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24 votes

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

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

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 ...
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21 votes
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Does a pine needle mulch make your soil acidic?

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 ...
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21 votes
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Is it OK to put moldy fruits and vegetables in the compost heap?

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 ...
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18 votes
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What can I use the removed moss from my lawn for?

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 ...
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17 votes
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Do's and Don't's for a backyard compost?

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,...
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15 votes
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Is it possible to recycle a Jack-o'-lantern into compost?

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 ...
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13 votes

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

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 ...
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13 votes

Rat proofing compost bin but allowing worms in

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 "...
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12 votes
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Is Mike McGrath correct when he says vegetable scraps shouldn't be added to compost?

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 ...
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12 votes

Is Mike McGrath correct when he says vegetable scraps shouldn't be added to compost?

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. ...
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12 votes
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Is this mushroom going to make my black radish taste weird or be poisonous?

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

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....
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12 votes

Can I compost a large brush pile?

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 ...
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12 votes
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What can be done with hazelnut shells?

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 ...
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11 votes
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How can I tell if my compost is ready

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' ...
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11 votes
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Garden Bin full of decomposed grass... is this compost? Can I apply it to the dead patches of my lawn?

It's not compost, it's anaerobic liquid sludge, likely with a very high excess nitrogen content which is presenting itself as a horrible ammonia smell. You've got two choices - you can either add lots ...
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10 votes

Putting fruit tree branches in compost

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 ...
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10 votes

What is this compost ingredient that looks like light colored pellets and crushes easily?

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 ...
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10 votes
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Accidentally added plastic to compost

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 ...
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10 votes
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Would turning the compost actually slow down compost decomposition?

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 ...
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  • 129k
10 votes

Rat proofing compost bin but allowing worms in

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 ...
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9 votes
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What can I do with unripe tomatoes when prepping a bed for winter?

If the tomatoes have any red on them, you can set them out on the counter or a windowsill and they may still ripen. If they are all green, your best bet is to use them for fried green tomatoes or ...
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9 votes

How to Keep Compost "Hot" in Winter?

To keep compost hot, you need nitrogen content so leafy green materials need to be added to maintain the bacterial activity that gives off heat. If you live in a Maritime or Southern climate where ...
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9 votes
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How to Keep Compost "Hot" in Winter?

Practically speaking, a home compost pile is pretty much going to be stagnant through serious winter if your kitchen waste, etc is what's feeding it. I see the likely issue you'll have with "mostly ...
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9 votes
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How do I make compost?

There are many many resources on the internet but you seem to have the ingredients necessary to start the process. I would follow these basic steps (1) take some dry woody branches and lay them down ...
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9 votes

How to speed up composting of large amounts of leaves inside plastic bags?

The enemy of composting in winter is the cold temperature. Composting requires the correct temperature to allow the progression of bacteriae (psychrophilic, mesophilic, and then thermophilic) to ...
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9 votes
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Is this an acceptable way to use green waste on plants?

What "someone" told you is correct. Basically, you are giving unwanted visitors like slugs, snails, and rodents a free lunch with no benefit to your plants. The only benefit to the plants, ...
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8 votes
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Can I add commercial roses to my compost pile?

To answer your first question, I'm not sure what kind of chemicals store bought roses are usually treated with. Short answer: a lot. These flowers (especially when they're roses) don't really have ...
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