how do you like your compost?

johnnym74January 21, 2014

what are your favorite things for a compost pile/bin?
i have a few pallets i`m going to re-purpose into an outside
bin for composting. i have a chipper shredder for limbs and
leaves to add that material. here`s another.....can i put the lemons off my tree in my compost? will it make it to acidity or sugary? or what about the oranges and grapefruit too? i have tons of these things that just rot in a pile out back after raking them up. so lets talk compost.

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keiki(10 FL)

I love composting! Super easy inexpensive way to help your garden. My best ingredient would be chicken manure. I add anything and everything that the chickens or worms dont get first. You can add your lemons no problem but dont add a tree full. I have found that everthing in moderation works, just like eating and drinking. I know someone who mows his excess citrus right into the lawn. I put large stuff out for hortiiculture waste pick up and everything else gets composted or fed to the chickens.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 8:38PM
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okay i will smash the juice out of a few (run them over with the tractor) and add them. i dont have access to chickens unfortunately. i do have lots of leaves and am saving all my vegetable scraps and coffee grounds again.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 11:06PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I started a "compost "bin about a year ago from leftover s from redoing my fish pool It's 4x8 by 20 inches .lined it with weedblock it is being filled by mostly trimmings and grass clippings and amazed me at the rate it matured even .though it's in full sun. I've been using my nose to tell how much garbage to add . If funky I stop with the garbage .after all I didn't want to start a landfill lol
Some ?? for more experienced "composters."
Would assume no animal parts or fats??
Was going to add earthworm but there are already a gazillion there Good sign??
Palm fronds I have fronds that are well over two years old and are still quite solid even though I cut them into small pieces.
Last Probably not a good idea to dig in it with your bare hands ?? Not all bacteria are good lol
One more "weeds" obviously have setup an ideal seed bed .Solarize?? if so won't that stop bacteriall activity as well?? Didn't mean to hijack your thred but certainly on the same subject gary

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 6:30AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

I agree about chicken/poultry manure being excellent for composting. I also use rabbit manure but alot of the rabbit manure I use in vermicomposting as well.
My plants really love it and grow lush and flower like crazy:
Even satisfies those greedy fertilizer hogs like brugmansia as shown below.

Edible garden is usually pretty happy as well with all the compost. I hardy fertilize at all.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 12:03PM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

Gary I would not put fats or meat products into the compost. I add shredded junk mail, newpaper, and cardboard, grass clippings, leaves, as well as anything the chickens don't get, plus eggshells which add calcium..Banana leaves add potassium etc. You can get spent coffee grounds from Starbucks by the bag full. The earthworms really love coffee grounds and the added paper.
If you are finding certain things are not breaking down that fast then maybe not add as much of those.
I also add wood ashes and sawdust in smaller amounts from time to time from dh wood working projects lol.
I am not obsessed with turning the piles...I do it when I think about it...maybe 1-2 times per week.

We used pallets that we got free off craigslist to build two composting units in two separate places in the yard. They probably get part sun. Then we have the two vermicompost bins that we built under the rabbit hutches from instructions I found online.

If you don't have livestock, sometimes Craigslist has ads for free or cheap manure. They will even sometimes load up your truck or also, I have seen that they will have it in 50# feedsacks ready to go. This is usually much cheaper than buying Black Cow at HD.
You might also check with your local Feed Store to see if they know anywhere you can get manure cheap or free. They may let you post a sign in their store. Our feed store allows people to post signs.

If the weather (by some miracle in FL) is really dry for awhile, it may be beneficial to hose down your compost piles once in a while. The moisture helps the breakdown process. Normally I don't do this unless its been really dry because it rains or we get a lot of moisture from dew etc. My vermicompost bins under the rabbit hutches do get hosed down once per week because they are under a metal roof and don't get dew or rain on them.

I do not use dog, cat or meat eating animal manure to compost.
Rabbit and goat manure can be used straight without being composted. There may be other kinds that can be used that way as well. Most benefit from being composted down a bit.
Some plants are also more tolerant than others to fresher manure without burning. IF in doubt compost it down all the way. It seems to compost very quickly here in FL especially once you get worms in there.

I wanted to add that pine chips and hay are good as well. I use fine pine chips in my chicken coops and in their nest boxes. They all get raked out with the manure and added to the compost. Extra hay gets into the rabbit vermicompost that drops down through the wire from their hutch from their nest boxes and what they eat. There is probably some alfalfa pellets in there as well lol.

This post was edited by sultry_jasmine_night on Wed, Jan 22, 14 at 12:52

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 12:26PM
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all good questions. i dont normally turn mine when i had one. i just let it go slow. big stuff should go in the center where most heat is. i put the big stuff on bottom and just add to it. worms are great. in fact they sell red wigglers for inside compost bins. if you smother weeds with newspaper of cardboard it wont hurt the bacteria or ground, just kill the weeds and most times their seeds. the palmetto bugs love wet paper. most newspaper can be composted as they 99% of the time use soy based ink. i have a printing company and all my ink is soy now. it was like an OSHA mandate or something. newsprint changed first.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 1:51PM
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judyk_2008(9 DeLeon Sprs)

I have all sorts of bins and barrels I use, but my favorites are old garbage cans with the bottoms cut off. I fill them up with everything but meat scraps. When one's full I move to the next and just let them sit. After a while when I need compost, I just tip the oldest one enough to get what I need from the bottom. Nice and black rich compost.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 2:46PM
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i was going to use garbage cans, but then i would have to buy some. i am making some bins out of some pallets i have here. slow process right now, but it`s still cold outside anyway.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 3:22PM
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