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My Compost Pile

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by Duke Webb on January 06, 2006 06:58 AM
My composting is a little different from most folks here. My property is sand mixed with small sea shells with a couple of inches of soil on top.

The lot for the house was manufactured by dredging a canal. When I first started growing tomotes I would dig a hole and fill it in with Home Depot organic peat.

My orginal raised bed is five feet by sixteen feet. During the summer I place all grass clippings plus other plant clippings and palm limbs. I even raid the piles my neighbors put out for curb side pick up. I but a lot on material in a small space.

I have ruined a lawn mower chopping up plant clippings but it is small price to pay. I use a limb lopper to cut up the limbs to small chunks so they decompose pretty fast. It is time consuming.

I turn the "pile" at least once a week to a depth of three feet.

I am not trying to make black gold to spread in flower beds. Of course when the wife needs a little dirt she raids my compost pile. At the end of the composting season the excess material I remove is spread on the lawn to fill in small ruts. When I remove excess material I am taking out sand and sea shells. Last year I removed thirty, five gallon bucket of excess material.

Down to a depth of three feet I have rich earth and it gets better every year.

Duke
by tkhooper on January 06, 2006 07:46 AM
Can I have your sand please? I have clay which requires sand to loosen up and I could sure use a bunch of it. I can buy leveling sand on line but the postage costs more than the sand but still less than a taxi. I'm sure there is an answer somewhere I just haven't found it yet. Good luck with your compost. Sounds like you have a wonderful system.

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by comfrey on January 06, 2006 09:34 AM
Sounds like you have really been working on your yard...Great job [thumb] Your neighbors are going to be jealous if they have the same soil you started with.

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by johnCT on January 11, 2006 09:49 PM
It takes such a long time to make good soil out of nothing, but its well worth the effort. Sounds like you're well on your way. Compost works wonders.

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John - Zone 6
by Duke Webb on January 12, 2006 10:50 AM
This morning I went over an helped the little lady across the street, by trimming her palm tree.

Cut ten limbs and hauled them to my backyard. Spent a couple hours chopping the limbs into little pieces. I ran the leaves over with the lawnmower and piled everything into the compost pile. The real work is spading all the material into the ground. The leaves will decompose in six weeks and the limbs in six months.

A lot of work but in the end it is worth all the effort.

DUKE
by comfrey on January 12, 2006 12:31 PM
That was so nice of you Duke [Wink] to help the lady with her trees even if you did have a plan in mind for the leaves and limbs [thumb]

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by johnCT on January 12, 2006 09:31 PM
Are you trying to make us northerners jealous with the whole "palm trees", "lawn mower" talk? My yard is under a foot of snow still! [thumb]

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John - Zone 6
by Duke Webb on January 14, 2006 12:09 AM
We do not get snow!! It was 80 yesterday and 75 today. But this weekend a cold front is blowing through, low 40's Sunday morning.

I went out this morning and turning the compost pile. The shredded palm leaves are a real pain to get turned into the ground. It takes several passes. In the end it is worth the back pain or I would not put in the effort to keep turning the pile.

It is good a workout and I really enjoy the results.

Duke
by detectorbill on March 11, 2006 11:12 AM
are egg shells ok for compost, i read not to use dairy products?

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by ChristinaC on March 11, 2006 12:09 PM
Eggs shells aren't dairy...and yes, they're great for compost. [thumb]

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by patches1414 on March 11, 2006 01:53 PM
Hi tkhooper, [wavey]

I've had to deal with clay soil too and it's a real pain. My flower beds were a little easier to work with because I would just till up the ground and ammend the soil with compost and various top soils whenever I could buy the broken bags real cheap. [Wink] Of course, doing the whole yard was out of the question because I only have a mini-tiller and this old lady couldn't handle a big one if even she had it. [Frown] A couple of years ago I did till up one section of the back yard and ammend the soil only because it really needed to be leveled. For the rest of the yard I've been using a soil treatment product called Li'L Perk and I think it has really made a difference. [thumb] I have also used this in my flower beds too! [flower] This stuff is nontoxic and biodegradable. I just buy it locally, but if you want to find out more about what this does PM me and I will send you a website where you can read about it and get more information.

patches [kitty]

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