We recently moved out in the country. Nothing to do but we had to make a
compost pile. I admit, it's a handy place for garbage we would usually put
in the can for a week. Yech!
Does it work? How much work is it? How often are you supposed to turn it?
Do you keep it wet? Do you get enough compost to justify the work?
I'm sorry. I must have missed the meeting where you were put in charge.
FYI, I downloaded about ten pages on composting from Google. My question
was, "How does it work for YOU"? I'm sorry that you missed the questions in
my post and chose to comment on something else. Do you have any comments on
composting that you would like to share with the group?
You did it exactly right. Don't assume that my reaction will be anything
like those from other people. Wait and see. And, my reaction comes from
having teachers and parents who expected me to be resourceful. Others may
not have come from this kind of background.
I do have a question, though: How far is your public library?
From here, about 22 miles. But, I googled composting, and got lots of
information. I don't always believe what I read in google, and one gets
hits that make you wonder how in the world you get there from a simple
keyword. I just wanted to know some real live opinions rather than someone
who has a website with Adsense ads all over it, or someone who wrote a book
and is profiting somehow.
Composting does work. We just pile everything in a semi-shady area and keep
it moist. Every so often the pile gets turned. When I looks "done" enough,
it's hauled in a garden cart to the flower beds or veggie garden. A new pile
is started every year with the leaves and dead garden plants from our
Yes, not a lot, only as often as you want or not at all, no, yes.
You won't regret it. Black gold for gardeners! If you start growing
your own fruit and veg, then home-made compost is the best and only
fertiliser you'll ever need. You can use the heap to digest all kitchen
vegetable waste, and lawn cuttings, raked leaves, weeds etc. I also
provide a valued service to my neighbours (:-) by composting the
shredded paper from their security-documents.
Turning the heap is good, and produces compost faster, but it's not
absolutely essential. The biggest work involved, is emptying the
finished heap into a barrow and distributing it.
You'll need more than one heap (one filling, one finished and
Give a little thought to siting them in a discreet but convenient spot,
with easy access. We always make a dry-feet path all the way from the
kitchen to the heaps; and a paved area in front of the heaps, to
comfortably work in for turning, loading barrow etc.
Composting can be as much or as little work as you want. As Janet said,
turning is optional and just speeds up the process. I went nuts a couple of
Falls ago, and made a 10'x20'x4' bin and collected as many leaf bags as my
neighbours would put out, piled it high as possible and kept adding. I
supplemented alfalfa meal for the green component and kept it moist to get
it steaming hot. I also added the brown paper bags and newspaper, as well.
Some of it was ready in a couple of months. And, I still have some of that
I built a smaller one last year and just add stuff in a slightly less
frenzied fashion. I probably won't use it until next Fall, so it can break
down more slowly and no effort on my part.
I layer it on the existing beds and use it for potted plants, including
tomatoes. I don't use any artificial fertilizer and rarely supplement
watering. So yeah, it works great.
And if you search back to a thread I started "Leaf Mold, Do Tell.."
you'll find fascinating info on cold composting of leaves as well as a
spin off conversation that's even MORE fascinating about compost teas.
At any rate, the question you asked was a broad one which can easily be
answered by just a little googling.
Here, even the EPA has information on it, which was the #1 link on Google;
Googling got me more than I wanted to know about composting. Hence, the
next logical thing, ................. "Do you compost?"
No how to, just do you do it, and how well does it work for you.
I'll give you two tips for free. After that, you get no chocolate milk &
Tip #1: Avoid compost tumblers. Don't ask why.
Tip #2: Google using the words "compost methods". When you click the search
button, INSTANTLY put your hands behind your head to be sure you aren't
tempted to scroll down the page. If you ignore all the commercial site
results, there are at least two good sources staring you in the face. If you
can't tell which ones they are, then nothing we tell you can be of help.
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