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 Post subject: Why molasses?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 8:31 pm
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Location: NYC z7
Cant I use sugared water or honey? Molasses may be a bit hard to find near me. What is so special about it that makes it preferred? Thanks.

Fito


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:20 pm 
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Location: Rowlett TX
Any sugar will work - gets the micobes active. Molasses also has a bunch of trace minerals in it.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:56 pm 
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Molasses can be found in many feed stores. It is used to make "sweet feed" mixtures. Works just as well as the expensive garden store variety.

Here it is about $10/50lbs bags. It is easily spread with a garden spreader on non humid days. It can also be found in liquid form. I haven't used this version yet but would assume it can be run through a hose end sprayer. The liquid form is more concentrated so you get a better price but at least around here you have to provide a container for it.

Or if it's all just too much, buy the biggest bags of sugar you can find! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 5:12 pm 
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Location: NYC z7
How much sugar should I pour on a compost pile? How often?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 6:24 pm 
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Unless you're a little over the edge, it's not really an empirical thing, I throw a quart can on every time I add to my compost pile in betweent each "layer".

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 11:53 am 
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Fito,
Can you describe what you are doing and where you live? If you live right in Manhattan, you might have trouble getting bulk molasses. Otherwise, you should be able to find a feed store. I'm certain there are people raising rabbits and possibly even chickens closer than you think. The get their feed from feed stores somewhere.

There are two different ways to get molasses in gallons or larger. One is the prepackaged "horticultural" molasses. The other is to buy it by the pound. Cost for the prepackaged gallons is about $12.00. Cost by the pound for a gallon is more like $1.10 and you have to supply the container. Any milk jug or liquid laundry detergent bottle will do.

Molasses is better because the things that make it brown also provide trace minerals to the plants and microbes.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 1:37 pm 
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Dried molasses is a powerful biostimulant/fertilizer/soil amendment because its economical, and it's liquid molasses sprayed and dried over grain meal flour roughage like wheat, oats, corn, or millet.

Also I love dried molasses because it's a great high potassium fertilizer too, for tea brews or just straight in the soil near crop roots.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 2:44 pm 
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Location: NYC z7
Thanks guys. I have a pile of horse manure/sawdust that is partially composted and would like to help it along this winter. I wanted to use some old honey I found and sugar water. I live in Queens and have never seen a feed store. I will look online now. I guess I am in for a surprise.


Fito


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 3:38 pm 
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Congratulations! I read that home grown honey is good stuff for humans and soil/composting microbes. I believe it is also high in natural microbial activity, as well as high in easy digestible carbohydrates, or carbon.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 4:54 pm 
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Fito wrote:
Thanks guys. I have a pile of horse manure/sawdust that is partially composted and would like to help it along this winter. I wanted to use some old honey I found and sugar water. I live in Queens and have never seen a feed store. I will look online now. I guess I am in for a surprise.Fito


Use what you have and forget about the molasses search, unless liquid molasses is easy to find and cheap. If you want to use that honey on the pile, I think it would be a good idea to dilute it with sugar water to balance off the honey's reducing sugars and make it easier to spread around in the pile. Otherwise, past due fruit juice, flat caloric soft drinks, or some other cheap and readily available sugar sources are fine. I think it's a good idea to add some sugar or starch component because of the higher lignin content present in the sawdust. (I imagine the sawdust is stable refuse, not dust from cca-treated lumber.) Old flour, corn meal, bread, or similar materials would be useful too, but going out of your way to find and add ingredients opens the door to the entire world of composting--which probably isn't necessarily your intention. Turning that pile occasionally should help it along, but that might be harder to do if it's exposed and if it snows much on it. Good luck!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 5:08 pm 
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Location: NYC z7
I probably went about the long way to asking my question. You guys were smart enough to see what it was I was actually asking. So I can just pour most sugars on my pile huh? Good. Also, as the weather is getting cold here in NYC I didnt plan on getting any heat going. I just assumed it would be too difficult. Is that correct?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:11 pm 
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During the comparitively mild winters here in north Texas, piles can still get pretty hot and I'm assuming that this wouldn't be any differnt in NY. Minimizing snow coverage might be all that's necessary to keep it going. Others I'm sure will have more specific advice. Keep us posted on how it goes. :)


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