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Composting #83784
March 16th, 2007 at 02:14 AM
March 16th, 2007 at 02:14 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Columbus, Ohio, USA
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NuSkewl Offline OP
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NuSkewl  Offline OP
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Columbus, Ohio, USA
I'm just starting. I've been collecting kitchen fruit & veg scraps/waste & the 5 gallon bucket is more than 1/2 full. I have a place in mind of where to put the compost bin(s), but don't know exactly what to use. Of course, $$ is scarce (why I'm posting in the frugal gardening part of the forums), but enthusiasm is high.

Any suggestions are *very very* welcome!!

Cheers!! muggs

Re: Composting #83785
March 16th, 2007 at 02:38 AM
March 16th, 2007 at 02:38 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Illinois
patches1414 Offline
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Illinois
Quote
$$ is scarce (why I'm posting in the frugal gardening part of the forums), but enthusiasm is high.
NuSkewl, composting does not require a lot of money, but enthusiasm is important, so it sounds like you have everything you need to start composting. thumbup It's really easy and you'll be amazed at all the "Black Gold" you'll get when it's finished. wink

Here is the list I use of things you can put in your compost and things you should NOT put in your compost. I don't add any dirt to mine, but some people do. Compost needs both air and water, so you have to keep your pile/bin moist, but NOT wet. It should feel somewhat like a damp sponge.

I try to turn my compost a couple of times a week, whenever possible, but I really can't do that in the winter where I live frown and you probably can't either since you live in Ohio. wink

What TO Compost

Common "Brown" (high-carbon) Ingredients
Dry Leaves
Hay and Straw
Corncobs, Stalks, Vegetable Stalks
Shredded Paper (no colored ink)
Pine Needles
Wood Chips and Sawdust
Wood Ash (in moderation)

Common "Green" (high-nitrogen) Ingredients:
Grass, Lawn Clippings, Fresh Leaves
weeds and Other Garden Wastes
Eggshells, Coffee Grounds, Paper Filters
Kitchen Scraps, Vegetable & Fruit Parings
Horse and Cow Manure
Feathers, Hair, Lint, Sweepings
Seaweed

What NOT to Compost (details)
Chemically-treated Wood Products
Chemically-treated Materials
Diseased plants
Human Waste
Meat, Bones, and Fatty Foods
Plastic, Glass, or Metals
Paper with Colored Inks
Pernicious weeds
Pet Wastes

In the fall, when I have an abundance of leaves, I mulch them up and put some in my bins, but all the rest I store in paper yard waste bags (after I have mulched them), then I keep them in my garden shed to use as I need them. When summer comes and I have a lot of grass clippings I put some in the bin and then add the leaves I've saved, along with other things I have (produce, coffee grounds, etc.) In the winter I just keep adding any produce, hair, dryer lint, coffee grounds, etc. as I get them.


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Re: Composting #83786
March 17th, 2007 at 01:25 AM
March 17th, 2007 at 01:25 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Columbus, Ohio, USA
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NuSkewl Offline OP
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NuSkewl  Offline OP
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Quote
Originally posted by NuSkewl:
I have a place in mind of where to put the compost bin(s), but don't know exactly what to use.
Holy Moley Patches!!! Thanks for all the info!!

What a fruit-cake I am! What I *actually* meant was... what kind of container/fencing/mesh could I use to make the bins??

You said:
"In the fall, when I have an abundance of leaves, I mulch them up and put some in my bins, but all the rest I store in paper yard waste bags (after I have mulched them), then I keep them in my garden shed to use as I need them." What would you use them for? I'm guessing to cover the waste you bring out throughout the winter?

Thanks again for all the info! I'm right on track w/what I'm putting into our compost bucket.

I didn't know about those "Pernicious weeds". Damn. I've got so many of those Canadian Thistles... I could step on one every time I take a step. (OK... well, not *that* bad.) Anyone have a tip for getting rid of those buggers w/out chemicals & w/out digging to China to get the end of the root?

Re: Composting #83787
March 17th, 2007 at 03:17 AM
March 17th, 2007 at 03:17 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Illinois
patches1414 Offline
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Illinois
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what kind of container/fencing/mesh could I use to make the bins??
Actually, NuSkewl, you can make compost bins out of hardware cloth (wire mesh), wood (some people use the wood shipping pallets, which you can sometimes get free)., metal garbage cans (but you have to drill holes so the compost can get air or some people just make a compost pile on the ground. There are many different possibilities, so you just have to find the one that suits you. wink I bought a 50' x 4' roll of 1/4 hardware cloth, but wish I would have bought the 3' high because it would have been a lot easier to mix my compost (but the 4' roll was on clearance for $10.00 - BIG savings wink Duh but if you're only making one bin I think you could probably get by with a 10 'x 3' roll because I know there was a lot left over after making the three bins. :rolleyes: I don't believe I could have gotten three bins out a 25' roll, and I really wanted three bins. smile


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Re: Composting #83788
March 17th, 2007 at 04:22 AM
March 17th, 2007 at 04:22 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Illinois
patches1414 Offline
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patches1414  Offline
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when I have an abundance of leaves, I mulch them up and put some in my bins, but all the rest I store in paper yard waste bags (after I have mulched them), then I keep them in my garden shed to use as I need them." What would you use them for?
I'm sorry this is in two posts, but I didn't want to get kicked off again and lose everything I had already written. eek mad

I try to mix my greens and browns to speed up the composting process. I've found that whenever I use a good mix of greens (nitrogen) and browns (carbon) it always keeps my bin smelling sweet and earthy, instead of stinky! eek Actually, I usually try to use about 60% brown and 40% green in the spring and summer when I'm adding my fresh grass clippings. Greens do discompose a lot faster than browns, but if you add a lot of fresh grass clipping at one time they can quickly become a mushy, smelly mess, frown so I use my mulched up leaves to add to the compost bins in the spring and summer.

I usually don't even cover the greens (veggies, fruit, etc.) that I put in the bin in the winter because if the bin isn't frozen solid I just bury it under what's in the bin. wink If the bin is frozen then I just throw it on top and put a few sheets of newspaper over it (I save the pages that are black & white print only, like the classified). I also bring a container of water to dampen the newspaper after I put it in the bin so it doesn't blow out and all over my yard or my neighbor's yard. frown laugh


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Re: Composting #83789
March 18th, 2007 at 08:42 AM
March 18th, 2007 at 08:42 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
East Coast
Longy Offline
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East Coast
Hey nuskewl, i use giant heavy duty cardboard boxes. Cut some holes in the sides and use a few old tomato stakes to give them support. They last a few years. The ones the grocer gets with melons andd stuff in them. Big jiggers. Here's a pic;
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v239/m.longstaff/?action=view&current=cooked.jpg


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Re: Composting #83790
March 18th, 2007 at 03:30 PM
March 18th, 2007 at 03:30 PM
Joined: May 2006
Holden Beach, NC
Tonya Offline
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Holden Beach, NC
Longy! You are a genius! I have been looking for a temporary bin until we move and you just settled it for me!! What a great idea!! wavey

Re: Composting #83791
March 19th, 2007 at 02:00 AM
March 19th, 2007 at 02:00 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Columbus, Ohio, USA
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NuSkewl Offline OP
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NuSkewl  Offline OP
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Quote
Originally posted by Longy:
Hey nuskewl, i use giant heavy duty cardboard boxes. Cut some holes in the sides and use a few old tomato stakes to give them support. They last a few years. The ones the grocer gets with melons and stuff in them. Big jiggers. Here's a pic;
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v239/m.longstaff/?action=view&current=cooked.jpg
Patches!! Thanks again for all the info/advise!! Why did you want 3 bins? How often do you turn your compost? Every few days? Weekly? Bi-weekly? And... when you say "turn", do you mean "aerate" (plump the pile from the sides w/a stick into the center) or empty the bin & mix everything around & put it back/into another bin? I have no place to store bags of leaves throughout the year. Could I put them in the brown bags & set them aside or will they mold when they get wet? We don't have a shed & we have a garage that also acts as our attic/storage area. Hmmm....

Longy!! That's fantastic!! Did you cut off the bottom of the box? Or... did it just compost w/the stuff added?

Wow... that would be cheap!!! I'll call our grocery store tomorrow to see if they have any they can spare. @ least that'll get me started. I was thinking of having @ least 2 bins. Would I use one for piling & the other for turning the 1st pile into? I could do it like Longy - pick it up, move it & turn it. If I used wire mesh, would it compost faster than the cardboard? Or... is the important thing the brown/green ingredients to help speed up the process? What if I throw worms in there that I find when it rains & they all swarm to the driveway or sidewalks? Are worms a good thing to have in the compost bin? (I would guess they are)

Longy... Are you in the USA?? I thought I saw a Kookaburra sitting on the table next to the beer. muggs I do believe that puts you in Australia?? (detective work) Ha! I looked @ the composting box... it says "Australian Produce" - doesn't meant you're in Australia, but I'd guess you are! -Very cool!!

Thanks so much everyone for answering my many questions!!

Re: Composting #83792
March 19th, 2007 at 08:41 AM
March 19th, 2007 at 08:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
East Coast
Longy Offline
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Longy  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2004
East Coast
Longy!! That's fantastic!!
++++++++++++++++
Umm. It's not that fantastic. It's a box.

Did you cut off the bottom of the box? Or... did it just compost w/the stuff added?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The boxes don'ty have a base. they sit on a wooden pallet.

Would I use one for piling & the other for turning the 1st pile into? I could do it like Longy - pick it up, move it & turn it. If I used wire mesh, would it compost faster than the cardboard? Or... is the important thing the brown/green ingredients to help speed up the process?
+++++++++++++
Do whichever you want. They'll all work. Do what's best for you. The big volume and the right mix is far more important than the box they're in.

What if I throw worms in there
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
If you build compost properly, with at least a cubic metre of the right mix of ingredients, then it will get hot. Very hot. Over 65 degrees C. Worms will go where they want to be. Don't cook the worms.


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The secret is the soil.
Re: Composting #83793
March 19th, 2007 at 08:46 AM
March 19th, 2007 at 08:46 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
East Coast
Longy Offline
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Longy  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2004
East Coast
Longy!! That's fantastic!!
++++++++++++++++
Umm. It's not that fantastic. It's a box.

Did you cut off the bottom of the box? Or... did it just compost w/the stuff added?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The boxes don'ty have a base. they sit on a wooden pallet.

Would I use one for piling & the other for turning the 1st pile into? I could do it like Longy - pick it up, move it & turn it. If I used wire mesh, would it compost faster than the cardboard? Or... is the important thing the brown/green ingredients to help speed up the process?
+++++++++++++
Do whichever you want. They'll all work. Do what's best for you. The big volume and the right mix is far more important than the box they're in. I lift the box off, put it over there and fill it up again, adding anything i feel is needed to get it to fire up.

What if I throw worms in there
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
If you build compost properly, with at least a cubic metre of the right mix of ingredients, then it will get hot. Very hot. Over 65 degrees C. Worms will go where they want to be. Don't cook the worms.

Are you in the USA?? I thought I saw a Kookaburra sitting on the table next to the beer. I do believe that puts you in Australia?? (detective work) Ha! I looked @ the composting box... it says "Australian Produce" - doesn't meant you're in Australia, but I'd guess you are! -Very cool!!
+++++++++++++++++
Maybe yes. Maybe no. Perhaps the kookaburra was a disguised Alaskan fur seal. Did you think of that? ;-)
PS. I'm in a cryptic mood. Don't be offended if i appear blunt. (It's a dullness thing.)


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The secret is the soil.

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