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Hey, would this work? Weird composting idea.

Posted by drasaid zone 9 (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 20, 01 at 17:07

Hi. I was just reading about making a gardening column out of cardbourd, chicken wire, soil, rocks, and a pipe or shipping tube. (In case you missed this, one fills an existing stiff tube with pebbles. Then one lays down a big sheet of cardbourd, and rolls it around the tube leaving a four inch gap in between. Standing it up (presumably with posts holding it in place, in its permanent location) one wraps it with chicken wire and fastens that well about, then one dumps soil into the gap between the cardboard and the tube; once the soil is pretty solid one deftly removes the tube. This give you a nice easily irrigated column which one should then pierce where one wants small plants to go, such as tomato or herb.
Whew! That was involved, but neccessary for you to understand my idea. I don't have a composter, but I want to do it; unfortunatly my sister hates the idea of a composter. I was wondering, would it be a bad idea to make a planter with a pierced irrigation column in the middle and instead of using rocks to trickle the water through to the various holes, simply stick compost in there? Keep it filled up with leaves mixed with kichen waste, and topped with leaves (or a rock) except when watering? Essentially this would be watering though trash but the soil should help there, and maybe it would be better nutrients for my plants. I would be interested if anyone thinks this is an idea worth trying. Feel free to shoot it down, that's why I put it up.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hey, would this work? Weird composting idea.

sounds like a plan but what keeps the "column" from sifting through the chicken wire after the outside layer of cardboard decomposes?


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RE: Hey, would this work? Weird composting idea.

Well, if I have a correct picture of this in my head, why could you not put chicken wire around the outside tube? Does this make sense? Maybe it would help contain the growing medium when the cardboard started softening (which it invariably will). Is the purpose of this to save space? Sounds like an interesting idea to me, but I think I would stick with the pebbles in the inner tube rather than filling with compost. It seems the irrigation would be better, especially if there is any appreciable height to the planter.


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RE: Hey, would this work? Weird composting idea.

What's going to keep your compost from getting "hot"? The plant roots won't appreciate it.


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Woo! Good input! Here is the original site for the chicken wire i

http://journeytoforever.org/edu_cardboard.html#column
The other stuff on the site is way cool too. I am a little worried about the compost going "hot" on me; this will be in New Orleans and it gets hot no matter what you do let alone encouraging it with monocelluler activity. Maybe I'll just make it a dry compost with less kitchen waste. I'm still pondering.


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RE: Hey, would this work? Weird composting idea.

I'm late getting into this discussion, but I've seen short articles on using composting right in the actively-growing garden: Make a circular enclosure of chicken wire or hardware cloth (wire mesh), roughly as tall as it is wide to keep it stable (no cardboard), then fill it gradually with compost materials. As soon as you get the wire circle in place, plant a circle of tomatoes or squashes around the outside of the compost circle. Water the compost periodically, & the nutrients leach into the root areas of the plants, & the plant roots will also grow toward the source of nutrition.

As long as the wire circle isn't very big (more than 24"?), how hot is the compost likely to get? I have trouble getting my larger pile hot ENOUGH.

Sue


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RE: Hey, would this work? Weird composting idea.

Drasaid: I don't have any comment on your idea, but if you want to compost without any visual piles, you might try "pit composting". Dig a hole, dump in your scraps, cover back with the dirt. It is very simple and there will be no piles for anyone to object to and it breaks down quickly according to people who use the method.

Lisa


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RE: Hey, would this work? Weird composting idea.

Highly recommend reading No Dig, No Weed Garden. Sorry, authors name not at hand. Has an interesting and much less labor intensive method that would accomplish the same, using an ordinary bulb planter and easily obtained mulch.


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RE: Hey, would this work? Weird composting idea.

For those of you interested, here is a site that has some excellent photos of how to build one of these.
http://flickr.com/photos/bp/sets/103649/

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Column


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RE: Hey, would this work? Weird composting idea.

I have seen something similar. Picture a round chickenwire compost bin, then a second round wire bin (smaller wire, more like what rabbit cages are made out of) with a larger diameter around the compost bin. Soil in the outer circle, and plants planted as the soil is added, and the stems of the plants brought out through the outer wire cage, with an additional layer of plants planted in the top part of the outer circle.

Makes sense?

Moni


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