Questions tagged [compost]

Compost is organic material which has undergone decomposition by microorganisms and is used as a soil amendment.

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40
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5answers
12k views

How often do you need to turn the compost heap?

If you have a compost heap, how often should you turn it? Does it make a difference if it's a simple heap (a mound on the ground) or in a tumbler? Alternately, is it even necessary to turn the heap?
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1answer
30 views

How to check quality of vermicompost?

I know it must be really hard without proper equipment to check the quality of vermicompost, but is there, still, another way to test the quality? To me, this doesn't look like vermicompost at all. ...
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1answer
53 views

How to use worm castings indoors?

My wife and I have a worm compost pile in our workshop that processes a few pounds of food waste a week. Up until now, it has been used in outdoor gardens. Now I am starting some indoor plant gardens ...
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1answer
52 views

Heavy wet clayey soil - grit, sand or perlite?

I live in a rented house with a garden in North East of England. Last year I attempted to create a small bed for growing herbs and some vegetables but the soil appears to be very clayey and wet all ...
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2answers
101 views

do wood chips insulate better for cold than heat?

I noticed that my wood chip compost pile that I never turned has ice still about 1" below the surface, so that got me to wonder if wood chips are better cold insulators than heat insulators.
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6answers
3k views

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 ...
8
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6answers
4k views

What can be done with hazelnut shells?

I've found a lot of empty and broken hazelnut shells lying under huge hazelnut shrub. (Most of them were eaten by squirrels but some have worm holes). Is it safe to use them for composting (maybe ...
2
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1answer
60 views

Is this some kind of moss?

When I took the lid off of a large container of my composted soil that I had stored in the garage, I found this! Small whitish little balls all over the top of the soil and growing up the side of the ...
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1answer
35 views

How to root basil cuttings without putting them in water?

I tried several times to multiple my basil using the cutting method, however they don't root and rot everytime, even if I put a piece of charcoal in the container fil with water. So, is there other ...
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2answers
1k views

How can I break up drywall without damaging my soil?

I have heavy clay soil. I just discovered that drywall is compostable, and possibly good for certain types of soil (like heavy clay). I can break it into sufficiently small pieces with a hammer, but ...
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1answer
28 views

How long should I leave potted roots to rot down before reusing the soil?

I have a number of pots I grew tomatoes and cucumbers in through the he summer. These have now died off but I want to reuse the soil (mixing it with compost etc to get nutrients back) for other plants....
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5answers
13k views

What procedure should I follow to compost bones, fat, and rotten cooked food?

I have read that composting things like bones and fat should be avoided as it can get smelly and attract pests. However, I expect that there are a lot of nutrients that I am wasting if I threw these ...
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2answers
59 views

Could one grow mushrooms on processed food waste?

I'm wondering if the processed food waste (PFW) output of an electric composter, like this one, could be used to grow (oyster) mushrooms on? The PFW is supposedly sterile, so the idea is to lightly ...
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11answers
30k views

Should I have added dead leaves directly to my garden?

With all the fallen leaves that were on our field I picked them up with my lawnmower with the pouch and them put that in my garden and worked the rototiller afterwards. I thought it would be good for ...
9
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8answers
5k views

What is the best way to compost a large pile of leaves with minimal effort?

Where we live you have to bag your leaves. We have about ¼ acre and lots of trees, so it's really impractical to bag all of those leaves. I was thinking of simply making a big pile and trying ...
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2answers
40 views

Seeds That Grow in Decomposing Scraps

Are there any seeds that will tolerate growing in decomposing scraps of food? My city collects organic waste, but I thought I'd try to put it to use myself. I have a can of sweetened red bean paste ...
7
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2answers
1k views

What studies / evidence is there that Bokashi tea actually has extra nutritions for plants?

So I've recently started bokashi bucket composting and I'm really enjoying it as it's an easy way to compost indoors. The bokashi bucket also provides bokashi tea every couple of days and lots of ...
10
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5answers
4k views

Rat proofing compost bin but allowing worms in

I've found a rat this morning in my compost bin :-(. It burrowed into in. It's a small compost bin with solid plastic sides, a lid with an open bottom. In retrospect it was a potential rat haven. It ...
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3answers
81 views

Cooked rice and peanut shells?

Some background: I’m a beginner gardener (and that’s being generous) with a rooftop and a balcony, so everything I grow, if it survives, is in planters and pots. But I know almost nothing about ...
15
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7answers
5k views

Is there a way to avoid the recurring cost of microbes when composting at home?

I am planning to start a terrace garden and to generate compost for it. I found two sellers Seller1 and Seller2 in my city. Seller1 has "patented microbes" and Seller2 has microbes, saw dust, dry ...
3
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2answers
84 views

Can the bacteria in compost bin be dangerous for kids?

During the process of composting, is it dangerous for kids to play with? I mean to say is it okay if a child plays close to a compost heap or touches the material with their bare hands? I heard about ...
9
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1answer
2k views

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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1answer
88 views

Small white worms in the garden compost

It's been a couple of weeks that I've started to recycle our kitchen scraps (vegetables, fruits, coffee grounds, paper towels) in our garden. I've been reading various instructions over the internet ...
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2answers
42 views

Are my compost bin bugs ‘good’?

I have a closed compost bin and when I took the lid of today to put something in it I noticed lots of bugs, a bit like flattened wood lice... I am just wondering if they are good for the compost bin ...
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1answer
55 views

Can I put mealybug-infested kale in my compost?

I have a huge infestation of mealybugs in my kale. Am I able to compost these plants or will I risk contamination?
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2answers
893 views

Which is preferred: worm castings or worm casting tea?

I was just wondering, for fast results in plants, which would you prefer: applying worm castings on the top soil or using worm casting tea, and why?
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1answer
34 views

Making emulsion out of slaughterhouse waste

I have previously made fish emulsion to fertilize a small greywater garden; pretty much sealing fish waste (entrails, bones, skin) into oxygen-free plastic containers and leaving it for 6 months to a ...
14
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8answers
13k views

Is spent cat litter an appropriate source of nitrogen for compost?

Is spent cat litter an appropriate source of nitrogen for compost? The cat litter used is made of recycled paper pellets so is rich in carbon. It doesn't contain the cat faeces because that is fished ...
16
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4answers
12k views

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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0answers
24 views

Can you easily see mycelium when it's conquering territory?

In my stropharia rugosoannulata mycelium piles I tried looking for some mycelium when digging, but it was undetectable. Why was I unable to detect the mycelium with just my eyes?
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1answer
55 views

Moldy apple core in potted plant

Put an apple core in the pot with my plant and now it’s getting moldy and the mold is spreading to the soil. Will the mold hurt my plant? Or is this all part of the composting process?
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7answers
4k views

Why is dumping kitchen waste (like peels of a potato) in a potted plant a bad idea?

I've heard that dumping kitchen waste, like rinds of potatoes, cucumbers, gourds, onions, etc. is a bad idea. Why it is a bad idea? And if I dig that type of kitchen waste an inch or so in the soil ...
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1answer
25 views

Why do compost piles warm from the outside in during the springtime?

I started moving my composting wood chips this spring, and noticed that the middle of the pile is still frozen, but the outside is workable, why is that? I can tell you that when we had no snow on ...
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4answers
25k views

How do I compost a large pile of branches and heavy shrub clippings?

This Spring, I pruned all my shrubs and pulled out a few pine stumps. My first thought was just to pile them all up on their own. I have never had good luck trying to compost such material with the ...
19
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5answers
38k views

Should I add water to my compost heap?

I have a 1m x 1m x 0.6m compost heap. I was turning the heap yesterday and was surprised to find that most of the heap hadn't really decomposed, and was in fact quite dry. Should I be regularly ...
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2answers
99 views

What is the difference between replacing soil and amending soil?

I came across this article and I find that it goes against everything that's said about soil amendment before planting. I've copied bits of it down below. You are planting a new tree, and you want ...
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5answers
24k views

Ant colony in my compost bin: are they beneficial?

I've got a smallish black plastic compost bin in my garden and I recently noticed that an ant colony has taken up residence. This has happened a couple of times in the past, but they tend to move on ...
9
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4answers
786 views

How can I compost oak leaves and sawdust?

I have the enviable problem of having several (6 or 7) cubic yards of both oak leaves and oak sawdust from having logged off and making cabinet lumber from many oak trees that once grew where our ...
4
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2answers
142 views

Can the filter papers in coffee K-pods be used for composting?

I already know it's a lot of trouble to remove them for composting, but does anyone know if the paper filters inside the K-pods are actually biodegradable? We no longer use the old fashioned coffee ...
3
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2answers
55 views

Burying large amounts of burgen

I need to dispose of a very large amount of Burgan (kunzea/tea trees) that I am removing from a part of a rural property it took over and is posing a fire danger. The current pile is about 3x3x10 ...
3
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1answer
56 views

Can I throw a plant that has white flies into the compost pile?

I have a bunch of dead leaves from a plant that has white flies. Can I use them for compost?
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1answer
39 views

Fresh cowdung and baggase in lasagna gardening

I am an apartment balcony gardener. I have access to a lot of fresh cowdung and baggase. However, I have no place to dry it or let it mature properly. I could dry it in my little balcony but the smell ...
2
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2answers
53 views

Bury Rodents Compost

Is it safe to bury a rat, approx 12" deep in my vegetable garden? I grow tomatoes, cilantro & peppers. Does it pose any health hazard?
3
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2answers
83 views

Is composting just stacking organic waste together?

I read a few sites, http://decompose.co and how to compost and a few other sites is it really that complicated? Is there anything else I need to learn?
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2answers
97 views

Is just adding a new soil layer on top of existing soil good for creating a new plant bed?

I want to create a small area (2 square meters) for new plants and/or seedlings. I need to raise a level in that area a little (for overall garden design purposes), and I plan just to put 30cm / 1ft ...
2
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2answers
115 views

Which kitchen and garden scraps can be scattered on a vegetable garden soil?

I'm trying to make the switch to adding natural instead of synthetic fertilizer to my vegetable garden (and stop tilling while I'm at it). Besides compost, I'm curious whether I could use some kitchen ...
4
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3answers
6k views

Does anyone know the reason potatoes should not be added to the compost pile?

There is a list of at least 13 things that do not go into the compost pile. Most I know and understand. I just found a list that included potatoes. Potatoes do what to a pile of compost? Feces, ...
3
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2answers
395 views

Is it sensible to do composting in a grow bag or pot which already has plants planted in it?

I've taken a half liter soft drink bottle, cut off the bottom portion of it and created holes at the bottom and created top-vents like the ventilation that pipe composting needs. The blue arrows ...
3
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1answer
71 views

Do I need to throw away my compost if it has had a mouse living in it?

I found a mouse in my compost a little while ago. Whilst the mouse doesn't seem to be there any more, I have been told that I should throw away this compost as the mouse could have brought some ...
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1answer
42 views

Would a Jean Pain heater work well for heating in a USDA Zone 4A?

I'm considering digging a 300' (distance to the compost pile) trench 2 ways to heat constantly on a closed system as it's cheaper/easier to get a pile of wood chips than split wood. Would a wood chip ...

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