to know. If nothing else, 7 yr. old granddaugher helped me get it going, and she now knows what compost is:)

    Thanks:)
    Dee
     
  4. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Keep in mind that whatever way you do it will work. Mother Nature just flings it out there and waits. Forests are layered with leaves, animal poo, decaying critters, etc.

    Humans just renamed this process composting and claimed the idea as original!
    :)
     
  5. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    i cover kitchen stuff to keep pets out of it , otherwise, toss it out and "let it rot"

    BTW, bunny droppings dont need to be composted,same as goats, its natures pelleted fertilizer
     
  6. Ana Bluebird

    Ana Bluebird Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Compost piles can be as complicated or as easy as you want to mess with. I used to have three piles enclosed in boards, I'd build a pile, then about a month or so later, I'd move the first pile to the second place to turn it, then a month later I'd move it to the final place. Now I have one pile in spring that I add to all summer, turn when and if I feel like it, maybe just once, more if I'm not lazy. Then I start another pile in the fall. I put them in different spots each year to fertilize different areas because I always leave some on the ground. Since I feed most kitchen stuff to the chickens, I don't have a lot of extra stuff to add, but I do like to shred black & white papers from the newspapers because we don't have recycling of that in our area. It makes such great black gold that I wish I made more.