Jray8
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Is my compost safe?

So I have this pile where I have dumped just about every bit of waste from around the yard. I've dumped dirt,sand,saw dust, yard waste, etc.. after several years it now looks wonderful. It's light and airy and looks a lot like potting soil. My question is this. A large portion of this pile was mulch from around the house. I believe the mulch was treated. Now it's been two years since I added mulch to this pile and the mulch was a year old already when I added it. Is this pile safe to use in my veggie garden or could there be something in there that could damage my garden?
Jim
Arnold, Maryland
Complete newbie with a black thumb. I can kill fake plants. :shock:

Jray8
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Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:52 pm
Location: Arnold, Maryland USA

Re: Is my compost safe?

Upon further reading. I'm not sure that my mulch was treated. I bought it from a place that sells mulch, sand, topsoil, gravel and the like. It was loaded in my truck by front loader from a football field sized steaming pile.
What are your thought?
Jim
Arnold, Maryland
Complete newbie with a black thumb. I can kill fake plants. :shock:

tomc
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Re: Is my compost safe?

If your compost isn't at least stealing the riding mower, its safe enough...
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Is my compost safe?

After two years of sitting, as long as it didn't have radioactive waste from a nuclear power plant or something, it should be fine. :)
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tomc
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Re: Is my compost safe?

Not to be too much of a Debbie-downer; but the standard for handling compost (or manure) has been 90 days between the south end of the critter and harvest.

A-n-d like "where do tripes come from". Our role here is to complete the cycle of life. Your going to see on many gardening forums squeemish writers try to wriggle away from these facts of recycling.

A billion, four China-men can't all be wrong. The outcome of decay is increased fertility.
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tomc
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Re: Is my compost safe?

The modern (and fairly conservative) standard is to compost before spreading to feild at least known coliform rich manures.

With manures that are a perfect match (for human pathogens like humanure), should be applied to field and only hay from that field composted and then applied to gardens.

Sticks, stones, woody bits, are harmless carbon rich detrius that can finish off at the feet of your garden plants.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Is my compost safe?

??

OP did not mention manure. He said his compost pile was made up of dumped dirt, sand, saw dust, yard waste, and old mulch (probably bark chips).

Nothing with any pathogens and it's been sitting for two years.

Depending on how much proportion of yard waste (presumably green stuff) was to everything else, it may be less like actual compost and more like broken down wood chips. The broken down wood chips are a nice organic product, but very little nitrogen. So if you are using this as a soil amendment, you will still have to add something nitrogen rich.
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toxcrusadr
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Re: Is my compost safe?

I have never seen mulch treated with anything that would be harmful to plants. If you think about it, it would not be a very good idea.

The dyed mulches are colored with harmless pigments like powdered iron oxides (rust) for red and black mulch, for example.
Tox

tomc
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Re: Is my compost safe?

It ok to ask which end of the gun should be pointed away before firing. Your compost is safe enough to use. and I hope we have pointed up the things to shy away from.

Grow forth and prosper...
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ElizabethB
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Re: Is my compost safe?

OMG! 2 year old compost is gold. Use it! As a previous poster stated you have no problem unless your compost contains nuclear waste. Get going and use your wonderful compost..

Good luck and happy gardening.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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