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Discussion in 'Composting' started by cheech, May 24, 2007.
Does any one have any good ideas on how to build a good composter?
Do you want a drum style small capacity composter or are you looking to build a larger permanent composting bin?
There lies the problem, I am not sure what I want.
Basically I have scrap that I would like to have turned into something that will help my sand box er garden area
If you have a bit of grass clippings and veggie trimmings from your kitchen, never meat products, I would find a sunny spot of turf, remove a 3'X3' patch of sod, stake the bare spot on three sides and then run a piece of 2" mesh chicken wire 3 feet high to make a three sided enclosure.
Avoid putting woody products in there because they only suck out nitrogen. Coffee grounds are excellent for your compost pile! As you add layers wet them down, and invest in a three tined pitch fork so you can turn your compost from time to time.
If you find worms in your compost as you turn it you are doing the right thing. One thing....patience! In cooler weather you can lay a bit of dark plastic over the pile but be sure not to cut off the air supply! This will encourage a very stinky anaerobic process that will leave you with horrble slime, not good rich compost.
A great compost pile can be made by making sure there is moisture, air, and good composting material in the pile.
Do a google on compost and you will find more stuff than you can absorb in a year!
Hope this helps!
Thanks Sir Monty will do
Throw in a handfull of oatmeal once in a while. Worms love the stuff. It'll draw them in. Try to keep heavy leaves out like oaks they take longer to compost and get really hot, it can kill your worms if there's to many oaks. If you add your spent garden plants make sure there's no buggies or diesed plants they'll grow well in a compost pile too! Turn you pile every week or so.
I quick and easy compost bin can be made from a barrel with holes poked in it. The compost will be ready to add to your garden in as little as a few weeks but you have to keep rolling it every day!
Oatmeal? Really wonder how they would feel about cream of wheat? LOL
Right now I don't have a real big pile. Just put it on the ground, add more occasionally and turn it with the garden fork.
Love your handle, first was hopin' it was Cheech Wizard, but your choice is good. Saw them open for the James Gang somewhere back in the early 70's.
We have a rider with a grass catcher which provides lots of material.I just pile mine on the ground,this allows you to throw away your back breaking pitchfork.I just run my rototiller through it and it mixes up like a pro.Something else that is very good to do is to add a thin layer of 10-10-10 fertilizer every so often.This speeds up the break down as well as enriches the compost.
Thanks for all your help. Ended up that I was not paying attention and my oldest made a pile to put in to a composter and it has just been piling up so I will have the summer to plan and build one later
What little I know.
If you are not going to go 10 x 10 x 5 feet and water it and turn it every couple of months then you are better off putting the clippings straight on the garden as mulch. Then turn it under once a year when you turn your garden and add more mulch to the top as you cut the grass or collect the leaves. (Lasagna method I think I have heard it called) Good mulch will choke out weeds (or at least make them real easy to pull) and mulch will help keep the soil warm and moist. No turning the pile every couple of months, just spread it and forget it!
If you really want good compost to be able to fill in low spots in the yard or add to a new garden, you really have to work at it. There is more to it than pile it up in a corner and wait. There is supposed to be a good carbon to nitrogen balance of like 30:1, But I have never lived anywhere that has this perfect blend of yard waste it always seems like 150:1 all pine needles and or oak leaves and nothing with nitrogen.
There are books and courses all about composting and it is all about trying to speed up mother nature or help mother nature. I got some news for you, mother nature has been at it for a long time and no matter where we pile the stuff, it will break down, so why not just pile it where you want it to start with? The only catch is, time. If you are in a hurry , then you will need to work harder.
Working harder means turning and watering and building a pile big enough to heat or using a contraption of one sort or another and adding non-yardwaste stuffs to the pile and following one of a thousand different compost gurus ideas on how best to do things. And yes, almost all of these methods work, but they take extra work.
Take a barrel cut in a door, run a pole through the center, put it on a stand and add a crank. Two weeks to good compost.
About that barrel... Paint it black and make sure it did not carry nasty stuff
I have used the "Lasagne" method that Zapper talks about for many years with excellent results. You not only get compost, but also a natural mulch. I originally started doing this because it is less labor intensive than turning a compost pile on a regular basis, but I soon found it to be an excellent combination of weed control and natural fertilizer.
What' the lasagna method? I was thinking that after we turn our garden under starting some composting, I was going to pick a spot right down close to the garden, putting grass clippings, chopped up leaves, kitchen scraps, etc...
Hey there,from what i have read is just what you have described.Using several different layers of different materials piled on top of each other and repeating the process over and over again.I always include a little fertilizer to increase the fertility of the heap.
Look at Jerry Baker's book on yard maintenance. He gives a great recipe for the tonic to get the composting going faster.
As far as the composter, we saw on the Victory Garden TV show that you can just use landscape timbers to keep the yard waste in one spot and make sure the sun hits it. We did it this way, put a dose of the tonic on it and let it run. The next spring we had great looking compost!
Saw a simple version in a home depot flyer a couple of weeks back.......
take four small sections of picket fencing, not too high and staple chicken wire within the fencing forming a square box that can be staked into the ground.........nice and neat and aerated. Just flip the pile every so often, I've seen some piles catch fire after too much sun and no rotation.
Thinking that's what to try , Guessing a bin to hold stuff in waiting till the barrel batch is cooked . Then refill barrel and start over ?
I'm about to build this one:
good site for all kinds of stuff.