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Things to NOT put in compost pile?

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by pagarden on March 18, 2006 03:12 AM
all i know is that meats and dairy shouldn't go in there. is there anything else that is off limits? i've been skimming some of the other topics and read that shredded paper is good- even if it's got ink on it though??? i shred my credit card bills and stuff like that then usually just toss it- but can that go in my compost? are pine needles ok since they are acidic? or does it not matter because it gets broken down?
by johnCT on March 18, 2006 03:51 AM
quote:
Originally posted by pagarden:
but can that go in my compost?
Absolutely! In fact, I find a certain sense of sick joy in shredding all the junk mail I get and turning it into compost! [critic] Anything made of organic matter can be composted. Pine needles are fine but they take a while to breakdown I understand. I use mostly shredded leaves and paper, grass clippings to get the pile cooking, kitchen scraps, used coffee filters, etc.

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John - Zone 6
by patches1414 on March 18, 2006 08:30 AM
I use mostly grass clippings, leaves (mulched), newspaper, coffee grounds, egg shells, and lots of fruit and vegetables. Dryer lint is good too! [Smile] NO meat or dairy products! [Frown]

patches [kitty]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by peppereater on March 18, 2006 08:43 AM
I've heard both that citrus peels are okay and not okay. I throw mine in, but I've heard they slow down the process...form some source. [dunno]

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by peppereater on March 18, 2006 08:48 AM
Oh, and I throw in the peels from peel and eat shrimp...one major no no with meat is the fat...it gets really nasty when it putrifies, red meat in general is nasty, but fish products aren't that fatty. That's my opinion. You can certainly bury any fish products in the garden, it makes great fertilizer. Also, dogs, possums, coons, etc. will try to get in your pile if there's red meat, etc. in there. I've heard of using sour milk or leftover yogurt, dilluted, as a starter, though.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by njoynit on April 01, 2006 01:38 AM
dog hair is good for compost& I compost what I sweep up off floor.
NO diseased material.
I use pine needles as mulch and removed the old into the compost pile.It composts fine,but maybe cause is already old.

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by pagarden on April 01, 2006 07:50 AM
i was thinking of hair today too. but human hair. I was looking at my son noticing he needs a haircut and my next thought was "oh i wonder if i can throw that in the compost pile" [perplexed] i've really lost my mind......
by patches1414 on April 01, 2006 04:49 PM
Human hair is good too! [thumb]

patches [kitty]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by princessazlea on April 01, 2006 06:34 PM
I would like to ask you all. How long does it take for it to become compost?

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"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens".
by Michael15r on April 02, 2006 01:52 PM
That's an interesting question princessazlea. Can anyone please answer that?

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A Sunflower Garden #7
Check out my website.
by patches1414 on April 02, 2006 02:33 PM
It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a year depending on how well you attend to it (e.g. if you turn it regularly). Temperature is also a factor and it's not going to do anything in the winter if you live in a cold climate. I also use a compost activator in the spring to get it cooking. There is a wealth of information on this site if you just type compost up in the search space. There is also some excellent posts right here on this organic forum.

patches [kitty]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by slredmond on April 07, 2006 12:11 AM
The "Lasagna Gardening" book recommends no needles for the compost - can't remember why now!! (how helpful was that!) [Confused] Probably something to do with acidity. Covering with black plastic starts the cooking sooner; she says should have good compost in 6-8 weeks. Can't wait to start! Nothing like rotting fruits and veggies and horse poo to win the neighbors affections! [kissies] [Big Grin]

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Sandy R.
by Michael15r on April 10, 2006 11:58 AM
quote:
Originally posted by patches1414:
It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a year depending on how well you attend to it (e.g. if you turn it regularly). Temperature is also a factor and it's not going to do anything in the winter if you live in a cold climate. I also use a compost activator in the spring to get it cooking. There is a wealth of information on this site if you just type compost up in the search space. There is also some excellent posts right here on this organic forum.

patches [kitty]

Thank you patches!

~Michael~

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A Sunflower Garden #7
Check out my website.
by twwright on April 28, 2006 01:33 AM
I like to include cat hair after I brush her coat. I have had piles that cook and finish within 3 months and some that took a year and a few months. As above, it depends on how often you turn the pile and whether you continue to add fresh ingredients to the pile. I have three piles for different stages of decomposition and/or one for neutral ph compost and one for acidic compost which is for my acid loving plants. I got sick of trying chemicals to get my Azaleas the acid they need and other plants that I never new prefer acidic soil. No wonder they never did well. You can make your piles as weird and complicated or as plain and simple as you want. I like having several piles so I can have a lot of finished compost while another pile accepts all of my new scraps, newspaper, etc.
Oh! The thing about ink is that you don't want to add in the glossy paper from the newspaper or magazines or bills. Glossy is a no-no. I also add red "wiggler" worms to my compost pile directly. They always wind up at the bottom as they prefer not to be cooked by the high temperatures but they multiply real fast and do a great job of breaking down materials that I don't shred or can't mulch. The castings they leave us is invaluable. I like to collect the earthworm castings from my worm bin, put it in an empty gallon milk container, add horticultural molasses, and some fish emulsion or other fish product and use my pond water for the water, mix it up and use it as fertilizer and would you believe it, it works better than store bought chemicals. Son of a Gun! A garden center near me sells a product called "Soil Soup" for around $8.00 a gallon and is basically the same thing I make myself. It claims that tons of benefical bacteria is the secret to the Soup but I found the key ingredient is the earthworm castings.
It took me a long time to figure out that Organic methods often work faster and better than chemicals which is sometimes the knock against organic fertilizers, too slow and not enough visible benefit. This home-made brew works just as well or better than anything I've bought in the past.
by patches1414 on May 01, 2006 08:55 PM
quote:
I also add red "wiggler" worms to my compost pile directly. They always wind up at the bottom as they prefer not to be cooked by the high temperatures but they multiply real fast and do a great job of breaking down materials that I don't shred or can't mulch.
I have these in my worm bin, but I can't put them in my compost bins because of the temperatures in this area. [Frown] [Frown]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by twwright on May 24, 2006 01:01 AM
quote:
Originally posted by patches1414:
I use mostly grass clippings, leaves (mulched), newspaper, coffee grounds, egg shells, and lots of fruit and vegetables. Dryer lint is good too! [Smile] NO meat or dairy products! [Frown]

patches [kitty]

Me too! How long is it taking for you to get finished compost? I am not a patient person when it comes to compost I tend to break it out a little early. Still works but I bet not as well as completely finished 'post.
by patches1414 on May 24, 2006 08:37 AM
It seems to depend on much often I turn them. [dunno] I've really never kept track because I have three bins going at one time so it's an ongoing process. I usually have at least two of the bins full of composting materials in the fall and they pretty much sit idle with the freezing temperatures we have here. [Frown] I use the third bin to add materials I collect over the winter. When spring comes I try to aerate the other two several times a week and it doesn't take very long before I have two compost bins ready to use! [thumb]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by princessazlea on June 18, 2006 03:20 AM
Patches, I am getting a compost bin soon and I have just been reading all the information. What I wanted to ask was do you put all what you have collected in at the same time?? Or can you add something each time.
[nutz] I am thinking if you do it this way, does it slow the process down and takes longer this way? Any advise please.

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"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens".
by LandOfOz on June 18, 2006 03:32 AM
I think a lot of people prefer to have more than one bin. That way they can fill on bin up totally and get it going, then add to another bin as they get more stuff. Many prefer 3 bins--the extra one for a batch of finish compost. Yes, adding stuff to it does slow it down.

Sarah

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by princessazlea on June 18, 2006 03:36 AM
Thank you Sarah [thumb]

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"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens".
by patches1414 on June 18, 2006 11:50 AM
quote:
do you put all what you have collected in at the same time?? Or can you add something each time.
No, if we're talking about grass or leaves, I do not put it all in at one time. [Frown] In the fall when I have an abundance of leaves, I mulch them up and put some in my bins, but all the rest I store in paper yard waste bags (after I have mulched them)then keep them in my garden shed to use as I need them. [Wink] When summer comes and I have a lot of grass clippings I put some in the bin and then add the leaves I've saved along with other things (produce, coffee grounds, etc.) In the winter I just keep adding any produce, hair, dryer lint, coffee grounds, etc. as I acquire them.

quote:
if you do it this way, does it slow the process down and takes longer this way?
If you keep adding things it does take longer but since I have three bins it's really not an issue for me. [Wink]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"

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