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Old 02-03-2013, 06:01 AM   #11
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Re: Composting

I have a 5 foot area in the back of my garden where I toss leaves, grass clippings, food scraps, etc. I go out once a week and give it a stir. I used to have a rotating bin, but once you fill it, you can no longer add to it until it breaks down.

A few of my friends bagged their leaves and untreated grass clippings, and gave them to me for my pile.

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Old 02-03-2013, 01:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bright_Life_Toys
I have a 5 foot area in the back of my garden where I toss leaves, grass clippings, food scraps, etc. I go out once a week and give it a stir. I used to have a rotating bin, but once you fill it, you can no longer add to it until it breaks down.

A few of my friends bagged their leaves and untreated grass clippings, and gave them to me for my pile.
So u don't do fancy layers or anything? This is how my parents always did it but with all the new methods I wasn't sure how it held up but it sounds like urs is doing awesome. I need to get a pile going but only if I can just dump and turn.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:14 PM   #13
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Re: Composting

I started composting last spring. My main objective was to not have to throw away as much, not really to put in on any type of garden. I wanted something easy, and cheap. I thought about doing the worm thing, but I did some research and it sounds like you have to keep them in a fairly small temperature range. With a 2 and 4 year old boy running around, I am absolutely not keeping them in my house. And our TN weather goes from super hot in the summer to pretty cold in the winter, so keeping them outside wouldn't work so well. I decided to just use a Rubbermaid tub we had sitting around, drilled holes in the bottom, and set it on top of some paving stones we had sitting around. I put in all my veggie scraps, egg shells, dryer lint, that sort of stuff -- and put some leaves on top. I mix it around every so often. I have been amazed how quickly stuff breaks down. During the winter it doesn't do much, since it has been frozen, but it still breaks down enough to keep up with what I am putting in.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:46 PM   #14
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Re: Composting

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Originally Posted by MamaJules View Post
I decided to just use a Rubbermaid tub we had sitting around, drilled holes in the bottom, and set it on top of some paving stones we had sitting around. I put in all my veggie scraps, egg shells, dryer lint, that sort of stuff -- and put some leaves on top. I mix it around every so often. I have been amazed how quickly stuff breaks down. During the winter it doesn't do much, since it has been frozen, but it still breaks down enough to keep up with what I am putting in.
That's pretty much what I do. I have two large Rubbermaid (or similar) garbage cans, which I poked full of holes, and I just toss all my compostables in - vegetable scraps, eggshells, toilet paper rolls, tea bags, newspaper, etc. Sometimes I tip them over and roll them around to mix it up a little. I didn't make the holes big enough, so it doesn't break down as fast as it could, and now that it's winter and nothing much is happening, the cans have pretty well filled up and I'm just tossing food scraps out in the far back of the yard. Eventually I'm going to enlarge the holes, and hopefully that will take care of the problem of it all turning to stinky slime.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:18 PM   #15
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I'm in PA, so our weather is similar-cold winters, hot summer..wonder if the worms would do ok in the garage for winters? at least its protected but its still not warm in there. Guess ill have to do some research on that. If not I am going to use a trash can or 2 as some of you mentioned.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:00 PM   #16
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Re: Composting

It's actually very simple. A bin does the work faster because it allows you to continually move and aerate and distribute the microorganisms that break it down for a quicker resulting finished product. A bin that is really cooking will often be too hot to touch and put off steam on cold days!! The method your dh is talking about is fine for over winter, when there's long wet days to break it down slowly. The other problem with adding raw compost to a established growing garden is that the raw product will rob the soil temporarily of the nitrogen that your plants need to grow in order to process those raw products. Additionally, putting some things on the garden can draw pests you won't want hanging around such as ants and mice. Something else to consider is if you want to add animal manure like chickens, horse, cow, rabbit manure some of it can be too "hot" or high in green nitrogen to put on the garden immediately because it can literally chemically burn your plants. It needs time to dissolve, break down and mellow before it's safe. I do recommend you add at least a little to your pile to start with, it gets things "cooking" much faster.

A worm bin can work for anyone, there's a lady that has videos on youtube, she keeps one in her basement and one in a closet in her house because they are self contained and do not smell when properly maintained (so she says). I'd like to try it this year. My favorite freestanding bin is the geobin, it's cheap and super easy to use and take down when you don't want it up.

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Old 02-03-2013, 11:59 PM   #17
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Re: Composting

The worm bins are so easy to maintain. We love it. We started it last year to cut down on our waste (in addition to our regular compost bin). We feed the worms all of our veggie scraps. In the begining we had to start feeding them slowly, but now the worms and keep up with all of our kitchen scraps (family of 5). Whatever we don't feed the worms goes to the compost bin. We use a earth machine compost bin. (Our county gave it to us for free). For our worms we use two Rubbermaid type containers. One set inside the other, with holes poked into the inner container for drainage. I live in a tropical climate with temperatures from 70-90 all year round and our rooms live outside. They don't stink so I think they could live inside in a dark closet or cabinet just fine.
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