Compost is decomposed organic material, which can be used as a fertilizer and soil amendment.

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Closed bin compost collecting water at the bottom

I have a closed-bin compost bin (because of location/equipment, I don't have anything open and I can't tolerate the smell). My compost is almost entirely greens, now black and rotting (I didn't put ...
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Compost pile and bugs (2 questions)

First insect question: When I turned our compost pile yesterday, there was a lot of very rich smelling black soil, semi composted vegetables/plant/oak leaf matter, and a LOT of pill bugs. My wife ...
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Effectiveness of Using Wood Chips (a la “Back to Eden”) as a garden mulch/covering?

This year I revamped about half of my garden space using the biodynamic method found in John Jeavon's material. I now have the other half and after seeing the Back to Eden film I am really intrigued ...
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Should I compost bindweed leaves?

I have cleared a lot of bindweed from various parts of my garden. I'd like to keep it better controlled from now on. I have read that it's a good idea not to compost the roots, because they'll ...
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Does a compost heap benefit from being on clear soil vs solid ground?

I have a spot picked out for a compost heap but it is currently bricked. Is there any benefit to waiting till I can clear it or should I start composting right away?
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Small orange blobs on surface of compost

This is my first time making compost and after a month or so I've been starting to see these small orange blobs on the surface of my compost about a week after the first couple fairies' bonnets ...
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Ash OR Composting?

I am wondering what is the most efficient use of my garden waste. Is it: make compost out of my garden waste and feed it back into the garden? make bio-briquettes out of my garden waste and feed ...
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166 views

Can you put corn cobs in a compost bin?

Can you put corn cobs in a compost bin? They seem hard and tough, wondering if they'll break down. I assume that the husk will be just like any other green substance like grass?
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Are teabags okay in a compost bin?

I'm considering putting teabags into my compost bin but I'm not sure about the bag itself breaking down. Do I need to tear open each bag and only put the tea leaves in the bin or are the whole intact ...
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Do I need to line my wooden compost bin?

I've made a compost bin out of old scaffold boards - approx 80cm x 80cm square (say 30 inches). It has four sides, with no top and no bottom and it's sitting directly on soil. I've read that compost ...
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Adding dirt/soil to a compost bin?

Reading multiple entries here and a few others onlne, I have noticed people writing about using dirt/soil in their compost piles/heaps/bins. I had never heard of putting either dirt or soil in a ...
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“Composting” Temperature(s)

I'm doing soil improvement work in Santa Fe, NM. I've dug down ~24" in an area ca. 2'x 6', creating an empty pit sort of like digging a grave and mixing back in the native dirt in ~4-6" layers with ...
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Hot composting dock roots

I've spent several weeks hand-digging out dock and other obnoxious weeds from our pastures. There's a couple cubic yards of it now in the back of the pickup. I was considering hot-composting this in ...
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Adding clay soil to compost

I just started composting (again). I added a bunch of greens to a big bin, and then I added some soil. In the meanwhile, I was uprooting a bunch of grass for a vegetable bed, and without thinking, I ...
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51 views

Composting in Madison, WI : Sun or Shade

I have been researching(googling) weather to keep my Earthmachines composting bin in the sun or shade. I've read that keeping in the sun hastens the process, but tends to dry out the mix. I live in ...
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Composting large amount of loose tea

I recently acquired an Earthmachines composting bin and was wondering if the bin could withstand large amounts of loose tea. We drink lots of tea made from loose tea and it can end up as much kitchen ...
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411 views

How much nitrogen per bale in a straw bale garden?

I recently read a NY Times article about straw bale gardening. It says that you should add about 2 1/2 cups of 20% N fertilizer or three pounds of blood meal and feather meal per bale. Add water, wait ...
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277 views

Should a compost bin have a roof?

I am building a compost bin and it will be built right on the ground. But is it better with or without a roof? and why? Also does the location change the answer? Lot of rain, snow, etc Thanks
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Is it safe to grow vegetable bushes like Tomato and Chili Peppers on an Active Compost?

I have a 2 months old compost and there are still undecomposed greens in it, and I also have propagated some varieties of Capsicum cultivars & Tomato cultivars and they are getting bigger that ...
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Leafiest Tropical Tree

I currently live in tropical country Philippines and I would like to plant or graft the most leafiest tree serving 2 purpose; first to have a better shade, like I said we live in a tropical climate ...
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Strange things in my purchased manure / algae / compost-mix - unusable?

Three months ago I bought an (20kg pack) organic compost mix of (horse-)manure/algae/compost. In addition it states "naturally moist". I used some part of it and I put it, loosely closed, in a dry but ...
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Is it safe to add compostable plastics to my compost pile?

A couple stores I frequent now use, or are starting to use, plastic bags and cups that say they're compostable. Are these safe to add to my compost pile or are they just more environmentally friendly ...
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What is the difference between compost and soil?

This question has been asked many times on the net and the information provided is unreliable and mostly wrong. What I am aiming to understand is what is lacking in compost that we can't just add it ...
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Compost has larva or maggots?

Inside of my compost which is only like five gallons I see hundreds of maggots or larvae. Is there a way I can dissect them and tell which species they are? I see some reports online that Black ...
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Composting Equine Pine and Rabbit Manure

My wife raises show rabbits, and about a year ago we switched to stacking cages with trays instead of hanging cages. (We switched to an insulted building in order to run an AC window unit due to heat ...
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Meshed-hole Direct Composting design - please comment, suggest changes, advise

I've been putting some worms in my raised beds and feeding them the fresher kitchen scraps. I'm starting to run out of spots to place the food, so for the next bed I build I want to put in ...
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Should I stop adding fruit and vegetable seeds to my compost

I put all my fruit and vegatable scraps in my compost including seeds. This spring is my first time adding my own compost to my garden. Now all those seeds are germinating. I got a good chuckle but ...
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Compost Bin Full - Turning vs. Layer of Browns on Top

I have a small open compost bin, it's now full with layers of brown and green. I read somewhere that I need to turn it occasionally (weekly is ideal), and that I need to keep a 1-4" layer of browns ...
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How should I avoid pests in an open compost bin

I am starting composting. I have a pot (basically, a huge knee-high pot) that I want to use; it doesn't have much in the way of aeration holes, but it's open on top. Two concerns I have are: Open ...
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Balcony composting - suggestions for trapped rainwater

I have an apartment with a balcony - the flooring of the balcony is a lot of wood boards. My compost bin is a big plastic recycling bin which I have perforated with an awl and rubber hammer on the ...
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Is it possible to do my own extensive soil/organic matter testing?

I've read the posts on soil testing, and I realize it's cheap and widely available through local universities, etc. Question: Is it possible to do my own soil testing? Are there some compounds that ...
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How can I make a soiless mix for raised beds?

We are making numerous raised beds and have been playing around with various combinations of bagged garden soil, compost, etc. to fill them but this method is both expensive and providing less than ...
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What should I do with some volunteer potatoes growing in my compost pile?

I have two or three potato plants growing in my compost pile. I'm pretty sure they are some red potatoes I tossed after they got too old. I bought them from a local organic produce store. The ...
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Can I put a compost pile under a tree?

The most convenient spot for my new compost pile happens to be under a young apple tree. I would put it there, but I have a few questions first. Will I be able to make successful compost in heavy ...
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Safe to use Chicken Manure in my compost?

I was talking to someone about adding chicken manure to my compost and they said that I shouldn't do it because it's dangerous. I had assumed that as long as I let is compost for 6 months to a year ...
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Should I return dead houseplant leaves to the pot?

I have a hippeastrum which is about 4 years old. When the flowers and leaves die, I've been cutting them off and putting them back into the pot on top of the soil. This is in the hope that they rot ...
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Can these non-food items be composted?

I've seen discussions here and elsewhere, about composting news paper, cardboard, etc. But I'm wondering what considerations to consider when composting some specific non-food items. Some of the ...
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How much compost should I add to a clay soil for roses?

A few months ago I removed a lot of over grown shrubs; the soil is clay based topsoil on top of solid clay. The top soil is about one spade deep. I don’t think the garden has had any compost for ...
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521 views

Is there a way to compost these spruce needles?

I have a pile of about 4 bushels of spruce needles, and want to use them. Is there a way to compost them to use on garden plants? Do I have to add lime or ashes or other alkaline material? I know I ...
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What are good sources for large quantities of “greens” for my compost?

I have a compost pile that has a lot of "browns" in it, dead leaves and wood shavings mostly. Can anyone recommend sources for large quantities of "greens"? I've been putting in my kitchen scraps but ...
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Should peanut shells be composted?

I have read that one shouldn't compost nuts or peanut butter because of their high oil and fat content. I am wondering if the same thing goes for peanut shells? I have a lot of peanut shells and I ...
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778 views

Should my compost bin be on or off the ground?

I recently made a compost bin. I simply drilled a bunch of holes on all sides of a plastic bin and was ready to go. I have been using it for a while now with it sitting flat on the ground. Should I be ...
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How is compost made in the kitchen?

I just made this small compost container but I'm not certain how to use it. Should I just put the scraps in there and "let it do its thing" or are there other steps needed?
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871 views

Can I compost peanut butter (pros and cons)?

I recently wondered if I could compost peanut butter. I would assume it is fine since it is an organic material. If you can compost it, what are the pros and cons to doing so? Is there anything else I ...
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607 views

How much soil do I need on top of my hugelkultur beds?

I'm building a bunch of hugelkultur beds from the blowdowns, branches, trimmings, and sticks we have scattered around the property. This weekend I built a 20' long, 5' wide, 2-3' high pile of (mostly ...
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How many coffee grounds are too many coffee grounds for composting?

I have a pretty steady access to about 4 pots of coffee worth of coffee grounds each day. I have heard coffee grounds are great for a compost pile, but I am wondering how much is too much? Is there a ...
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How long does it take for the compost to ripen?

I’ve got a compost bin (a big plastic box with air holes) that’s used by two or three families. We have been putting kitchen scraps and stuff into the composter for about a year now (mostly ...
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Can I put coffee filters into my compost?

I've heard that coffee grounds are a good "green"(nitrogen rich) to put in your compost, but I was wondering if I could throw the filter in there as well? They are the standard "accordion side" white ...
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Is there an easier way to aerate my compost besides turning it?

I want to be a good composter, but turning my pile is backbreaking work. I was looking through a gardening magazine today and I saw a contraption that was basically a three foot long pole that had ...
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Adding horse manure that has a lot of wood shavings to my compost?

If I am going to add horse manure that has a lot of wood shavings to my compost should I do anything special to make sure everything decomposes well?