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Soil and Composting: My Homemade Fertilizer - Is It OK??

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Forum: Soil and CompostingReplies: 2, Views: 63
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Des Plaines, IL
(Zone 5b)

August 12, 2010
3:37 PM

Post #8036095

Is it OK to save compostable food things, such as coffee grounds (lots) and vegetable peelings (some) in a box in the freezer (so it doesn't stink) until I get a box full, then blend it all up with some water so it's sort of a sludge, THEN put it in a bucket with water - ratio about 4:1 with water being 4 - and use it to water/feed my plants?

I did this once last week because I have so many issues making compost: space, materials at hand for the right ratio of carb to nitro, etc. It's very easy but now I'm thinking it could burn the plants. They seem OK, though.

As a subquestion to the above, is it OK to add dry dog and cat foot to the above mixture? I read somewhere that folks put it in their compost bin to speed up decomposition.

Thanks for any feedback you can give!


Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

August 14, 2010
11:33 AM

Post #8039491

Second question first - cat food is much higher in protein (= nitrogen) than dog food. Both are ok in small quantities if 1) you don't have varmints that will eat the cat/dog food and 2) if you are using some food you don't need. A comment is that the animal shelters need that food more than your plants do.

First question now - freezing and then mixing with water and using is not going to burn the plants - not much nitrogen. It's a good way to get the compost process going as the stuff, when thawed, is already somewhat broken down. ( I'd mix in a little water before I freeze the material if you have the room, but you don't have to). I think ( but don't know) that the use of this material as a way to water your plants is going to leave some messy stuff on top of the ground and a lot of fruit flies may show up to see what's going on. Seems to me that your process is almost as much trouble as regular composting. Regular means (to me) putting vegetative food scraps in my compost pile behind my garage. With coffee grounds and banana peels and broccoli stalks, etc, it wont be long before a crew of earth worms will arrive- ready to do all the hard work for you. Good luck.
Des Plaines, IL
(Zone 5b)

August 14, 2010
12:14 PM

Post #8039535

Thanks, PB! The dry cat and dog food are leftovers from my two pets - oh, I would never buy it just for compost! It actually doesn't look messy on the ground because it's mostly coffee grounds and that is mixed/shredded completely with the other stuff.

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