Okay, as most of you know I built my first pile this fall. 3'x3' and it was doing really well. I read somewhere that you don't get the right cooking if you don't have at least a cubic yard in size. Well, after reading this I kept adding more and more materials to it. Now it is about half the size it started out at but I still have tons of dried out weeds that haven't and won't decompose. I tried adding a whole bunch of molasses and cottonseed meal and veggies and coffee grounds and chipped up dried leaves. However, now I have a mess. I don't reckon I can screen out the small stuff and use it for fear of the seeds that weren't killed. What do ya'll suggest? I mean, I will buy a second bin in a couple of weeks to start a new pile with and let this one cure but how do I fix this old it so I can heat it up and kill the weed seeds? Should I just layer it with alternating layers of dry browns and dried molasses product?
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 8:39 pm Posts: 532 Location: Lavon,Texas
Thats how I build my compost. I turned mine last weekend and was supprised at how many of the little critters that were working on decomposing the compost there were. Since it was cold I thought it was time to turn it. With each layer, I added shredded brown leaves and handfuls of dried molasses. So it goes to show even though the pile is cold, the decomposing is still going on. I still have weeds from when I cleaned up the garden last year, in the compost bin that looks like when I first put them in the bin. I am not worried since then will decompose when the weather warms up. I only turned my compost once since last fall.
Whne I use my compost I just take the big pieces out and put in the other bin to finsh the decomposing process.
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I think the pile could be too dry, especially since we are getting ready to transfer it to the new house. For the most part I do try to water it once a week with a slow drip from the hose when I don't have any rain water handy. Do you think it would be safe to sift out the big stuff and go ahead and use this? Or should I be patient and let it cook for a couple more months with some new materials? The materials I put in from early fall are all done breaking down. It's just the new stuff I put in there trying to keep the pile at a cubic yard that has sat there looking untouched for two months now.
Joined: Sat May 10, 2003 5:48 pm Posts: 806 Location: Weatherford,TX
I'll give you my two bits on your question. If it is done composting, it will be OK to use. As a caution, I've seen people using unfinished compost and hurting their garden. From what I've read, the unfinished product tries to complete composting in the garden soil robbing the plants of nutrition.
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