I started a compost heap 12 months ago, its in a 200 Ltrs plastic
container, however the compost of grass cuttings , garden waste etc.
does not appear to be "breaking down", also the waste is cold.
It probably needs something to kick start it, suggestions I have had
are LIME or URINE
Would any of the members agree with this or are there other
All help will be appreciated
United Kingdom (North West)
No personal experience but yarrow leaves are reputed for accelerating
decomposition of compost. Compost needs to be turned over from time to
time and kept humid. A little dirt thrown on top would be good and urine
can't hurt. Lime would certainly decompose your compost but the results
would be of little utility.
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being
Aeration and nitrogen rich materials.
I'd hazard a guess the main issue is the plastic container not being
porous. The above site list carbon and nitrogen info.
My compost is in a pile inside a corner formed by intersection of two
walls. It gets stirred about once a month, after which I water it.
Composting requires air and moisture. You might have a moist "mess",
but I don't think it gets enough air in a plastic container.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
I run three.
One just garden debris that is big but rots. Low attention with
occasions of finding something good to move.
Two a place for old hot dogs and Maoist debris. The local vultures
visit and defecate here. I'm popular with the big birds in black but
really wonder why.
Third a rotating drum where stuff you can handle with a smile goes .
PS Maoist inspired from that Nazi.
Bill laugh and help it rot such is the mystery.
how long did it take the vultures to find pile #2? we're thinking of
building a 'roadkill cafe', with other goodies like refrigerator
cleanouts (pity the vultures migrate. i lost almost a hundred pounds
of meat in the 8 day power outage).
We have many vultures about. If I place a dead animal in my back yard
they will clean it up for me. How to attract does not make too much
sense as just about everything dead anywhere is taken. I've fed these
guys for years and they are within 40 yards of me as I type.
I'd put something out and check in a few days. Things dissolve from
above and below and nothing is wasted. Sounds strange but how many dead
birds have we seen in the wild ? Cars another matter. Sorry no
specific answer but it may really matter on you vulture populations.
They are either trained or I am.
Oh lord, I'm bustin' a gut here.... No disrespect intended at
all...towards you or your beliefs...
A Grand Irony, a divine comedy of sorts........vegans, who disdain the
eating of flesh, offering their meat to the vultures, acknowledging
the value of meat....and winding up as buzzard shit at the end....
Oh eff me, V...thanks for this minor epiphany...I'm not sure what it
means, but I am finding a hilarious joy and irony in this......
Thanks and peace,
Just some thoughts..
My first compost pile would not heat up. I used a 50/50 green/brown
mix, added some water, nothing happened. It wasn't until I got the
heap large, it started to cook. My conclusion here is that the volume
of the heap is very important, start with at least 1 cubic yard and
chances of success increase. I have had success in the sun or shade.
The tumblers, earth machines, compost balls, etc, surprisingly don't
work as well as making compost that is in direct contact with the
ground. Making compost is somewhat an art, but once you get one going
it is like taking care of a pet. Gardening is certainly limited
Oh good grief, Victoria, lighten up and quit taking yourself so
seriously. I told you I wasn't laughing at your beliefs.
You remind me greatly of my dear departed Aunt Maggie, God rest her
soul, a prickly dour woman, if ever there was one. We cousins
couldn't but help poking on her and starting a tirade. God we loved
her.....and we knew she loved us.
BTW, if Tibetan vultures are nearly as large as humans, is their shit
size similar? Incoming!!! Gives new meaning to duck and cover. :-)
There was a young monk in China who was a very serious practitioner of
Possibly you need to add some garden soil or a shovel of compost to
the mix and stir it up. Definitely do not add lime. If the mix is
dry you'd be better off adding plain water than urine. I've had
strikingly better results when compost is on bare ground than in a
If I were you I'd invest in a packet of Garotta .... available from most
garden centres, and DIY stores. It's an accelerant which generates the
heat necessary to stimulate the break down. Without it, things will
happen naturally but it definitely speeds things up. So does pee but not
as quickly. OTOH it is cheaper and is totally recycled :-))
Don't add lime. Make sure that you do not add cooked non vegetable
matter or you will attract rats. Don't stuff it full of grass cuttings
which congeal into a slimy mass due to lack of air.
Either of the following links will be helpful, if you haven't found them
Hope this helps.
Heat does not cause quick decomposition. Heat is a result of active
decomposition. The bacteria and fungi that convert plant matter into
compost generate heat as they work.
A cold compost pile is a symptom -- not a cause -- of a lack of
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
I'd agree to suggestions of adding 'browns' - small, chopped sticks,
dried leaves, shredded paper products, straw, whathaveyou - and
turning the pile with some regularity. Aeration is usually needed to
heat up the pile as well. "Cold" composting (aka static composting)
can be equally successful but just takes a much longer time to achieve
similar results. And often doesn't kill off weed seeds or any
Alfalfa meal breaks down rather rapidly and generates heat as it does
so - one of the reasons it is suggested to use sparingly in the
immediate root zone of most plants. It can burn. Actually, any good
nitrogen source will work to stimulate some microbial activity and are
often recommended as compost activators - alfalfa meal, blood or bone
meal, urine :-)
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