huskermama30
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Location: Sioux Falls SD

Starting my first Compost- please help!

Hello! I'm brand new to this forum and I'm determined to start my garden this spring/summer, however I really want to start composting now. I live in SD and we have several inches of snow, so I was wondering, would it be feasible to start a compost in my garage? Its warmer in there than outside (sub 0). Will it take a while to get enough good compost for my garden, or will this be a "next year" thing? Thanks!!

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rainbowgardener
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If you start now, you won't have compost for spring planting, but you well could have some for mid-summer or definitely fall use.
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huskermama30
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Thank you!! I'm very new to this so I will probably be asking a ton of questions (just to forewarn!)

Garden_by_Faith
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Hi huskermama30 I am so glad you asked that...I am new as well and was wondering the same thing. I live in North Idaho and we have a layer of snow as well.

I do have a couple questions: Should you mix manure with your compost and if so what kind would be the best??...we have a lot of horses in this area that I can get manure from and chickens, but I heard that the chicken manure will be too hot.

Also, since huskermama30 and myself might not be able to use our compost for spring, what would you recommend if we do not have a local compost factory?? I have been reading a lot and found out I should have started all this last year just for this years garden. SUGGESTIONS??

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rainbowgardener
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Manure is a good addition to your pile if you have it. The chicken manure is fine for the compost pile, just not for putting directly on the garden. You will definitely want to have plenty of "browns" to mix in your pile, if you are using manure (see Green/Brown sticky at the top of this Forum). But if you don't have it, your compost pile will be fine without it. I'm a city girl and I like not bringing anything in to my garden from the outside, so my garden and compost pile have never had any manure. Do just fine that way.

You can buy bagged compost or aged composted manure, if you don't have any of your own. But a lot of towns do municipal composting these days, so look in to it.
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Garden_by_Faith
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Good to know. Thank you!
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Praxxus55712
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Composting goodies

Chicken manure is fantastic to add to compost. Add used coffee grounds as well. I have a 50 gallon lined trash can in my unheated garage. I toss in used coffee grounds and filters all winter. When spring comes I have around 2 cans of coffee grounds to mix with wet bagged leaves from last fall and chicken manure from the coop. It's one insane magical mixture for the garden. Compost is fun, easy as pie and the best thing you could ever add to your garden. It's a miracle product and it's :D FREE :D . :)

wsommariva
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In the Fall stock up on leaves and steal your neighbors. Make bins at least 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet tall. Nothing fancy needed. You can just get hardware cloth and make a circle. Weekly add kitchen scraps and leaves, mix a bit, keep damp. Simple. I generally get one to two gallons of kitchen scraps - fruits and vegetables mainly. Dump in, add three times the amount of leaves or more, mix. Easy. VERYYYYY rewarding.

tomc
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Husker, please know in the beginning there is never enough, its never ready fast enough. If things are frozen where you are (like I expect them to be), tie up four pallets to make a box with no bottom and place it up on the snow and start filling it up.

Kitchen scraps and yard waste as you get it. Manures as you can find it. Chop longer brushy yard waste into hand sized chunks. Once you fill your first one lash three more pallets to the first bin and continue on.

Spring will come. Your too full bins won't just look like they are slumping down, they'll look like the insides are evaporating. To a gegree they will be. Decomp will kick in as spring comes.

What was a whole lot of stuff laying around will convert to a little bit of partly composted material. You can spade that roughage in, because you've nintey days grace between adding manure and compost and harvest.

When ever I start a new garden its year four or five before my need for compost and my available compost catches up. No matter how many leaves I steal, or how big the manure pile I start to empty.
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treehopper
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Years ago, an older mentor told me go and get ya a pitchfork. Pick out a place for 3 piles. Only fill 1 with fresh ingredients (greens, browns, manures). make it only as big as you can turn in an hour or so. when it is full, start a second pile...always leave one place open to turn the others to. Seems to work for me. And I take all the neighbors bagged leaves in the fall...by july I'm always wanting for more.
I started a compost pile, because I gardened. Now I find myself gardening, so I have someplace for my compost!!

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