What have I done to my compost barrel???

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Ravenlost, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    24,572
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    MS
    Went to put some kitchen scraps (banana peels, rotten tomatoes) in my compost "barrel" (actually a plastic garbage can with some holes drilled in it for air flow) and YUCK!!! It was filled with liquid and grubs (maggots???). All I can say is it's breaking down REALLY fast. I guess I've put to many spoiled tomatoes in it. Will throwing some dirt in help? I'm sure it shouldn't be this wet. YUCK.

    Oh, should mention it has a lid on it, so I know this isn't rain water collecting in the can.
     
  2. Chikin

    Chikin Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    I use to have a compost bin that did that. it was a huge open pot that didn't get very good drainage. it use to be just a soup of rotten scraps and those maggotts. I have no idea what kind of maggots those are, does anyone? but I dumpred a bag of potting soil on top of the mess and planted some beans in it and at the end of the season when I cleaned it out it was the best looking soil I had ever seen. I don't see how it went from such a disgusting soup of maggots to this rich soil but it did, pretty amazing.

    but I want to know what those maggots are. we have a 5' diameter chicken wire ring filled with about 2' of leaves and I looked the other day and it was filled with maggots
     

  3. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

    Messages:
    6,244
    Joined:
    May 11, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Maybe mix in some hay or straw?
     
  4. Manny

    Manny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    308
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    You don't need dirt just more carbon material like "Gurl" said. Dried grass clippings, dead veggie plants, leaves and even newspaper will work. Try to add as much dry material as you do the juicy scraps. When it dries up the maggots will be gone.
     
  5. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    The maggots are soldier fly larva. They are "good guys" and only feed on rotting vegetation. Serious composters welcome them.

    Martin
     
  6. Chikin

    Chikin Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    thanks Paquebot. I could see that I was helping a ton of bugs reproduce but I didn't know if they were good or not. I hate the maggots though, they're just disgusting.
     
  7. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    You can feed the maggots to the chickens. Yummmy and lots of protein. It sounds like you have some major anaerobic decomposition going on in that thing. Definately toss in some browns. It all needs to be moist, not soggy, and you could roll it around a bit to mix some air into it. Get hubby to do it, you don't want to mess up your wrist.
     
  8. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Soldier flies have just one purpose in life. That's being the equal to the garbage man. The flies don't bite or sting. Their sole purpose seems to breed and look for another garbage mess to clean up. Many people with worm bins often discover them in their bins and happily minding their own business. Maggots do gross some people out but have a place in this world just as a garbage man does. Those which feed on meat as always despised for the possible diseases which they can carry from the dead. Few people realize that there is also a big crew which specializes in vegetable matter. Their food supply doesn't last as long as the meat-eaters so they eat fast and grow fast. Just remember that they are good guys who are just doing their job of recycling.

    Martin
     
  9. Chikin

    Chikin Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    I always heard that it was bad to feed maggots to chickens, I think b/c they don't die right away and eat your chicken from the inside or something like that. I'm guessing it's fine for them to eat these kind right? if so, I'm going to have a bunch of happy biddies
     
  10. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    24,572
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    MS
    Whew...glad to hear it's okay in there. I'm not gonna open the lid one day and get it with a cloud of flies am I?

    Will definitely toss in some hay and let hubby stir it up good.
     
  11. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Chiken, sounds like an old wives' tale to me.
     
  12. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    24,572
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    MS
    I'll probably give Scarlett a scoop of maggots out of the compost barrel, but if she expects me to feed them to her by hand she can just do without!

    I didn't realize how quickly a chicken could become spoiled. :no:
     
  13. maggots can poison chickens on the outside chance of carrying botulism. Botulism spore is in the ground and almost everywhere it is quite likely to thrive in the soup compost since it requires anerobic conditions. I personally would not encourage maggots of any kind as the flying adult stage spreads deseases no matter how benighn they seem to be on their own. to dry things up add the dry matter add lime, gysum or wood ash add some dry dirt or pour things out and let the liquids drain into the ground then scoop the solids back up into the bin. If you do elect to anerobicly compost wet use screen or cloth covers to prevent the insect problem and yep it is a problem. Any type fly is a good way to spread botulism as well as other micro organisms some of which can be quite deadly if contaminating your food. surplus populations will also try to infest ripe fruits tomato berries etc. be careful with lime and wood ash as you can get too much easily and end up wih too alkaly a compost. Maggots can be from many types of fly and unless you are adept at identifying them it is just anybodys guess what type they are. At any rate they all carry the same basic health risk transporters of desease and unwanted microorganisms. Infesters of ripe unharvested food crops.Magotts are disgusting to us for a reason man survived in nature by avoiding them.
     
  14. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    24,572
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    MS
    The can is covered with a lid. I drilled several holes in it for air, but perhaps I should have drilled a few in the bottom for drainage? I think I'll do that this evening.

    I did put a bunch of dry grass clippings in it yesterday and when I'm able to use the shovel I'll dump some more dirt in it.