do groundhogs eat compost

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We recently bought a 90 gal capacity compost bin from Costco http://tinyurl.com/2uxbnd
We live in the country. Something (we figure groundhogs) are eating our compost.
Now we say when we empty our uncooked vegetable scraps, "Wonder how much they ate today."
Discouraged. Dee Dee
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They aren't eating compost per say; they are eating the vegetable scraps you are putting in the compost pile/bin. One way that worked for me to solve the veggie scavenger problem...I'd put my scraps in a blender and make "soup" to pour on the pile. This works two fold. The scraps break down faster and there isn't large enough morsels for the scavengers to be interested in. Then the only time I'd find digging ( I had opened compost piles, not bins) going on was when the critters who liked bugs and fat worms would dig in the pile for an easy nosh.
How is this animal getting into that bin? I thought they were designed to keep the critters out.
Val

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Huh....once again something very simple has escaped me. Thanks for the idea.
Charlie
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On Sun, 20 Apr 2008 09:06:03 -0700 (PDT), Dee Dee

Sometimes an animal will get into the compost. I dig a 1 foot hole on top of the compost heap and drop in a bucket of kitchen scraps. Covered, the compost will eat most of this in a day or two. During that time it is subject to varmint attack. An occasional animal disturbance is okay and perhaps helpful. You could put a screen or hardware cloth/chicken wire over the top. The only way I could effectively stop a groundhog is with an electric fence. Apparently, beating them over the head with a shovel handle doesn't work well. "Coons and possums can be problematic in these parts." Most animals won't eat compost, rather the varmints are eating the same thing as the compost itself.
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Phisherman said:

Well, you were applying the wrong end of the shovel. The business end of a shovel or hoe can work wonders.
I once hit a small groundhog just in front of the eyes with a hand-weeder like the Smith & Hawkins one pictured on this page:
http://www.taunton.com/finegardening/pages/g00078.asp
This was before I put in the electric fence and the groundhog and I ran into each other while I was quietly weeding.
One good adrenaline-charged blow and it was over.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

After enlightenment, the laundry.
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Baltimore County prohibits composting food scraps outdoors, instead recommending indoor worm bins so as not to attract vermin. You'll also end up with a much higher quality compost in 1/4 of the time.
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Worm bins rock!
Since moving to a 3rd floor home with now only a balcony garden, compost bins aren't viable for me. I've had a worm bin under my kitchen sink for several years and it works like a charm. It was easy and inexpensive to make, doesn't smell, gives me great top dressing for my plants and 'worm tea' to mix in the water for plant watering. The only problem I have, even though my bin is relatively small, is keeping the wigglers fed. Thank goodness the produce market saves a small stash of organic produce trimmings for me to collect a few times a week.
Val
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Activate it by mixing a tablespoon of molasses with each quart of tea and dropping in an aquarium air stone for 48 hours. The result is like organic rocket fuel. I've seen plants turn an almost glowing electric green the day after feeding. Note that the nutrients don't change so much, but the microbial population increases several hundredfold -- it is they who are doing the major share of the feeding, now at high efficiency thanks to their greater number.

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I just turn the spigot on the bottom of my worm bin, drain some "worm tea" into my water can, fill with water and water the plants. It works great. I don't need more projects. I have a life ;)
Val
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What's the shelf life on unactivated tea?
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Unactivated? I have NO idea what you are talking about. I drain the bottom tray of the worm bin, that's where 'worm tea' comes from. I do this twice a week when I water my plants. There is a scant 1/4 cup of liquid in the bottom tray of the bin. I add this to the water for the plants. There is no shelf, there is no shelf life.
Val
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Activated means feeding the tea (either leachate or steeped from castings) sugars and oxygen to increase the bacterial population hundred or thousandfold.

Exactly. Activation takes that 1/4 cup and increases its potency, giving you many cups' worth of plant food for not much more work. From 1/2 cup of leachate, I can produce 1/2 gallon of activated tea, which can be further diluted and used to innoculate about 50 x 100 ft of lawn. Not sure if it actually does any good (I'll know soon), but it seems like a waste to pour 3/4 of it down the toilet.
It's fun to concoct the "brew" if nothing else.

You either have a small bin or many plants.
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Don't you say that you have not been proven this as yet, so which is it? Not that I care, I figure what I'm doing works very well, I have no need to dick around with a mess of 'experiments'.

I don't need "many" cups worth. I use exactly the amount I have, no fuss-no muss. I drain the tray into the watering can, fill with water and go pour it on my plants. Been doing this very successfully for years. I don't want 'not much more work'. What I am doing now works exceptionally well.
> From 1/2 cup of leachate, I can produce

I've gone back and read all my posts in this thread and see nothing said of anything I poured down a toilet.

This is your opinion, not mine.

Yes and yes, all in the best of health.
Val
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Your bins aren't producing it twice as fast as you can use it.

We do this for different reasons. Tinkering is a big part of it for me, puts me in touch with life at a more intimate level.

Likewise.
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On Mon, 21 Apr 2008 21:49:52 -0700 (PDT), Father Haskell

I like this very much. Applicable to so many situations. May I use this in my quotes files, with proper attribution, of course?
Care Charlie
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On Mon, 21 Apr 2008 16:59:57 -0700 (PDT), Father Haskell

Ah, hah....this is what I am about with a lot of my schemes and ideas! Lookin' forward to my first compost tea brewing experience. Gotta go thru all the boxes of stuff and find those old pumps and stones.
**NOTE...I am taking neither side in the discussion 'tweenst you and Val.
I just like doing "science" experiments and hope to do no harm. ;-)
Charlie
"There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments." -- Janet Kilburn Phillips
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On Apr 21, 10:11 pm, Charlie wrote:

You screw up, you kill a plant. I can think of worse.
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On Mon, 21 Apr 2008 21:34:37 -0700 (PDT), Father Haskell

Amen, Padre!
Charlie
"To reach something good it is very useful to have gone astray, and thus acquire experience." ~~Saint Teresa Of Avila
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In article

Tell it to the plant. With a bit more piety it would have been, screw up and you kill the potential of what could have been. Where did the sobriquet "Father" come from?
--

Billy


http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=7WBB0svwMdY&feature=related

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Not if you take cuttings first.

It's the last name that they usually ask about.
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