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Science Forum

  1. Standard member ua41
    Sharp Edge
    05 Mar '10 19:06
    So as summer is coming around for the northern hemisphere, I wanted to do something nice for the yard. I know you can pretty much toss any plant material into a heap of dirt, expose to sun, keep it a bit moist, but I wanted to know if there are ways to dedicate for specific things.
    Like, I'd like to know what I can do to make a heap for the grass and a heap for the vegetables. Would there be a difference, or could I use the same composting pile? What precautions should I use (chemical balance? and how?)?
    Accounts from experience preferable. Don't mind articles, just as long as zeeble doesn't link me to wikipedia
  2. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    05 Mar '10 23:34
    Originally posted by ua41
    So as summer is coming around for the northern hemisphere, I wanted to do something nice for the yard. I know you can pretty much toss any plant material into a heap of dirt, expose to sun, keep it a bit moist, but I wanted to know if there are ways to dedicate for specific things.
    Like, I'd like to know what I can do to make a heap for the grass and a heap fo ...[text shortened]... ience preferable. Don't mind articles, just as long as zeeble doesn't link me to wikipedia
    No difference between grass and veggies. There is a difference in human manure and veggie though. So don't poop in the compost pile I think you better get cracking though, it takes a few months to get a nice pile going. I dug a pit in the back yard and did a layer of garbage, a thin layer of dirt, another layer of garbage, etc., then covered it up with about a foot of dirt, then watered the hell out of it. Water it every now and then. It worked for me. People go to extremes, I heard of a huge drum affair they would turn every few days like a big clothes dryer, tumbled the stuff around and had air holes and such. I guess it works a bit faster that way but mine did pretty well just sitting in the ground. You can get special bacteria mixes at nurseries, you would have to call a few I reckon, but that also speeds up the process. The same bacteria are already present in the ground but at lower concentrations so it just takes a bit longer to catch hold. Still works though.
  3. 06 Mar '10 04:29
    Originally posted by ua41
    So as summer is coming around for the northern hemisphere, I wanted to do something nice for the yard. I know you can pretty much toss any plant material into a heap of dirt, expose to sun, keep it a bit moist, but I wanted to know if there are ways to dedicate for specific things.
    Like, I'd like to know what I can do to make a heap for the grass and a heap fo ...[text shortened]... ience preferable. Don't mind articles, just as long as zeeble doesn't link me to wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokashi_composting
  4. 06 Mar '10 04:29
    HAH!
  5. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    06 Mar '10 11:21 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by ua41
    So as summer is coming around for the northern hemisphere, I wanted to do something nice for the yard. I know you can pretty much toss any plant material into a heap of dirt, expose to sun, keep it a bit moist, but I wanted to know if there are ways to dedicate for specific things.
    Like, I'd like to know what I can do to make a heap for the grass and a heap fo ...[text shortened]... ience preferable. Don't mind articles, just as long as zeeble doesn't link me to wikipedia
    based on a British climate

    1. Keep the compost heap dry ie cover with polythene sheet.
    2. Go easy on the grass clippings (too wet).
    3. Ensure air flow from sides and turn regularly (otherwise you get anaerobic activity and end up with a stinky slush like you would find in a stagnant pond)
    4. Keep it warm - a piece of old carpet on top is ideal - and preferably in the sun.
    5. Lastly try a cup of pee at the start - apparently it acts as an 'initiator'.

    Good Luck

    edit: when I say dry I mean dont let the rain at it ... the compost itself should be slightly damp!
  6. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    06 Mar '10 16:14
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    based on a [b]British climate

    1. Keep the compost heap dry ie cover with polythene sheet.
    2. Go easy on the grass clippings (too wet).
    3. Ensure air flow from sides and turn regularly (otherwise you get anaerobic activity and end up with a stinky slush like you would find in a stagnant pond)
    4. Keep it warm - a piece of old carpet on top ...[text shortened]... when I say dry I mean dont let the rain at it ... the compost itself should be slightly damp![/b]
    We live in a high rain area ourselves and I never encountered this goo problem you describe. I watered the gunk which was laid basically in a pit dug in the ground and just let nature take its course, a few months later I had some really nice black loam and I used grass clippings also.
  7. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    06 Mar '10 18:20 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    We live in a high rain area ourselves and I never encountered this goo problem you describe. I watered the gunk which was laid basically in a pit dug in the ground and just let nature take its course, a few months later I had some really nice black loam and I used grass clippings also.
    You must have good drainage if you composted in a pit, I've always had Thames valley clay to contend with. :-(

    However you will be losing water-soluble nutrients every time it rains ... the bottom of that pit must be fertile!

    grass clippings are ok in moderation or else dry them first before adding to compost. shredded neswpaper can help too!
  8. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    06 Mar '10 18:51
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    You must have good drainage if you composted in a pit, I've always had Thames valley clay to contend with. :-(

    However you will be losing water-soluble nutrients every time it rains ... the bottom of that pit must be fertile!

    grass clippings are ok in moderation or else dry them first before adding to compost. shredded neswpaper can help too!
    Well sure, we dig up everything and put it in a wheelbarrow and wheel it out to the garden, nice black stuff.
  9. 08 Mar '10 02:02
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    You must have good drainage if you composted in a pit, I've always had Thames valley clay to contend with. :-(

    However you will be losing water-soluble nutrients every time it rains ... the bottom of that pit must be fertile!

    grass clippings are ok in moderation or else dry them first before adding to compost. shredded neswpaper can help too!
    what's your avatar? a grape pizza?
  10. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    09 Mar '10 14:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    what's your avatar? a grape pizza?
    Thinking of using it for the next version of your Obama-halo?
  11. 11 Mar '10 02:59
    no, i'm kind of wondering what it would taste like.