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#119049 May 25th, 2005 at 08:34 PM
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Hello, all my garden heroes!

I've started a compost heap in my yard. Well, kind of. I've got plenty of green, but am really lacking on the brown stuff. So, a few questions for you.

1. I've got newspaper for my brown...but that's about all the brown I have frown How do I know when I'm getting close to 'too much' newspaper? (especially since I don't think I have anything else brown to add, except for cardboard boxes).

2. If I put soil in my pile, will that compensate for the lack of brown stuff?

3. Once the leaves from my easter lilies dry out, and are ready to be trimmed back, I can add them - but aren't they considered green, even though they 'look' brown?

If only I found this place a few months ago, when we first moved in and had TONS of leaves! But at least now I'll be set for next year!

Thanks for all your help!
Mary

#119050 May 25th, 2005 at 09:07 PM
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wavey mary
(fello gardening hero grinnnn )
i hope this will help you
http://www.thegardenhelper.com/compost.html

#119051 May 25th, 2005 at 09:14 PM
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Hero! wavey

I did read through that earlier, but no access right now to straw or leaves...will fall be too late to add that stuff? seems like it would be. I'm going to have a HUGE green pile, with no brown to add but newspaper, and I dunno...doesn't seem 'organic' enough to me or something...course I could be wrong about that smile Dont wanna end up with a weed pile though Duh What to do, what to do...

#119052 May 25th, 2005 at 09:28 PM
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i looked thru to see what else you could use for your "brown" but came up empty handed ters i'm sorry. hopefully weezie will see theis thread and come a runnin wink she's a great composter ( luv 's it)

#119053 May 25th, 2005 at 09:30 PM
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maybe you could pick some leaves from your trees and bake(dry) them in the oven?? laugh laugh yeah i know i'm a little nutz

#119054 May 25th, 2005 at 09:53 PM
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LOL! I've been called nutz more than once - but I prefer 'creative'!

I have some ashes from the burn pit that I'll add. Hopefully it'll work out ok wink

#119055 May 25th, 2005 at 10:38 PM
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I'll trade you some brown for some green lol. I still have a bunch of brown around the homeless guys car and the abandon car. More than I can match with the grass clippings.

Newsprint is made from wood pulp so it really is brown even if it went through a "commercial stage" before it finally got to your compost pile.

#119056 May 25th, 2005 at 10:48 PM
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LOL T, sounds like a plan.

Makes sense about the newspaper...just looking at it doesn't 'feel' organic, but you're right - I should look at it like processed wood!

#119057 May 26th, 2005 at 03:56 AM
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DID SOMEONE SAY COMPOSTTTTTTTTTTTTT ????????

Do you have anything from the previous year's garden, Mary???

Newspaper is good...
So is shredded or torn up cardboard..
It's considered brown...

How about a place that has sawdust?
Or wood chips???
Both take a wee~bit of more time to breakdown,
but are still on your brown list...

Soil will be wonderful for your compost,
there's tons of "stuff" in the soil that will
help break down your items placed into the compost.
Also old potting soil will do great too...

For mine at the bottom of the pile when starting it, I add good sized sticks, for aeration and will also start the decomposting process on the sticks too, for future piles, and eventually will decompose enough for the pile to consume it...

I have posted some stuff on composting here on the forum too, if you do a FORUM SEARCH and type in COMPOST, I'm sure you'll find some of my posts on the stuff...

I've posted some good pointers on it, like layering, like lasgna...
Seems like I just posted that, for Tammy, so it should be close to the top somewhere's...
I'll go hunt it down if you don't find it..

Weezie

#119058 May 26th, 2005 at 04:48 AM
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Weeeeeeezieeeeeeee wavey

I was thinking of you today, actually, when I was making some lasagna in the yard! I read over that post you wrote for Tammy several times, going over and over it in my head LOL

I don't have any more brown stuff from last year's garden...all cleaned up and burned (cringe) last year. Duh I know, I know, I'm working toward not burning as much, if at all. I especially wont burn any organic stuff now!

I started by laying down small branches. Then I put down some yard waste, then added some of my burn pile (I guess that's brown?), and layered more yard waste, more ash, waste, ash...You get the picture.

I don't know why I'm having such a hard time figuring out what yard waste would be green, and what would be brown. I don't know if I put any green in there today because it won't stick in my head, what (besides kitchen scraps) is green... Duh The stuff I pulled out of the garden today, is that green or brown? Some of it was bishops weed (not flowered yet), and grass.

Oh, I watered it a little too, to make sure it was moist, but not soggy.

Can I put paper plates and junk mail (not glossy paper) in there for my brown too? May be I'll have a new place to 'file' my bills! LOL!

I'm excited about it...LOL...been thinking about what we can put in there instead of throwing away. Guess I have a little tree hugger in me grinnnn

Gonna go search compost threads now! smile

Thanks, Weezie!
Mary

#119059 May 26th, 2005 at 05:27 AM
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Mary....
Quote
I was thinking of you today, actually, when I was making some lasagna in the yard!
shocked wavey

Quote
Then I put down some yard waste, then added some of my burn pile (I guess that's brown?), and layered more yard waste, more ash, waste, ash...
Don't go toooooo crazy with the ash, it's good, it's organic but it's not good in large quantities for a compost pile...*don't ask me right now, Brain~Drain hit's me every so often.*
but I've read Duh

Quote
I don't have any more brown stuff from last year's garden...all cleaned up and burned (cringe) last year.
Duh

Is you're a pile in your back yard???
Is it in sun, shade...?
A soggy place or a dry place??

Weezie

#119060 May 26th, 2005 at 05:32 AM
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Ohhhhhhhhh, and weeds,
here's my theory on them...

Until you really learn how to compost,
really stay away from them....

For me, I will only use a stalk from like
a golden rod, but absolutely NO flower w/ seeds.

I use noooooooooooooooooooooo roots...
Especially something that thrives on runner roots..

Only the MIDDLE section of the plant...

I do use some weeds when I'm weeeding, but I have very pliable dirt and can get just about all of the root system because of that...
But I put those weeds like on top of a brick or flat stone and BAKE THE H#LL of out them, and leave them there for a verrrrrrrrry long time...
and when I know they are good and dead and fried!
I will then use the roots......

BUT NEVER THE SEED PODS.........

Weezie

#119061 May 26th, 2005 at 05:40 AM
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Quote
Don't go toooooo crazy with the ash
rut ro. I think I may already have thumbup

I'll keep you composted ... err ... posted on my progress! grinnnn

Thanks, Weezie!

Mary

#119062 May 26th, 2005 at 05:47 AM
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Quote
Until you really learn how to compost,
really stay away from them....
And I have a LOT more learning to do. I've been trashing my dandelions, and probably shouldn't have put that bishops weed in the compost today, eh? confused I did put some dandelion leaves in though...think that's ok? No flower, no roots, just leaf.

We've got so much yard (and so much weed) that it would be impossible for me to cut off the heads/roots of weeds before throwing them in...how bout burning them and then composting? Or, I could theoretically fry them in the sun before composting...I'd just have to have a 'frying bin' too! LOL!

#119063 May 26th, 2005 at 12:28 PM
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Mary, for brown stuff, as well as newspaper and cardboard,(these are best ripped up or shredded before use) you can use dried grass, hay, straw, leaves, sawdust, seaweed (rinse off the salt or leave in the rain overnight) dryer lint and vacuum cleaner waste, hair, pine cones, peanut shells, tree bark etc etc.
Do a google on composting carbon nitrogen. Huge amounts of info. There may be an ingredient nearby you haven't realised the value of.

#119064 May 26th, 2005 at 07:13 PM
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Wow - Hair. We have 4 dogs. I sweep daily. Who knew?! Now I KNOW I'll have plenty of brown!

I am googling as I type...thanks so much for all the great info!

Mary

#119065 June 28th, 2005 at 04:17 AM
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I throw in old soil from all the flower pots that I replaced with new soil indoors and out. As for newspapers, what about the chemicals and dyes that are used to make the paper? Where do old blueberries, coffee grains, filters and tea bags,.. rotten potatos, potato peels, old mushrooms, banana peels, cantalope and honey dew peels, pumpkin peel, orange and yellow vegetables,. rotten red tomatos, rotten cooking onions etc... fall into...brown or green? How about frozen vegetables which have unthawed..green or brown?

#119066 June 28th, 2005 at 04:23 AM
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no cooked veggies. I think I remember that. Black and white newpapers ok. The colored ones no. Bleached paper the really really white stuff no. I think it was decided that coffee filters were ok cause they changed how it was made but you may want to check on that. I don't know about the rest of it.

#119067 June 28th, 2005 at 07:00 AM
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All the last stuff you mentioned is
GREEN!!
Any food scapes from the kitchen is pretty
much considered GREEN, except maybe the stems
from grape clusters.

The potted dirt sounds okay, I use that too..
Garden soil they say is also good, *I don't use alot for the weed seeds in it* but it's a good
inoculant for getting the compost started up...


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