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Compost on clay.....

Batesburg, SC(Zone 8a)

Yesterday was the day to till the garden. We had pulled the sweet potatoes, and the neighbor had used his harrow to clean it out and help us on the back corner. The resulting virgin soil in the back, very very deficient.
So, it was also time to turn the compost bins onto the garden. What a difference.

Thumbnail by moxies_garden
Virginia Beach, VA

Looks good and keep adding.

Belle

Batesburg, SC(Zone 8a)

We used up all of this years compost piles. Two huge ones....5 foot diameter.
After DH tilled the garden, you can barely tell it is in there. We just didn't have enough to add to the new back corner garden. It will be getting green manure for winter.

Thumbnail by moxies_garden
Virginia Beach, VA

Be careful with manure, unless it is composted and gotten to a certain temperature to kill the weeds you will have tons of weeds. It is better to pile it somewhere and use it fall of 2012. Does it make sense?--Belle

Batesburg, SC(Zone 8a)

Well, I just worded it wrong. These 2 compost piles have been composting since we set them up, last summer. I only pull the old rotted stuff from the bottoms of them. Anything new on top, or identifiable, goes back into the pile for next season. I love making compost..and have been doing them since 1990. Leaves, grass, kitchen produce scraps....the good stuff. DH was very impressed with the whole concept, as he had never done one before. As for me, I love that good, crumbly, black soil I get to give back to the earth, when it is finished.
I don't add bunches of manure. Don't have access to great quantities of manure. As it is, I have to take my small rake, and 5 gallon buckets across the road and go along the fence line to gather manure. It has finally gotten cooled down enough to bother with it. All that manure will go in the compost piles we are making for this winter. New stuff, leaves, manure, kitchen scraps, anything compostable.
This is the garden now, after tilling, and hilling.

Thumbnail by moxies_garden
Virginia Beach, VA

Okay it looks nice. i love composting too and been doing it for years. I do not waste anything everything goes and now has 3 big trash containers for stale bread, kitchen scraps etc etc including stuff from from the freezer. You are doing a good job!! If only more compost and garden we would have plenty to eat and share!!

Belle

Batesburg, SC(Zone 8a)

Hey belle! I put everyting i can that is compostable in the bin, but not bread. The chickens love the bread, and think I am spoiling them. We didn't see any earthworms though when we broke open the 2 compost bins on Saturday. There has been no rain here for weeks, and we think they must have found another damp spot back in the woods behind us. We did find 4 grubs though, and the newer bin had rolly poly's in it.

Virginia Beach, VA

You can buy worms on Ebay and not too much $$$. It is worth the investment!!!
Belle

Batesburg, SC(Zone 8a)

Sweetie brings me home fishing worms once in a while. When we moved here, we had bunches of them, but the place way very overgrown anyway. Now, after we trimmed, cut, weed whacked, mowed, etc....they have all went into hiding. We have several place that are inches deep in worm castings though. I have a good idea where they like to hang out, and they could be at or near the 2 septic tanks..or even under the house.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

This is so helpfull.We have been here 4 years
We have a black compost box but dont make enough compost for as much space as we need it on perennial gardens,the property doesnt allow for any other bins for household compost.
. We garden on stones and clay and need to amend everything we put into the gound.
We also realize there are places that had farm waste ( grease,oil,who knows) dumped.
We are spreading composted leafmold from our town,this season. This is given free to residents,we pay someone to bring it to our driveway.
This year approx 10 yards.
I have added this forum to my list,as composting is easy but there are always new bits of info that come up.
This is our compost pile for thisyear.

Thumbnail by ge1836
Batesburg, SC(Zone 8a)

Oh ge1836- That pile of compost is sooo beautiful!!!! I could almost drool. I don't know how many square yards we got from our two bins....but it was all worth the effort.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Compost is so much cheaper than fert.
I do fert lilies and JI's but for the rest of the plants its good old compost.
Plants will forgive any type of miss planting if they have some compost for company in the hole.

Batesburg, SC(Zone 8a)

I was just out front transplanting some day lilies. I have a small round garden for flowers, but the soil is almost 100% sand up there. I added alot of organics to it last October, but digging in it just now, I can barely tell. I am thinking, I will have to completely remove what is in there, and replace it with organic and composted material. With perhaps a water permeable bottom under neath it all. Maybe 18" down. The only thing left from planting in it a year ago....is lily turf. I will be putting a small sago palm in the center of it. I hope it will tolerate that spot better.

Thumbnail by moxies_garden
Batesburg, SC(Zone 8a)

podster-Harbor Freight..or however it's spelled. I think the pump itself was 69$, and DH picked up some fittings to be able to add the water hoses.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Couple of pix of garden all tucked in for the winter

Thumbnail by ge1836
Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Day Lily garden w/ bear

This message was edited Sep 21, 2011 8:59 AM

Thumbnail by ge1836
Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Looking good, moxies!

Our electric company has tree-trimming crews working around here a lot, keeping branches trimmed back from the power lines. One of the trucks pulls a big chipper behind on a trailer, and that blows wood chips into the dump truck that's hauling it. I don't know where they normally go to dump the chips when the truck is full, but when I see them nearby I always ask if they'll dump it on our place. They've always been happy to.

The thing is, these chips are from green, live trees and leaves. Just dumped into a pile on the ground they make lightweight black compost in less than a year and that's been a great addition to my garden. I do watch and ask where they've been working, as I don't want any walnut in the compost.

Batesburg, SC(Zone 8a)

I'll have to remember that. Sometimes, hard to remember to see the forest for the trees.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Neat idea.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Well done moxie
I feel sure the worms will come right back when they find what they like. I can't seem to predict when I'll have worms and when not.

Beautiful, ge

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I kind of think that worms like the interface between compost and clay for some reason. Where my compost pile leans against my clay pile, I sometimes see little worm tunnels weaving between the two.

??

Now I try to put the compost heap where the "juices" if any will drip into my worst clay.

Corey

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

The leaf compost I spread last week is really warm. There are coreopsis and Brunellas emerging.
Temps today will be in the 50's so its close to constant cold weather for us.

Batesburg, SC(Zone 8a)

Speaking of compost....I seriously need to get the new ones started. They are both standing there empty...as we used the finished compost on the garden. it was nice and black...not totally broken down, but good enough. We have also rec'd over 4" of rain this past week. I took the opportunity to transplant.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Someone asked about manure here.
I had gotten a load of ' scrapings from the floor of run in shed, in other words, an open shed that he hrses use for shelter, and poo in once in a while, and that dries out, and evry year or two they scrape out the poo ey dirt. Anyway, I spread it in many places early in summer. No weeds over the summer. Now suddenly, there is grass sprouting, fine thin blades. I suspect some cool season weedy grass is all thru it.

Batesburg, SC(Zone 8a)

Anything green is compost material. Lol so, if it grows, and I have to mow it, I will bag it and toss it in. Now, the manure, I will need to get my wellies on, get my small fork rake, and a 5 gallon bucket. Have to cross the street to get that. I can get as much as I can grab, from between the fence wires.
And now, with fall a falling...I can get the "brown" for the compost piles too. I need to get back outside, and set up the bottoms of the piles. They need sticks and twigs..for aeration and drainage. After that, it is all produce scraps, egg shells, clippings, manure, etc...as acquired. I think mine turned out pretty well. Now to see if the added compost will help the garden soil. It seemed to already. The texture is much improved from last winter when we sowed our first winter crop.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Sally--

Because you know of what I speak--what do you think if I dug in some chicken coop stuff in my raised bed
that Richardson Farms sells by the bag-full. It is the bedding they clean out now and then...
Used to cost $3 a bag a few years ago--now it goes for $6.
Seems some people suggested that I had Tomato problems b/c of lack of Nitrogen. Would this fix it?
I am really, really trying to amend the soil in this bed--as the one I started with was not so great.
I DO now have about 4 bags of 2-year old chipped leaf compost. Should be great!
BUT--I will have to remove some of the soil. May spread it on my Yuk Bed...It always needs help.....
Also--I have 3 buckets-full of coffee grinds from my 7-Eleven. COME HERE!!! Worms!!! C'Mon!

I do not have hardly enough compost to do anything with, except dig some into each planting hole next season.

A young man, who lives across the street from me, said he would be glad to build me my compost bin
to go at the end of my raised bed. It will not be any bigger than 4'x4'. Small! Com,pared to others that have
oodles of space to have "open" compost piles....I an jealous! I live in a development....

For those that have NO clue what i am talking about--here is a picture of my newly built (spring of this year) raised bed.
The open end on the right is where i would like to build my compost bin.
I talked to my neighbor--and said that IF he can think of a way to have the base of the compost bin raised off the ground--
so no tree roots will find their way up in it, that would be great....
He works for a Co. that installs HAV units and said they do that all the time....
As it is now--I have been dumping all the feeder roots I dig up from my maple in this spot.
Adding some twigs will help to aerate the bottom---until the roots start growing an any of the compost
that will dribble down through the slatted floor.

OK! here is the bed! Sally--you have already seen this a zillion times....

Gita

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Here is all the space I have for the compost bin.
The edging of the bed to the right could be moved about 6"--no more.

Slim pickins!!!!

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

I've been adding to my garden soil in a way that some "experts" say is wrong, but I think it's right.

This wouldn't apply to many here, but I do a lot of fishing and bring a lot of fish home. I'd read several places that it's not good to add uncomposted material directly to garden soil because that depletes nitrogen and so forth. Also, plant materials break down better in a compost pile with a combination of "greens" and "browns" working. So for several years I buried fresh fish heads and parts in my compost pile instead of in the garden.

I quit doing that this year, and started burying fish directly in the garden again, away from the roots of any plants. One reason is that my garden is fenced and the compost pile isn't - so neighborhood dogs dig fish parts out of the compost pile. The other reason is that I've noticed fish parts break down so fast in the soil that composting isn't necessary. Maybe because the water content is so high - I've found that buried fish turn into a pocket of rich, black soil in just a few weeks. Those rich pockets get spread around the garden when I plow and till.

Based on experience, I think fish parts are an exception to the rule about not adding directly to the soil - and the Indians were onto something.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Native Americans put small fish in the holes when they planted corn.
How could it hurt?

Virginia Beach, VA

There was a long thread about spot composting.
I do bury seafood too Ozark.Luckily we have a fenced yard and dogs are not permitted to roam around or else the pound will get them with a huge fee.

Belle

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Leash Laws are a boon to gardeners.

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

The only downside - our grandkids have learned not to go barefoot in the garden. Catfish spikes survive the process and go into the soil, and they're still sharp!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Ozark-
Fish IS a Nitrogen source, 'green' material so the depletion rule does not apply.

Gita, whenever you take the veggies out will be a fine time to add chcken manure and/ or the leaves, and let them mellow for the winter.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Sally---

The veggies have been yanked out for over a month already. I have ONE
diehard tomato that is hanging to the ground after growing over the 6' fence
and still cranking out maters...It is the latger "Sun Gold" cherry tomato.

I already dug the bed over once--and--already found a couple tree roots in there. bummer!

I will have to remove some of the soil from this bed to make room for all the ammendments.
I'll just throw it on my Yuk bed...Anything helps there...

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