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 Post subject: bad compost?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:40 pm
Posts: 1
For about two years, we've been piling kitchen scraps (coffee grounds, egg shells, and raw fruit and vegetable trimmings), almost daily, and dead leaves, when available, into a 4' x4' pile on the ground in one corner of our garden. We cover the scraps with soil from the bottom of the pile about once per week, and the kitchen scraps are gone within a month. The material created seems like good compost to me . . .
however, a class I recently took said that you have to carefully balance the amount of grass clippings with dead leaves and kitchen scraps. According to this method, I've been putting in too much kitchen scraps. Will lack of brown matter make my compost a lower quality? Is my compost missing something it needs?
Thank you for your help!! :)


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 Post subject: Re: bad compost?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 3:00 am
Posts: 514
Location: Dallas,Texas
You're doing a great job. Adding some additional material from the yard will be helpful. The ideal mixture is 80% vegetative matter and 20% animal waste, although any mix will compost. The ingredients should be basically a mix of coarse and fine-textured material.

Here's some additional information: http://www.dirtdoctor.com/Compost-Making_vq2985.htm


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 Post subject: Re: bad compost?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:48 pm
Posts: 45
Location: California, San Joaquin Valley - home of 105* summers, foggy winters.
If it's brown, crumbly and smells like fresh turned earth, you're doing fine. I wouldn't worry about it. Doing the whole 'carefully balancing' thing is helpful if you want your compost to heat up. If you want it to heat up, and you do the 'carefully balancing act', and it heats up, it's great. If things just rot but still end up looking like it's supposed to, it's still good.

I basically use what I have. I primarily vermicompost, so I start out with mostly carbons (saw dust, cardboard, paper, pine needles, etc.), and add my kitchen scraps to the pile and the worms take care of it all. When things have disappeared, and I'm left with brown, crumbly material, I use the compost. Things thrive, so I must be doing OK. Also, my waste output has been cut waaaay down - by more than half, so that's good, too.

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