I'm ready to start but I'd appreciate any input or guidance anybody wants to offer (especially the Captain!).
I also have some questions -- those are at the bottom.
Thanks in advance for taking time with me!!
1. I'm planning to use a 4'x4' slab made of some clay-y soil that I don't want to use anywhere else. I'm going to put a thick plastic dropcloth over that and rig up a little trough around the whole thing so I can catch the leachate when I water the pile.
2. My 1 cubic yard pile will go on top of the slab. I'm not planning on surrounding it or enclosing it. Just a pile.
3. We've got "junk" trees that we're savagely pruning to be rid of them. I'm going to use the thickest of those branches to make a mat on the slab and then stack the pile on it. Hopeful that will give some air up underneath.
4. I've got 3 bags of leaves, lots of grass clippings (collected from other
people's lawns -- ours get mulched, of course
), some chopped up swiss chard that should have been eaten by us but we didn't get that far, a 40# bag of cow manure, a 5# box of blood meal, liquid molasses to add, and some Agrispon.
5. I also read on this forum that somebody takes their kitchen waste, puts it in water and lets it break down, then waters their pile with it. I've got a container I'm collecting things in but because it's got more "food" kind of stuff, I don't want to put it in until the pile is "cooking".
6. Regular turning and watering is a given.
7. This will be the first of 3 piles. I plan to build this and only add to it one time (the kitchen scraps breaking down in water) but only after it's "hot".
8. I want to have new, middle-aged, and old piles and not add to them after they're built. Ok, that's the plan, now here's the questions
1. As I understand it, you have to have greens, browns, nitrogen, protein, and sugar. Is that right? And it's approx. 20% nitrogen?
2. I remember reading that the pile also needs protein. Is the blood meal enough? Redenta's told me to use alfalfa meal.
3. We know we have poor soil so I wonder if my pile will have enough microbes in it? Redenta's said that if I build a good pile, the microbes will find their way to it. Is that really true? I wonder about that since I'll be using the plastic dropcloth...
4. How often should the pile be turned?
5. Should the components be thoroughly mixed, or layered? Or should a mixture of everything be buried in the middle of the pile?
That's definitely a long enough post. Again, to anybody who reads and answers, thanks so much!!