Hot answers tagged

24

Why do you have to buy compost resources? Are you not able to make it yourself? You need greens and browns, microbes will enter the process for free. There are many posts about how to make compost, for example here. If you have space for compost heaps I would just start gathering greens and browns yourself.


24

The way i was taught composting is, fence off a piece of soil, and just chuck stuff in. Nature will do the rest. Worms, bacteria, insects will do all the needed eating of biggies, sugars, etc.. and convert it to sweet stuff for plants. Dig it up, mash it around once a week to properly mix everything and you have a nice compost stewing. Stuff will decompose ...


21

No, in your lifetime, normal amounts of pine needles will not measurably acidify your soil. They are somewhat acidic, and acidify soil over long periods of time, unless the soil base is extremely alkaline. They don't acidify soil more than other deciduous tree leaves, and oak leaves in particular (they have a pH of 4.5 to 4.7). Rain does leach the acid out, ...


21

Absolutely no worry at all. Moldy vegetables are already in the process of decomposition. Make sure you turn your compost regularly, moisten when necessary and add nitrogen. There used to be a kitty litter made from alfalfa pellets. SUPER nitrogen source and cheap. NO MEAT, no poop from omnivores or carnivores only herbivores, mix green stuff and ...


18

Moss is just fine in your compost! Moss is one of the great opportunists in the plant world. Moss is not hurting your lawn. The presence of moss is telling us your lawn is not vigorous enough, you are watering too often and too shallowly, you are probably mowing too short and you've possibly got shade involved. The cool thing about moss is that if there ...


16

I think in general, most people stick to using produce scraps, tea leaves and coffee grounds for their pile. There are a few concerns with other types of scraps: Some scraps will attract vermin (meat, dairy, fats, breads, processed foods) Some scraps could carry pathogens that are unlikely to be killed during the composting process (meats, food from the ...


15

Pumpkins are easy to compost. If they were used for crafts/decoration, it's possible that they contain inorganic matter such as paint, ribbon, candle wax, plastic twine, foil, etc. Make sure all such material (if any) is removed. The seeds will survive all but the hottest compost heaps, and can be a nuisance later. I don't usually worry about it, and pull ...


14

I wouldn't worry too much about what exactly you've got. If you've got larvae inside your compost, they're eating your compost, which is what you want. The problem will be when they mature and you have a bunch of flies. Your first proposal is good -- add paper, dry leaves, sawdust/wood shavings, or other carbon-containing materials. I wouldn't add anything ...


14

What's done is done, but in future years, as others suggest, collect up the leaves and compost them separately, either in a contained heap or in binliner bags with holes in the bottom. Leaves should be wet, crammed in a binliner, the tops tied shut, holes poked in the bottom, then left in a corner somewhere to rot down over a year or so, by which time they ...


13

You don't need to purchase microbes in order to compost stuff (the purchased products look like they're just supposed to speed up the process). Microbes are naturally on the vegetable scraps you put in the compost, in the air, in the soil, and all over other stuff. If there were no microbes, the food wouldn't rot. Just look up how to compost stuff online. I'...


13

30 cm is absolutely not deep enough to deter the rats. They easily dig that deep to get to food. Regular Chicken Wire is neither strong enough or is woven small enough to keep them out. Try to google "Rat Mesh", and you will find wire mesh made for keeping rats out. Take it seriously, you do NOT want rats near your house.


12

Sawdust for Composting First I would make sure the wood has not been chemically treated. Check a cross section of the wood for the distinctive ring of green color around the first half inch or so. If it has been chemically treated, it will contain chemicals like arsenic, chromium, and copper — not suitable for composting. Make sure sawdust (and other carbon-...


12

Everything that you can eat or is a discard from what you eat (vegetable/fruit) can go into the compost heap. It's what worms eat. And it's way more than OK so long as it doesn't make the heap so wet it goes anaerobic. The important parts are getting the CN ratio correct so that bacteria thrive, and having the contents just moist enough that aerobic ...


12

I watched the entire video out of curiosity. This is a classic case of someone with a little knowledge but some name recognition seeing a real problem and coming up with some incorrect conclusions. If the name of the talk was "A foolproof composting method for people who have trouble composting" I think it could have been useful to some. My guess is that ...


12

No, it's not going to make your radishes inedible, toxic or taste funny. I agree they look like Coprinus of some variety, and Coprinus are edible, though I wouldn't recommend eating them without a definite ID. Regarding the radishes you're growing, bear in mind that, although you can see the mushrooms right now, they are only the fruiting body of underground ...


12

My personal experience is a bit different than what @Bamboo indicates, but I'm not trying to get there by adding kitchen scraps, either. Once upon a time I rented a chipper - it was an overall miserable experience since dis-assembling a pile that was not stacked specifically with chipping in mind is a slow, tedious process, and chippers can be fussy (the ...


12

If you have enough, try using them for mulch on a pathway. They last a long time, are a durable mulch, and make a lovely sound. In the Northwest US you can actually purchase bags of hazelnut shells to use on your pathways.


11

If the cobs are left whole it will take a long time for them to break down but if you aren't concerned about that and want to just do the easiest thing, just toss them in and eventually they'll break down. To speed that up, you'll need to increase the surface area of the cob material. You could chop them up a bit and that would help speed things along. I'...


11

I agree with Organic's answer about the ratio of materials in a compost pile. The trouble is, you're adding stuff whenever you've got it, like most of us do, and most instructions for 'efficient' composting are expecting you to have quantities of so called browns and greens all at once, and mixing them together all at once, then turning regularly, without ...


11

If you can't have a compost heap, you can direct compost by digging down at least six inches into open ground, burying the kitchen scraps (not cooked food or meat), then covering back up with the soil. However, this isn't really possible in a pot - the scraps would be inserted amongst the plant roots, and every time you want to add a scrap or two, you'll be ...


10

As with any complex systems, there are no universally accepted definitions, so let's see the differences from this points of view: soil a) = naturally occurring granular covering on the surface of Earth, capable of supporting life soil b) = substrat plants are growing from compost = partially decomposed organic matter, human-made fertilizer and soil ...


10

These are mycelium, and perfectly normal in "live" compost. The top was exposed to air, so it dried out. The white may be a fungus growing on the surface. Slugs like damp places, especially where there's stuff they can eat. It does not seem "strange" to me that you'd find one in a bag of "naturally moist" compost (i.e. slug food) that has been left to sit ...


10

Dry leaves should be shredded first as otherwise they might form an impenetrable mat in your compost pile. If you don't have a shredder, it's easiest to just collect a pile of leaves and run the lawn mower over it a few times. This provides the "browns" or high carbon material for your pile. Composting uses bacteria to break down the organic material. ...


10

I think we are looking at wood pellets, the kind used for pellet stoves. I use these same pellets for horse bedding, they are wonderful. They are also used to compost solid sewage for those self contained composting toilets. Yes, could be bedding for small animals, too, or cat boxes. For my horses, I would poke a hole in a bag and fill it with water from ...


10

I wouldn't worry about it - when you use the compost, if you see any bits of plastic, I'd pick them out, but it's not going to make your compost toxic or prevent the composting process from taking place, nor is it going to poison anything you use the compost for. I probably don't need to say, though, it would be best not to do it again!


10

I sort of agree with both the answers you've been given, but essentially, no, turning the compost pile does not slow down decomposition over time. It is perceived wisdom that turning a compost heap regularly will mean that the resulting compost is ready much quicker, and will be suitable for use in potting soil mixes because the heat generated in a turned ...


10

I've had rats living in my allotment compost bins for years; we try to ignore each other. My bin is made of pallets so is hard to make rat-proof. A plastic bin should be more secure, except for the open bottom - the obvious weak point for rats to enter. I don't know if 30cm is deep enough to deter rats, they're tenacious little sods. Personally, I'd be ...


9

I suspect the answer is still no, they're not suitable for your compost heap. There is currently a programme in action at Imperial College in London which is making good progress on producing plastic bags and the like made from degradable polymer, which should be compostable. However, most 'biodegradable' plastic bags currently are polylactide based, and ...


9

We throw them in whole. I've yet to see a tea bag survive the composting process intact. They're a worm attractant like coffee grounds and kitchen waste. The bacteria and fungi in an established composting operation will attack just about anything. I had a piece of ground cloth get into the heap about three years ago. It keeps reappearing in the sieved ...


9

It really matters what kind of wood chips you're trying to use. The wrong sort can doom your gardening project. Wood Chips, Sawdust and Bark Chips Wood chips and sawdust from large diameter limbs, trunks and Evergreen trees kind of suck the nitrogen out of any environment they're used in. Their Carbon/Nitrogen ratio can run from 400:1 to 750:1. It has to ...


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