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Soil and Composting: Composting plants and rootballs

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Forum: Soil and CompostingReplies: 5, Views: 48
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Plantmum6
American Canyon, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 10, 2011
5:54 PM

Post #8486018

Hello.

I work at a nursery and I recently decided to start filling a rolling cart with plants that are being tossed out. Most of these will be smaller plants from 6 packs and 4 inch pots. Alot of soil and roots will be in there, more than the actual plants material. Will this eventually break down if I turn it and moisten it once in awhile? I can potentially bring home ALOT of material, like daily. In the fall we will have all the leaves too. I just found a source for organic rabbit manure, would adding this to the pile help it along? I guess I am just worried that all the soil and roots in there will impede the pile from heating up?

Thanks for any advice! We just moved to the home I grew up on...love it, but it is 1/2 acre of pure hard clay. I am going to need LOTS of compost and manure over the years!

PuddlePirate
North Ridgeville, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 11, 2011
1:23 AM

Post #8486710

Short answer is "no problemo!" Here's what I do: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=7850832

I rotate compost locations to save my back, and because I'm lazy. Three years of composting w/o turning will handily decompose any root balls.

If you want hot compost, your odds of success go up the more finely shredded/chopped/ground your raw materials are. Rabbit poo is fantastic for hot composting.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

April 11, 2011
5:13 AM

Post #8486888

I agree no problem-- want to add that stuff from 6 packs and 4 inch pots will not take all three years to break down;( I don't think PP was trying to imply that, but didn't want you to think you're in for three years of waiting )

If you let those baby rootballs dry out you could crumble them and use right away.
Plantmum6
American Canyon, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 11, 2011
6:27 AM

Post #8487109

Thanks to both of you!

Good idea about chopping up up the stuff, and leaving it to dry out first! I hear you on the back Puddle, mine has been getting worse this past year...

I am so excited! I have one compost bin and I just signed up for a compost class through the city that gets me another bin. Also, someone gave me a stacking worm composter. I am going to get that out soon and get it going. I think the kids would love that!
PuddlePirate
North Ridgeville, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 11, 2011
6:58 AM

Post #8487238

Plantmum6, you'll find a lot of good composting info here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/957317/

Just remember that you needn't get all technical & scientific about composting if you don't want to. Everything that was once alive will rot eventually. :)

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 11, 2011
4:12 PM

Post #8488431

Plantmum6 - If it were me, I'd separate the soil from the roots/plants, and throw the latter into the compost. The soil I would set aside and add to the garden next time I had something to plant.

Rabbit manure would be a fantastic addition to a compost pile.

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