Composting

Provincial living: homesteading, farming, gardening, self-efficiency and animal husbandry.
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giblet
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Composting

Postby giblet » Sun May 18, 2014 10:58 pm

I've just started composting and was wondering if anyone has any experience with it? I've never tried it before, but have a feeling it could work out well because of the weather here.

Right now I've created a bin, but after a month it's already full! So am thinking of a compost "heap." Anyone tried that before? I'm skeptical that it might be too disgusting.
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Digg3r
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Re: Composting

Postby Digg3r » Sun May 18, 2014 11:12 pm

When ever I've had a problem, I bury the compost with lime as that aids in the whole compost process. Cleaning up vital evidence.... Err I mean garden waste.
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Milord
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Re: Composting

Postby Milord » Mon May 19, 2014 2:10 am

giblet wrote:I've just started composting and was wondering if anyone has any experience with it? I've never tried it before, but have a feeling it could work out well because of the weather here.

Right now I've created a bin, but after a month it's already full! So am thinking of a compost "heap." Anyone tried that before? I'm skeptical that it might be too disgusting.
I'm not in your climate but the chemistry is the same. Balancing carbon and nitrogen. 2nd air loving bacteria vs sewer types. 3rd moisture.
If you had a rolling cage or barrell you can speed up the aeration. Worm(chicken) poop is a good starter too(high nitrogen). Build over sticks if standing still and toss every two weeks.
Note that smell only comes from non-air or sewer bacteria.

edit: Worm farming: http://teakdoor.com/farming-and-gardeni ... lture.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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giblet
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Re: Composting

Postby giblet » Mon May 19, 2014 9:13 am

There's a guy selling worms here for 60,000/kg. Wonder if it's worth buying some.
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Milord
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Re: Composting

Postby Milord » Mon May 19, 2014 9:26 am

giblet wrote:There's a guy selling worms here for 60,000/kg. Wonder if it's worth buying some.
Or dig the worms up yourself. Look under your compost pile now and you'll find them if it's moist enough.

Worm poop makes great fertilizer tea.

Did you read the worm link?
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giblet
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Re: Composting

Postby giblet » Mon May 19, 2014 9:59 am

Most of it. Right now the compost is in a bin, so I doubt many worms have made their way into it.
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Re: Composting

Postby MoodyMonkey » Mon May 19, 2014 11:49 am

If you can get tiger worms they are good for processing food waste and other stuff like coffee grounds. Not for acidic stuff like orange or lime peels.

As far as the compost goes you need to have roughly the correct ratio of nitrogen rich material and carbon rich materiel. Can't remember the ratio off the top of my head but you should be able to find it online.

Make two seperate piles. One for carbon rich and the other for nitrogen rich.

Carbon rich

Straw, bark, rice husks, saw dust, dried leaves and grass etc.

Nitrogen rich

Fresh lawn clippings, manure, worm castings

In order to reach a good internal temperature to induce break down of materials your compost pile should be at least 1 cubic metre, but larger is better. That's why it's a good idea to keep two piles, and then build a compost heap by layering the materials like a giant lasagne. Carbon based layers should be thick and the nitrogen layers thin. You can even season every second or third layer with a little blood and bone powder if you have some. It should be moist, but not wet. To much water and it risks becoming anaerobic as the pile can't 'breath'. After a few weeks you can turn the pile by rebuilding with the inside coming to the outside and the outside going to the inside.

Worms will eventually work their way up into pile and assist in the breakdown, but the initial heat is important as it can aid in destroying some weed seeds.

I've never composted over here. I suspect the tropical climate will result in a faster breakdown, but the method should probably remain the same.

A note on worm castings. The stuff is good fertiliser, but as there is no heat involved assisting in the decomposition, it can spread weed seeds through your garden. If you make a worm farm, put a liquid catchment tray underneath, and the liquid that comes out can be used directly on plants as a liquid nitrogen fertiliser.

(I am open to correction on this, as I haven't done it here, and it's been a long time since I was busy in a garden.)
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giblet
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Re: Composting

Postby giblet » Mon May 19, 2014 12:02 pm

Thanks! I need to figure out the ratios properly We've been alternating layers of dried leaves with kitchen scraps (veg/fruit only).

I just went to turn my pile and found a ton of maggots! Other than that, the pile looks pretty good. I think the maggots are probably a bad sign. We put some soybeans in and I wonder if that attracted flies?
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Re: Composting

Postby Felgerkarb » Mon May 19, 2014 8:47 pm

Composting will draw a lot of rats, so be prepared for that. Too many and it will spoil it due to droppings and urine.
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Re: Composting

Postby Username Taken » Mon May 19, 2014 9:28 pm

I made a small compost heap on my balcony about 10 years ago (here in PP). When we moved house, it had already composted nicely so I put it into a cleaned 5 liter plastic container topped up with water. I kept that plastic container over many house moves over many years and you know what? I've still got it and only started using the now concentrated compost tea about 2 months ago (Made it years ago and never used it till now).
A few drops in a liter or water and the plants are happier than they've ever been! :good:
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