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Who here is the compost master?

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Who here is the compost master?

Postby Dumbo » Aug 05, 2012 7:28 pm

ok, so Dave got me thinking about a composter to go with my "green manure (viewtopic.php?f=10&t=27377). Not that I really want another job around the house, but he got me thinking about it. Not more than that.

I never composted (aside from tossing it all in the city compost).

There are a bunch of simple plans on the net, or I can buy one and the city here will even give back 30-50$ if I mail in the receipt to them.

I would need two for sure. Likely 3.

So instead of buying a couple of them, are there any designs I can make that would be better than the regular black plastic thing you drop everything into?

You compost guru's who do this would know what works well (and moving different stages of compost maybe type thing). So if there are any designs on the net, or one of your own, that works well, or that you would change to, or try, drop the link, or pictures, or ideas, and I'll check it out. ty.
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Re: Who here is the compost master?

Postby davefrombc » Aug 05, 2012 8:15 pm

I can't give you any magic formulas or recipes for compost ..My composters sit on the ground in an out of the way spot that is easy t o access summer and winter. All my kitchen peelings go i n it, coffee filters, tea bags... anything organic that will breakdown into compost. I have added grass clippings and leaves.. Grass clippings pump in nitrogen breaking down , and leaves , carbon to balance it ..According to some composting sites.. I don't question it , they breakdown and add to the compost bulk at least. Once you start adding material to your composter , the worms join with the bugs and bacteria that invade it . It's amazing how much material you can dump in and the composter remains at half full as the everything breaks down.
With the commercial vented plastic barrel type composters, I haven't had to stir them to get them to work. The two composters , with second one only holding finished , and semi-finished compost on top is strictly a holding bin because I had the two , not because I needed two . It allows the worms to leave the compost as it dries somewhat in there. When you take compost out of the working one, it is full of earthworms.
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Re: Who here is the compost master?

Postby Dumbo » Aug 05, 2012 8:39 pm

In the city provided bin, which by eye seems to be 40 or 60-litres, I fill that 3/4 of the way easy every week. So for home use, *that I would allow* (I won't do paper products in it), I can see 15-20L per week in volume (more if I add leaf/grass). Just to give an idea of volume...
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Re: Who here is the compost master?

Postby B_BQ » Aug 05, 2012 8:52 pm

Marc: I've been composting for quite a few years now. Just ordinary household stuff, kitchen scraps, etc.
I too started out with the regular barrel-shaped plastic one with a screw-top lid, acquired from our local municipal government. It worked, but it really was not very user friendly. Compost has to be turned regularly so that design was difficult. I then got one of the rectangular ones, with a small hinged door on the bottom - supposed to be easier to get the finished compost out. Again, not really efficient or easy.
I then got one of the rolling composters from Lee Valley. Expensive, ($180), but it was easier to turn the compost, although when it was pretty full it was extremely difficult to turn without breaking many finger nails!
A couple of years ago I got another one. This one is on a swinging stand and can be turned easily. It seems to compost quite quickly - must be something to do with turning it frequently. This is a must feature as far as I'm concerned; easy turning.
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Re: Who here is the compost master?

Postby Ron Evers » Aug 05, 2012 9:41 pm

Best way in my opinion, is an open pile you can easily turn over frequently & water if needed.
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Re: Who here is the compost master?

Postby B_BQ » Aug 06, 2012 9:42 am

Ron Evers wrote:Best way in my opinion, is an open pile you can easily turn over frequently & water if needed.


That is certainly the easiest and most accessible Ron. Unfortunately it also attracts unwanted critters; rats, racoons, and, depending on location, bears!
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Re: Who here is the compost master?

Postby Dumbo » Aug 08, 2012 9:09 am

TY for the info. I was wondering about the diff types. So the rotating one is the better type then.

Ron, I don't have the space to dig a trench to pile stuff into (plus it would likely all just blow into the pool). Need something more compact like the bought/made ones.
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Re: Who here is the compost master?

Postby Countryboy » Aug 08, 2012 9:22 am

B_BQ wrote:
Ron Evers wrote:Best way in my opinion, is an open pile you can easily turn over frequently & water if needed.


That is certainly the easiest and most accessible Ron. Unfortunately it also attracts unwanted critters; rats, racoons, and, depending on location, bears!
~BBQ


Composting is simple. Not the subject of a thesis . . . more like the subject of a children's primer. Throw yr stuff in... it breaks down... u shovel it out and mix it in yr gardens.

If u've got the space, Ron's compost solution works perfectly. I can't put peanut shells or eggshells in my composter... whatever composter I use. Those will attract Raccoons. Nothing else in my composter does.
Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.
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Re: Who here is the compost master?

Postby DonnaZn2SK » Aug 08, 2012 11:21 am

Speaking of egg shells...before we purchased our two plastic composters, we had the free-standing pile of scraps a la Ron...my mother was visiting one day. She came running out of the garden like a bat out of hell, yelling "Snakes!". She happened upon the egg shells in the pile. I didn't think she had it in her to run that fast.

Composting isn't rocket science, but you do have to have that fairly even distribution of brown and green, or it will stink to high heaven. We don't put in all the grass clippings the lawn produces. And fall leaves are collected in large garbage bags to be put in when "brown" is needed.
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