Photograph via snooOG

A place to talk about decomposing materials into compost.

Compost - organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment.

Do you have a garden and want an easy way to make fertilizer?

Wondering what to do with all those table scraps, leaves, and grass clippings?

Make compost! It is easy to start and easy to maintain.

Share your tips, stories, ideas, pictures, or questions!

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Any ideas on how to keep my compost pile super hot?

Aside from peeing on it 4 times a day, how else can I get it to 140 fahrenheit for several days?

01:50 UTC


What to do?

I know for a fact there's some cat turds in my compost from when I raked the leaves, the compost is already 3 months in and it's only reached 120 f. How can I save it. I wanna use it for fruits and veggies.

21:40 UTC


Update: My pile has heated up!

21:34 UTC


Coffee and Cardboard only Compost possible?

Wondering if you could successfully make decent compost with only coffee grounds and cardboard and paper towels. Not planning to do this just wondering if it could be viable. I've heard only that you should only use 30% coffee grounds as your green component for compost but couldn't find much more info than that.

20:30 UTC


Is this done? (Other than leaves) what comes next?

If it is, do I just mix it in with the soil in my planters to be used next spring or do I keep it in the bin over winter?

16:38 UTC


Black walnuts?

I understand the leaves are bad for composting, but does this hold true if they’re dry or only when green/yellow? What about the actual green nuts? I have several of these trees in my yard and tons of the nuts rotting on the ground. Any suggestions on how to “recycle” them or what to do with them?

10:51 UTC


When shredding cardboard, have you notice a detergent/soap smell?

I left cardboard in a water bucket over night to be easy to tear, but i notice this soap like smell coming from one this morning.What i find weird is that the all cardboards were food related and so far only that cardboard has that smell. If that is the case, should i throw away all the cardboard in the bucket, is that smell normal? and can detergent damage the compost and plants?

21:56 UTC


Should I compost this?

The wood is about half pretty soft but still had a hard center. I don't know if I should compost or just burn it. I know it will compost eventually but my concern is how long will it take? I added a 5 gal bucket for size comparison

20:19 UTC


where to find tons of material for compost?

hi! i just moved to a new area, and finally have my own backyard to start growing my own food which is so exciting. i was wondering if anyone here has any tips on where to source, like, insane amounts of material for composting? my only restriction amount-wise is that i don’t have a truck, so i can’t pick up tons and tons of stuff at a time. i’ve tried calling several landscaping companies, and the ones that picked up said that they don’t bag their lawn clippings, so that isn’t really an option. i also applied for chipdrop, but haven’t gotten chips(yet!). i was wondering if anyone else had any good ideas for finding materials? i don’t know anyone in my new area, so it’s not like i can just call up friends and relatives for their yard waste! thank you so much in advance!

20:15 UTC


Happy with that. But have a few questions

Picked up a trailer load of horse manure mixed with wood chip. No idea on ratios. Piled it all up on top of goat, chicken and duck manure. 5 days later 140f.

How often too turn ? Should I add water ?

When I get another load, should I start a fresh pile or add to this one ( be about 3 weeks time) ?

17:35 UTC


Snail food

I think all the bugaboos in my compost will be happy, I am going to throw in this expired bag of snail food

16:26 UTC


Why does bokashi have to be dry?

What is the purpose of the draining off the leachate with the double container? Does the liquid impede the pickling process?

13:55 UTC


Would like some help calculating C:N ratios please.

1000 pounds freshly cut woodchips sawdust sycamore tree stump (London plane tree)

500 pounds chicken feathers and pine shavings and chicken scat

200 pounds fresh cut grass clippings

50 pounds coffee chaff

20 pounds coffee grounds

Various hand fulls of weeds of all sorts (hard to quantify but probably 30:1 weeds) so the amount is nearly negligible

This pile has a 10 foot roundish base and is roughly 42 inches tall and has anout a 2ft diameter top and the side slopes at (natural fall slope) which looks pretty close to 45° +/- (maybe approximately one cubic yard of material after it’s been breaking down for a month plus)

I’m on my 5th(ish) turn I reckon in the past 30 ish days (I’m nota good note taker but will be next go round)

First 3 turns were at roughly 140°-150° I remember the first turn was slightly over 151° and I’ve been trying to turn before that mark each time.

I’m reading 130°F this morning at 6am by the light of my phone. (It was still pretty dark here at 6am)

Really I’m trying to determine if I’m done adding to this pile or not. I’ve got to go get a pickup load of fallen leaves I was promised from a neighbor. They’ve been on the ground for about a year so they are really ready to be used somewhere. I can add to this pile or I can use elsewhere. (The leaves would make good worm food as a blanket over my worm beds)

I have another 3/4 yard of finished material from last winter that will be taken to the worms this fall. So this current pile can cure till next spring/summer and given to the worms then. The end goal for this pile (all my piles) is to first feed worms then condition soil for rehabilitation of some destitute land.

13:24 UTC


C:n ratios

Good morning brothers and sisters! I’m not sure if this is the right place to ask buts seems like it might be. When considering carbon to nitrogen ratios , I have read that in order to calculate (close enough) one would need to take the c:n ratio of the starting material and add by parts. For example Chicken manure 7:1 ( might be off a bit) Comfrey leaves 9:1 ( approximate) Coffee grounds 20:1 ( spent) Rice hulls. 85:1 Etc etc Wha I gathered from the reading is to add up the total carbon and divide by parts , so if everything listed above ⬆️ is all = parts ( say 1 dry gallon/ or 1 pound ) except for the rice hulls which is a 1/2 part , will the rice hulls be considered as 42.5:1 or 85:1 and divide the total carbon by ( 3.5 parts) ?

11:04 UTC


Did I mess up a good opportunity?

I have a new raised flowerbed that I wanted to fill up inexpensively. I had some regular soil from my garden which is very heavy clay that I lay along the bottom (layer is less than 1 inch). The bags of garden soil were full of worms and had grown algae as they sat in the clear plastic bags for 6 months so they’re full of life! Then I threw down a bag of twigs that have been sat outside for a year as no one wanted them for kindling and some pieces were already a little rotten from the rain (roughly a couple inches tall the layer), then I threw in 2 bags of store bought top soil that filled the gaps between the sticks, another bag of clay soil, some more twigs, and another top soil. The bed is just over 1/2 full when I was randomly presented with two bags of fresh mixed alpaca and donkey manure- I should’ve had this at the bottom and tried to dig it down but it’s pretty much mixed in with the last top soil layer above the second twig layer. I didn’t want it to lose its heat, as my armature brain was thinking “HOTBED HOTBED!”, so I rushed out to cover it with something and dumped 2 bags of top soil and store bought composted manure. I don’t plan on planting my bed until spring so it’s going to have the rest of Autumn and winter to mature.

So it looks like: wormy clay earth, twigs and topsoil, top soil, wormy clay earth, twigs and top soil, top soil and fresh donkey/alpaca manure, top soil and precomposted manure. The photo is of the bed half filled before I was given the manure and hurried to bury it before it lost its freshness. It’s roughy big enough to bury an average sized adult in the foetus position.

Did I waste a good opportunity by rushing into this? Can I salvage it by adding anything?

08:37 UTC


Not a bed update

My dogs are now sleeping in it as well lol

01:56 UTC


Should I be worried about a fire?

I have been filling up my bin for the summer (live in Northern usa) with grass clippings. This is old picture from 2 months ago, so it's full now. I saw a video about someone doing a drunken compost today and decided to give it a try. I sprayed a lot of beer, ammonia, and soda on top and inside the pile. When I started to spray in the middle, I noticed how hot it was and either steam or smoke was coming out, not 100% sure since it was dark at this time. Now I'm paranoid that this is going to catch fire.

Only the top foot is Grey, green, or brown. Everything else below is black

Should I be worried about this? I know, I'm dumb without doing more research but what's done is done. Should I just soak this in water?

01:15 UTC


100 liters of sludge

So I've been hoarding compostables for about 3 years now and have been putting them into a 100/200 litre metal drum(25 to 50 gallon) . Egg shells, banana peels, vegetable offcuts, cardboard cartons and dish towels, fireplace ash and grass cuttings.

The thing is that it has been an incredibly wet winter and that drum has been getting rained in constantly. It doesn't have a bad smell, but it's definitely waaay too wet, saturated would best describe it. I would love to use it for my cannabis grow in about 3 weeks to a month from now(it's legal where I live) , but I'm not sure if it would be beneficial to the plants or potentially toxic to them.

I plan to dump a bunch of it onto the garden patch where I plan to grow my plants, it's a 5x5 meter(15x15 ft) patch of soil(back yard). I can imagine that the entire drum might be too much, but I would love to add as much nutrients as I can to the soil.

My plan is to throw a good amount onto the soil and let it dry out in the sun as it's now getting very warm +-25°c with full sunlight throughout the whole day. Then I can till the soil and let it sit for a few weeks before planting my crop.

I also plan to plant tomatoes, chillis and other crops later down the line.

Any input on my plan would be appreciated. Feel free to ask me any questions.

20:49 UTC


Shredded paper and urine

Normally I take my container out once a day to water the compost but it this the start of the rainy season and I don’t always want to go outside. I also have lots of shredding to do.

Would it be a good idea to keep a bucket of shredded paper on the porch and pour the urine in there and then once in a while dump on my bin?

20:37 UTC


Some of the farmers around here don't even bother with a bin

18:24 UTC

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