Has any one ever used unfinished compost this way?
Ok - here's the situation:
I receive loads of yard waste from an organic landscape company. Mostly lawnclippings, pine needles, bark dust, very small bits of shrub clippings, leaves (some big, but mostly mowed-up) all mixed together.
I DON'T want to have to turn and water the piles, and move the finished compost, and I noticed 2-3 year old piles have completely turned into soil, all without my "help" but I have not tried growing anything in them yet.
I am just having the company dump the waste in piles and terracing out the slopes. So basically the unfinished stuff is where it's eventually going to "live" in varying degrees of depth.
My question is, how long should I wait before I plant things in them, such as blueberries, strawberries, potatoes, acid-loving herbs, raspberries, etc? Potatoes grew in some straw/manure/bark chip/grass clippings that had only composted for one total season. This was kind of by accident - I was trying to compost the potatoes!! haha! What a neat surprise to find a garden full of growing potatoes!!!
But obviously berries are a big investment. Are the 2-3 year old sections ok to plant, even though the pine needles are not decomposed, but the grass and leaf clippings that were mixed in are?? How about piles that are only 1 year old - or ones I have just now placed in there permanent spot, but were just cut? Can I add a greater percentage of finished compost and thereby extend the finished compost and not have to buy as much?
Sorry I'm long winded.
PS - I know I have to stick to acid-loving stuff. You can't really get away from pine needles around here, so I figure if ya can't beat em learn to live with em!