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 Post subject: Compost Ingredients
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:46 am
Posts: 1
Location: Rockville,MARYLAND
I'm a newbie as far as the REAL COMPOSTING goes, but my question is this..........

I have built my compost pile and I need to know about the percentages of what different items I can put into it. I have a friend who works in the cafeteria where I work. He readily supplies me with compost on Wednesdays. It consists mainly of romaine lettuce, celery, carrot peelings, lemons, tomatoes, onions, coffee grounds. The other additions are grass clippings,leaves,branches, and shavings from a tree that I had cut down. My compost temps are hovering around the 100 degree(according to my compost thermometer) range now, and I don't think it's hot enough. It's early winter/late fall here (Maryland), so I know that the outdoor temps will effect that. I started the pile in Mid-October and I've turned it on an average of once a week. I plan to shut it down either the last part this month or the first of January. My question is can I add molasses, alfalfa, or whatever to increase the temps, or will coffee grounds do the trick? :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 8:15 am
Posts: 964
Location: Odenville,Alabama
Usually you should start with 2-3 times more "browns" or "carbon" materials, than "greens" or "nitrogen" materials, in your compost piles.

The extra carbon materials not only control odors and absorb ammonia levels in the pile, but you can't develop humus in compost without using high carboneous materials.

If the pile is composting too slow, or is not hot even (over say a month or less), then you can experiment by adding extra nitrogen materials or sugary materials like dry molasses, to the mixture, to feed the aerobic microbes, which will in turn, will heat up the pile, and speed up decomposition.

Happy Gardening!

_________________
The entire Kingdom of God can be totally explained as an Organic Garden (Mark 4:26)
William Cureton


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 Post subject: Oh yeah = Carbon!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:47 am 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:33 pm
Posts: 829
Location: Dallas,TX
I second the Captain's advice on the balance of carbon materials, especially. The man really knows his stuff. It makes such a huge difference when you hve too much "green" and not enough "brown".

When my pile slows down occasionally - usually because I don't keep it moist enough, I will add molasses for a quick feed to multiply the microbes and get it back in balance. I usually make a quick spray from liquid molasses and water (which it needs anyway), and give it a thorough spraying. It's so satisfying to see steam risiing from your compost piles on winter mornings. Let yourself enjoy that!

Kathe :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 8:15 am
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Location: Odenville,Alabama
Thanks!

Merry Christmas everybody!

_________________
The entire Kingdom of God can be totally explained as an Organic Garden (Mark 4:26)
William Cureton


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