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Organic Gardening: I think I have reached compost nirvana!

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Forum: Organic GardeningReplies: 8, Views: 198
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Savannah, GA

December 25, 2011
7:35 AM

Post #8942251

I collect bags of leaves during leaf season, I spread some along my back fence, behind the chicken pen, and leave some in bags. I also fill my main garden area (5 long raised beds) with leaves, a few feet deep.

I mix leaves, grass, chicken poo, and kitchen scraps in a wire hoop. I add amoniam nitrate fertilizer if I don't have enough nitrogens. I continue to add stuff up to a certain depth. Usually at about 4 to 6 months I quit adding stuff and let it sit and finish.

Before it gets to that point I keep adding stuff, and I fluff it with my rack or something, as best I can. Much of the chicken poo comes out of their pen and has sand sticking to it. This small bit of sand has made a differance in my compost, it eventually sinks to the bottom of the pile and makes my finished product more complete or something. I think it helps hold the moisture or something. I have a more finished product in less time.

Now I'm adding rock dust so I'll have even better compost! Right now I'm at a standstill so all I can do is admire it and write about it on forums. I'm going to take pics later of my dirt and compost, others can join me!
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

December 25, 2011
7:45 AM

Post #8942256

You are not alone in your love of compost, not even on Christmas Day. I just finished putting our asparagus patch to sleep for the winter and used our compost to dress each section about 3 to 4" deep with it. It's hard to beat eating asparagus I pick 15 minutes before we eat it.

We have six large compost bins and here's the compost: you can spot part of the bed in the background.

Thumbnail by pirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

December 25, 2011
2:44 PM

Post #8942501

truely only die hard gardeners could work on..and write on their compost!!! :)
my soil is close to froze now.. but ive been collecting coffee grounds..and banana peels for
composting next spring..i also have a source for rabbit manure during the winter so i collect
around 5or 6 big bags a month now thru may..which has always been enough for my composting.. sold on using leaves too.. this yr..i got over 300 bags ..they are all mowed down..and dug into
the vegy garden..into open flower gardens.and i have a big pile that will be used next spring/summer for
my compost piles..
only we gardeners can get that excited about that.. heheehhe :) its good stuff !!!
merry christmas to ya all..
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

December 25, 2011
3:34 PM

Post #8942534

tropical - our former doctor neighbors used to dig a huge wide pit in their large (for Long Island) vegetable garden and bury their leaves each year.

I love coffee grounds used as a soil conditioner for spots with heavier soil than I'd like. I've even tested the grounds with a pH meter and they are not acid as one might assume.

All the eggshells, grapefruit rinds, banana peels, etc. go into one of two bins we have in the garage and kitchen and we save it for the compost. It's not always easy to visit the compost piles if we have too much snow cover. Often it has turned to a sludge form of compost by the time it makes it to the actual compost bins. Extra mown grass and leaves are in bags waiting to be put on top of any household waste.

Using it makes my heart sing!

Thumbnail by pirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.


Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

December 29, 2011
8:10 AM

Post #8946476

Our compost bin stays active year-round. We keep one going all the time, and it amazes me how we can keep adding stuff but it never gets full.

When I need to add finished compost to our raised beds, I have hubby remove the upper level of unfinished compost to start another pile. Then we just add more stuff to the "new" pile and keep going until I need more finished compost. We do this about every six months or so.

In the meantime, earthworms break down all the leaves scattered around our back yard. I take up the wom castings each spring and fall and add them to the raised beds along with the finished compost.

The best dirt is FREE!
Ffld County, CT
(Zone 6b)

January 19, 2012
2:43 PM

Post #8974606

Wow, Pirl, that is some nice-looking compost! Sweet!

I just came in from empyting my counter-top bucket. My compost piles are are frozen for the first time this year, but since there's no snow yet we've been able to keep adding to them.

Have a small covered square rubbermaid-type bin on the back porch for winter use in case of snow blocakge, and discovered in about August that it had never been emptied from last winter. Yuck. Way past Pirl's "sludge form" lol, but hey, still a form of compost, right? Held my nose and dumped it in the pile. And lesson learned - I'll be checking that little bucket on a weekly basis this winter - and spring, lol!

(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

January 19, 2012
2:55 PM

Post #8974619

You did the right thing, Dee. Sometimes it's snow or horrid winds that keeps us away from the compost piles but add what you've saved when you can. Yes, it does stink in a little container but at least adding it to the compost is a quick fix for your nose.


Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

January 21, 2012
8:25 AM

Post #8976396

We keep a small, lidded container on the kitchen counter which hubby dumps into the compost bin several times a week. This time of the year it's mostly filled with egg shells, banana peels, and tea bags. I never think of this as garbage, but rather as "future food" LOL
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

January 21, 2012
8:30 AM

Post #8976402

It's true. It's organic and it's nature's black gold.

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