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

If you manage your compost pile perfectly, it will heat up and kill the seeds. I've never managed my pile perfectly and there are always some seeds. Occasionally it's a happy thing -- last year we got a bunch of pumpkins from volunteer plants. Often it's a real pain: raspberry seeds left over from making jam are terrible; we don't put raspberry leftovers ...


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 ...


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 ...


16

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 ...


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

Yes, peanut shells are a fine high-carbon addition to your compost pile. Adding peanut shells to your compost will probably tend to dry it out, so make sure you either add water or use enough high-moisture ingredients (e.g. most kitchen scraps or coffee grounds). Also, if you're lacking in high-nitrogen ingredients, then they will take longer to compost.


14

As for paper, this has come up before a few times. There is also a lot of very old (decades old) advice hanging around - passed by word of mouth mainly. Basically inks are far better now than they were even 10 years ago. Also consider the quantities - even a few sheets of "bad" paper are not going to harm things - but half a ton of glossy mags with high ...


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

Ants in compost heaps usually means the heap's too dry. The absence of obvious brandlings and other worms should confirm that. Add water and continue turning it.


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

Yes, peanut shells can be compostable, but be sure that there is no salt on them. Often peanut shells have been salted, and these should not be added to compost because the salt will stay in the soil and damage plants.


12

After a bit of googling, it looks like coffee grounds are close to neutral pH, so I wouldn't worry about acidity there. If you have too much "browns" and not enough "greens", you could take a different approach: instead of adding your dead leaves to the compost pile, make a dedicated leaf mold pile. This will take a long time (up to two years) to break down,...


12

Not really, an indoor plant does not have the same ecosystem in the soil that an outdoor plant does. Hopefully you do not have worms, slugs and snails in the soil of your plant. These are the agents of recycling outside. You are better off to pick up the dead stuff and apply a dilute fertilizer to replace the nutrients lost.


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 ...


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

Organic probably isn't well-correlated with whether the potatoes are carrying any disease or not. This is the primary reason that you want good potato seed stock, whether conventional or organic. I've grown my own organic potatoes and had them get full of blight, but was still able to harvest some edible potatoes. While they were edible (and probably would ...


11

It sounds like your compost isn't breaking down all the way. Compost has to heat up and stay hot to kill seeds, and you need a full cubic yard or the pile won't really ever heat up. Even then, only the inside heats up -- you have to turn it periodically so that the compost on the outside moves to the inside where it can heat up, too. Our community compost ...


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

Yes, heavy shade is fine. In fact, it may be better, because the pile will dry out slower. The compost and its leachates will be good for the tree. I don't know about apples in particular, but the tree will grow roots up into the compost, and you'll need to keep cutting them. On balance, it still should be good for the tree. It's a minor nuisance. Don't ...


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