Do you compost

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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?
TIA
Steve
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You can make it as much work as you want. Generally speaking, the more work you put in the quicker it becomes useable. We were in a rush the first few years so we turned it, kept it moist, etc - but now we just leave it sit and wait a while longer. The pile we just started a couple weeks ago is about 8' wide, 4' deep and 15' long. We have a neighbor friend in the lawn care business and he brings a few truck loads for us - then we just add to it - our own leaves / grass clippings, household garbage, some manure, and maybe a broken bag of caked up lawn fertilizer.
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You'll get a difference of opinion from many people on this subject, but here's my experience. They are a lot of work and what compost I got wasn't worth the effort. I now buy my compost and use the time for other more worthwhile work.
A lot of variables go into having a good workable compost pile. Like do you have the right amount of natural rainfall to keep it moist but not wet or dry? Do you have a source of equal amounts of green and brown material to feed the pile? Are you physically able to turn it every few weeks?
In my case we've had a drought for years so it took watering with a hose on a regular basis. I had to bag grass clippings and leaves to feed the pile rather than mulch them. It took almost 2 hours of hard work every time I turned it. Even with all that, only about half of it would break down into compost. Plus I once got a den of snakes in it (guess they liked the heat it produced).
I'm sure others have had satisfactory results, but I quit trying.
Red
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I just ordered one of these: http://www.thecomposter.com/products/composter/uct9/index.html?=Google
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i put all my compost material on the curb now and buy it back as Dillo Dirt. totally worth it for me.
i used to compost but it is kind of a pain.
for op: if you're composting for a garden you could consider row composting. Basically you just bury the material where you are planing your gardin. More info on the web.
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My situation is this:
I can back my truck up at the local landfill, and for $20, they will fill the back of an 8' bed with compost that they have made of organic materials they have made. This compost includes fertilizers and all the best of things my taxes can buy.
So why do I compost, you ask. So that I have a place to put my grass clippings, kitchen trash, and various items.
I thank all the people who were in on the discussion and had positive things to add on the topic. I learned a lot. About composting, and about posters.
Steve
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compost pile too. i had one at my house in round rock but because the yard was so large i filled my bin with about 4 mowings. i needed about 3 bins to keep up. i didn't want to mulch cause the lawn really needed to breath. it was choked from the previous owner cause he always mulched.
you have to keep after a compost pile. it needs green and brown waste, dirt, water, sunlight, turning. it's quite a chore.
I really like that barrel idea cause the turning is the really hard part. but in my old house that would of held about 1.5 mowings. and i mowed once a week in the summer.
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jthread wrote:

of the grass height in a mowing. Also, if you aerate once every couple of years, your lawn will have no problem digesting the clippings. If the previous owner abused the lawn by letting the thatch build up, by improper mowing techniques, then you may want to have it power dethatched and overseeded at least once. You will be amazed by the results. Why would you want to remove the life giving nutrients from your lawn? That's what you do when you bag. You just have to allow your turf to digest the clippings by proper management and proper mowing practices.
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I did just about everything you suggested. Except reseed. That yard looked like a park when I sold it. The realtor put "park like yard" in the desc. for the property. Thanks to Dillo Dirt, a lot of hard work, and water. I don't really want to discourage mulching. Just like everything: moderation is the key. When I sold it I made about $30k profit even after realtor fees on that one. :-) Not bad for an 18 month turn around. I sure hope the market hold here!!!
That yard really needed a break from mulching. Also. there is always plenty of mulch left on the yard even when I use my catcher.
Jim
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But how did it get into the compost (enough to cause damage) if they are just putting in clipping and such? And where do you live?

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Jim
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The chemical found in Seattle and Spokane was Clopyralid from lawn weed killer. At that time it was a favorite chemical for lawn care companies and was even in some weed and feeds. Picloram has also been found in compost that used straw where the field had been sprayed with Tordon but that only showed up in towns next to large farms. The contaminated compost could be used on lawns but if it was put in a garden it would be three years before a tomato plant would live in the soil. (If you wanted to grow tomatoes on ground that has chemicals in it.)
Bill

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I did a Google on it and found an article about finding Clopyralid in compost in the Seattle area, but not specifically in Seattle's Public Services compost. I emailed both the Austin TX and Seattle's Utility departments and asked basically: How are we protected from this type of contamination? I'll post the answers in a new header.
Jim
--
"I like this opera crowd. It makes me feel tough".



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vegetable gardens. You have no idea what herbicides & insecticides was used on those "organic materials" before they went to the landfill for composting. People put some really nasty things at really nasty rates on their yards before they cut, bag, and put on the curb for pickup.
Red
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wrote:

You think that's bad? Dillo Dirt includes treated sewage sludge. According to the web site they claim it's save for use in gardens. I only use it on my yard and flower beds but there is a chance we are eating food watered by effluent from a waste water treatment plant anyway.
http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/water/dillo.htm
Yummy! Oh well, it usually just gets dumped in a river anyway. In Las Cruces, NM the old treatment plant was so bad the effluent was dirtier than the influent. Dumped right into the Rio Grande and to the pecan, lettuce, onion, chili and all the other crops grown down there. They (Las Cruces) built a new plant back in the 70's. We used to go swimming in that river all the time.
Jim
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wrote:

Amazing how we survived Lawn Darts, potato guns, firecrackers, and all the stuff that kids today are "protected" from.
And there's nothing wrong with us nothing wrong with us nothing wrong with us nothing wrong with us nothing wrong with us nothing wrong with us nothing wrong with us nothing wrong with us nothing wrong with us nothing wrong with us
SLAP!
Sorry.
Steve
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SteveB wrote:

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your newsreader.
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seems i have a stalker. tee hee
is that like an internet milestone?
wrote:

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