westernslope
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:37 pm
Location: Western Slope Colorado

nasties in compost

A friend and I went spade ready to add to and turn a new this year compost bin made of 2x4's. A foot down we ran into an ugly mess of grub worms, slugs, and centipedes along with some very beatiful nightcrawlers and red worms. The compost was very wet at that level which seemed odd as the top was barely moist. We (UGH) handpicked all of the grubs and slugs we could find and mixed in shredded paper and a bag of purchased topsoil hoping to soak up some of the moisture. The kids had a great time with salting the slugs and grubs. According to my googling search, the grub worms are from Japanese beetles - have never seen one out here, thought they were an Eastern rose bush problem. Where did they come from and what can I do to prevent a new batch from showing up at the next turnings? I have cukes planted on one side of the bin, the other three sides are part of a raised bed - should I dig everything up now, haul it to the dumpster and start over?

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applestar
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When was the last time you turned the compost pile? It sounds like you had left a rather largish layer of tasty greens -- maybe kitchen scraps? -- that these guys congregated on. The centipedes were probably just there to dine on the diners.

Maybe next time, distribute the ingredients more evenly or in thinner layers of browns and greens, and turn a little more frequently.

westernslope
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:37 pm
Location: Western Slope Colorado

nasties in compost

Whew! Thanks for the reassuring wisdom and advice - yes, there was a heavy layer of kitchen scraps, I have three compost bins going and obviously failed to spread it aound. New rule - Compost before Cocktail!
:oops:

toxcrusadr
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Location: MO

A compost pile is an active biological system, no doubt about it. It's nature at work, so don't be squeamish, the crew is making great compost in there!

Pests are only pests if they start attacking things in large numbers. I find jap. beetle grubs when I dig but they don't seem to be harming anything.
Tox

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