Compost Pile Advice

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Hi everyone. I am a novice gardener and first time homeowner who has a question about composting. I have a corner in my backyard that I have used to dump grass clipping, leaves, and small twigs for the better part of the year. Now that spring has sprung, I walked to that corner of the yard expecting to find some black gold that I can use on my rose and vegetable garden. But what I found instead, was a bunch of stinky wet leaves that were blackened, but not fully decomposed. Now I figure that everything is in the process of decomposing, but I thought that I would have had more by now. So here are my questions:
1. I am generally lazy, so will the compost pile still decompose if I don't go out and turn it? Or is turning it a must? 2. Are there any additives I can add that will naturally speed the decomposition process? I remember hearing on TV that bone meal can be sprinkled on the pile in between layers, but I wasn't sure if that did anything. 3. Are grass and leaves enough variety to get a good pile going? Again, I am lazy, so saving and bringing food scraps out to the back of the yard is really a bummer. :)
Thanks for your input!
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On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 12:54:35 -0700 (PDT),

http://journeytoforever.org/compost.html
http://www.howtocompost.org/cat_generalinfo.asp
http://www.compostguide.com /
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/kleberg/Composting.html
http://compost.css.cornell.edu/Composting_homepage.html
http://www.soilfoodweb.com/03_about_us/approach.html
http://www.homestead.org/Gardening/Ruth%20Stout%20-%20The%20No-Dig%20Duchess.htm
Should tell ya' what ya' need to know.
Care Charlie
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Nope! I don't want you and Don all over me butt about this! :-) I just figgered that since the OP seemed to be ...something....about their laziness, I sure as hell wasn't gonna spoonfeed 'em. They can learn a little about what they need to know by ...... study! Gardening, even minimalist methods sometimes require a bit of sweat equity. Maybe someone else will get some good out of the links I've collected, and discovered, here in the last year or so.

I got's lots of opinions..but on this, I don't know. Don't most anthelmintics work systemically? Or do they act directly in the gut upon the parasites?
If the latter is the case, then I would wonder also about doing damage in the worm farm.
We'll await ideas from Lee.
Sliocht sleachta ar shliocht bhur sleachta Charlie
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Charlie wrote in wrote:

most are systemic, even the ones given orally. i give the llamas & goats the shots though, mostly because that way they get *into* the animal instead if all over me (and i'm more worried about menengial worms in the brain/spinal cord than gut worms). i'm not sure if they would affect earthworms anyway. did you know that there are no native earthworms in the US? they're all imported. lee
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wrote:

;-) I've found that quite a few different breeds of critter aren't all that keen on being drenched or balled or pilled. The last broad spec cat wormer I got is available as a transdermal, like frontline , etc. Much more pleasant for both the cat and I.

I didn't know that about earthworms until sometime in the last year a caught a bit about it on Discovery or NGS. Imported in the rootballs of native plants from Britain and Europe. I found fascinating, as I woudl have assumed earthworms to be a part of soil worldwide. That import seems to have worked out well for us, unlike some others. They really spread fast, eh?
Thanks for the wormer thoughts. I tend to agree with your thinking about toxicity to earthworms, different type of "worm" and likely to be diluted by the time, and after, it gets composted.
Charlie
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That's a load of crap, Billy! ;-)
Charlie
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wrote:

Please, evacuate this thread...<g>
Dark Energy
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wrote:

When it moves it good. When it don't it backs up. Life moves.
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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What? Is everyone gettin' turd of the banter already? :-)
Charlie
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On Tue, 18 Mar 2008 17:27:01 -0500, Charlie wrote:

I perceive it empties into a descending colon...
Dark Energy
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(snipped)

I used to think that too, but have changed my idea. Here's a quote from http://www.nrri.umn.edu/worms/action/FAQ_sheet.pdf .
There are over 100 species of native North American earthworms in unglaciated areas such as the southeastern U.S. and the Pacific Northwest. However, native species have either been too slow to move northwards on their own or they are not able to survive Minnesota's harch climate.
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ah, so it's only us northerners that have no native worms (due to glaciers)? and the southern worms choose not to adapt to cold climate, so we have the imported European worms. makes sense. lee
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On Tue, 18 Mar 2008 09:52:03 -0600, "Andrew Ostrander"

Fortunately for the earthworms, once global warming* really gets going,, conditions in Minnesota and northwards will be much more benign for the little darlings, if not for us...
* Yes, Mr. President, I know it's only a fiction concocted by those pinko commie environmentalists.
Dark Energy
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Top 'o the mawrnin' to ya, BillyBoyo!
Moderation, me old friend, all in moderation now.
Only three pints last night. One in the stew and two in me.
Fad saol agat ("Long life to you.") Charlie
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ct.net.au:

Guiness isn't my favorite to drink, but i did toss a bottle into the corned beef & cabbage yesterday. it was pretty good. the corned beef was eye of round instead of the standard brisket. i bought Tom a bottle of Bushnell's 21 year old Whisky for St.Patrick's day, but i didn't try any (yet). it smells really good though.
lee
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well, rarely. bottled draught is just *wrong* :) i don't think i've ever seen the XX Export Stout. it might not be sold in NH. because we have state run liqour stores/sales, it costs brewers/wineries $1000 per *label* to get their product sold here. that eliminates a lot of microbreweries & even limits what the larger places will sell here.

but Bushnell's has been around longer than the Troubles... and Jameson is made with malted & unmalted barley and is part of a large conglomerate. (that said, there's some Jameson's in the basement too)

ah, well, not being much of a drinker has saved my soul ;)
lee <wants a still>
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I have 10 horses that are given a parasite paste quarterly. This will control all sorts of parasitic worms and insect lavae (eg bot flies). A horse weighing 500 kg (half a ton) gets about 30 g (1 oz) of paste. It produces 20-30kg (30-50lb) of manure a day in multiple piles. So that's 1 oz in about 3-4 tons of manure over the period. I am guessing that by the time you collect it up and leave it to compost the active ingredients would be very diluted and at least partially or maybe fully decomposed. Obviously if you pick up the pile the day after worming and apply it straight away your result will be different.
I wish that I could give a definitive answer but the only way you will know for sure is if somebody analyses the compost heap. I use much rotted horse manure from these animals and my garden has excellent wormage. I think on balance the added organic material does more for the worms than any harm of toxins.
David
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wrote:

Not sure on the worming reaction, but I try to not use horse manure because it festers tons of weed seeds. If I do use horse manure from a barn stal which is mixed with the pine bedding or hay bedding I let it sit for about five heat cycles after turning it to kill the weed seeds.
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On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 12:54:35 -0700 (PDT),

You do need to turn the pile about three times a year and your ration of grass clippings to leaves may be off. Clippings (nitrogen source), or green matter should comprise between 10 and 20 percent of the pile, the rest should be leaves (carbon source).
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It will eventually rot down but if you want compost, you must turn it.

The most important additive is the introduction of air by turning it. The other important additive is nitrogen which can come from the grass clippings but also from such simple things as urine or some form of nitrogenous fertiliser.

Yes, but you must get the carbon/nitrogen ratios right. Most of us don't so give it a hand or just let things rot as you are doing.

The easiest thing to do with food scraps to improve your soil is to simply bury them. this can result in animals digging them up so whether you do so or not depends on your situation.
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