bogydave
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Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:11 am
Location: Alaska

Specialty compost

:idea:
I've been saving all the kitchen scraps, eggs shells, beet, been, pea
scraps from the freeing process & putting it in the the small compost bin.
I was almost done & shrunk down to a tight 14" deep layer
I even threw in some fish scraps earlier this spring. (no smell when I mixed it :) )

I mixed the bin, shoveled it to on side & chopped & added the GH plants with some leaves & grass then sprinkled the older compost over it in layers.
Hoping for some compost with the nutrients that the next crop of toms & cucs need & can easily get from the soil. Plan to add it to the soil boxes in the GH when it's done.
1st time doing this but it seemed logical, "Green house specialty compost". Made from the plants it will hopefully feed.
What do yuns think? Worth the effort?
[img]https://i274.photobucket.com/albums/jj269/bogydave/100_6711.jpg[/img]

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rainbowgardener
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Looks pretty good and I would think definitely worth the effort. But it looks like you badly need a source of "browns." (Read the greens/browns sticky at the top of the Composting Forum.) All your kitchen scraps and plant wastes are "greens" as is the compost you already made from mainly kitchen scraps.

Your pile will work better and produce a better product if you mix some browns with it, that is drier, harder, more carbon/lignin heavy stuff, like shredded paper, fall tree leaves, straw, or whatever else you have around.
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bogydave
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:11 am
Location: Alaska

Well, that's my point. If I make specialized compost, do I do it the same way with the same basic mixtures & ratios? Or, do I make a mixture concentrated with the plants I plan to grow in the compost, to make the compost.
It make take longer to "cook", be wetter etc, but specialized, right?
I mean, I don't know, I've been making compost for many years, but never strayed from the traditional basic green brown mixtures.
I have over 30 cubic yards of "Horse manure" compost, it was a big pile of horse manure, wood chip bedding piled up & covered & mixed a few times. It got hot, 160° temps, & came out a pretty fine dark brown compost after 2 years.
I don't know if I use the HM compost as the "browns" now that it is
brown & fairly dry. I tried it with a batch of 100 salmon carcasses & innards & it really shrunk down to about 1/2 the volume so far. I haven't uncovered it (I will come spring :shock: ) to see if the odor is gone & then try it on some plants.
I guess I'm going "out o f the box" for composting, maybe it will be more organic "fertilizer" than compost.
I figured I'd have some fun, try some ideas. See how the plants react next year.
The bins I have working now are hot. The big bin (leaves/grass/garden plants) is 145°. The small bin (kitchen scraps/GH plants/grass clippings/some leaves,) is up to 120°. With OAT at night in the mid 20°s & day time highs near 40°f, I know they are generating heat & "cooking" like a good compost pile should.
They'll freeze about mid Dec, then thaw in Apr.
Maybe I end up with just good compost, that takes longer to "cook" but that is OK too.
You can "Never have too much compost". :)

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farmerlon
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That does seem like a whole lot of "Greens".
One thing to consider, is that you may lose more Nitrogen to the atmosphere, from a compost pile with a low C:N ratio. The "Brown" carbon-rich materials will help hold the Nitrogen in your compost, instead of letting it escape into the air.

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rainbowgardener
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I take it your point is everything a particular plant needs is in that plant, so if you make compost of that plant, it will be tailored directly for it?

I haven't heard that theory before and I'm not totally convinced. What if your plant would really benefit from micronutrient x, but it wasn't in your soil? Plants will rarely die from the lack of micronutrients, just not thrive as well as they could. It won't be in the plant, so it will continue not to be in your soil. If you made balanced compost with greens and browns from lots of different soils, you might luck in to adding x, without ever knowing that it was missing or what is was. That's why we generally encourage lots of different sources.

and so on...
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

bogydave
Senior Member
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:11 am
Location: Alaska

You're probably right. I guess I may need to mix some MG for tomatoes with the soil when I'm able to plant in the Spring.
I have 3 compost bins working. I may just make a mix of the 3 when I add soil to the GH soil boxes next spring. That & MG, should make a good soil.
I'm hoping the one with the fish don't smell come spring.
The 2 I've just finished adding to are hot & cooking well. The big one is at 145°f when I get about 1 foot deep into it. Hoping it cooks thru the winter. I sure is shrinking (settled down another foot in 4 days)
Im' out of ingredients to add, leaves all picked up, grass no growing. garden & GH empty. Well some kitchen scraps, but not enough to justify mixing into the pile, I think the heat is more important now.

Thanks all.

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