We recently bought a 90 gal capacity compost bin from Costco
We live in the country. Something (we figure groundhogs) are eating
Now we say when we empty our uncooked vegetable scraps, "Wonder how
much they ate today."
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.
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.
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:
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
I just like doing "science" experiments and hope to do no harm. ;-)
"There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments."
-- Janet Kilburn Phillips
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