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 Post subject: Bad Compost
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:40 pm
Posts: 195
I took one of those compost making classes here in Austin last year.Their suggestions were for smaller piles or bins,and when I told them what I did for my size pile ,they said that they didn't think it would work on a small pile.I throw all kinds of stuff in mine,that was once alive,along with water and fresh horse manure.The only thing different I've done this year,is I ran the first 10 bags of leaves thru a shredder and then spread manure and waterd and then put about 12 more bags of unshredded leaves and a bag or 2 of fresh cut rye grass,grass clippings.Now all I have to do is wait. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Bad Compost
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:48 pm
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Location: California, San Joaquin Valley - home of 105* summers, foggy winters.
I think it's pretty hard to have 'bad compost'. Getting a compost pile to heat up with the proper size and C/N ratio is a pretty cool thing, but in nearly every case, when you pile up a bunch of stuff that has lived and died and leave it alone, it will rot. Shredding leaves helps, adding manure helps, but in time everything breaks down and becomes 'compost'.

These smaller piles mentioned in that class you took kind of makes me think of vermicomposting more than your usual thermal composting, though. Even so, those small piles will break down and be usable at some point.

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 Post subject: Re: Bad Compost
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:09 pm 
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What sometimes leads to a poor performing compost pile is woody tree trimmings. The keep the pile too open and never seem to decompose. They must be kept continually moist for several weeks to get the fungus established that will rot them. Once established there is nothing you can do to stop that fungus. It's kind of fun to watch.

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