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applestar
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Re: Compost question

If you want to break up the corn cob put on hard surface -- brick, cobblestone... slightly concave flat rock is best actually -- then smash with hammer or better yet with something larger headed like hand sledge or a handy rock. (I keep what I call "handy rock" -- a goose egg sized hard rock that fits nicely in hand, often with flat bottom-- in strategic places around the garden for when I don't feel like going back for hammer/sledge)
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toxcrusadr
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Re: Compost question

You can break corn cobs in your hands if you're in reasonably good shape. I can get 3 pieces out of one before they get too small to get a grip on.

I've used grass clippings in the compost regardless of whether they are treated, as the typical herbicides will break down rapidly in the compost. I just wouldn't put them down on the garden as mulch, especially if the grass was sprayed with liquid chemicals (as opposed to granulated).
Tox

Jason L
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Re: Compost question

We had dinner over my parents tonight. I have the rind from a half of a medium water melon and corn husks from 8 good sized ears of corn. My mom flipped out when I told her I wanted the rind for compost. She was saying it will stink and attract flies and you will get a ticket if a neighbor complains. And I was saying not if done right. I made a mistake though and thought corn cobs were greens and didn't save them. But seeing they are on the browns list I maybe should have saved them. So far I have one corn cob, 6 toilet paper tubes (cut up small), stem part of leaf lettuce leaves from 5 large salads, a very few berries that molded, skin of one apple, and coffee grounds from 6 k-cup single portion sized servings. I want to confirm dryer lint from mostly cotton clothing, I can use that for compost right? And if so it is a brown right? I have about 3 quarts of it fluffy as it is in the lint basket. If I stuffed it in a 2 quart pitcher it might hold it all.

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applestar
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Re: Compost question

Good work!

Yep corn cobs are great additions. If you are not too particular, you can even buy and add corncob bedding sold for pets. I had some left after the kids gerbils died -- got mine from the feedstore in a brown bag tied with jute string.

I prefer all cotton, but yes. Natural fabric lint is brown and can be added -- don't use dryer sheets and fabric softener if you want to be organic. Not so nice chemicals in those with residues that remain on clothes (and lint).
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Jason L
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Re: Compost question

The lint is blueish color at least it looks like that to me. Here is a picture of what most of it looks like. Except for that reddish part I don't think there is hardly any of it like that. Also I forgot to add in my last post I requested the produce department save me corn husks on friday. I'm out by the grocery store that day so hopefully they will save them like they said they would. The first batch I'm going to use as mulch then I can get more for compost. I still need to find materials to cover if I dig a trench down the two long walk ways in the garden. The hole I dug is in the cross way in the middle where I can step around it. Oh and the plastic trash can lid has a hole is in about 1/2 inch maybe 3/4 inch round Should I elevate the lid slightly using say half inch thick wood stakes or is that small hole on the top enough ventilation for a 2-3 foot deep by 2-3 foot diameter hole?
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Northern-Gardener
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Re: Compost question

Hi, you may have already come to a solution, but I will give my impute too :) I lived with many housemates at one time and we did save scraps for our garden. First, it was nicer to just place them in a coffee container (currently we use the folgers plastic containers). The best reason for saving the scraps is so you don't fill up your trash can with smelly foods and create a long standing stink in the house. I personally don't like the smell of 'leftovers' in the house either so I tend to empty the container I use into the compost pile about every 2-3 days and stir up the compost with a pitch fork. I then rinse the container bring inside and reuse. If it helps to use a 'pretty' container, by all means make it beautiful on the outside :) I suppose the winter months are the hardest for us Northerners I may just use a 5 gal pail this year and dump everything in it over the winter and leave outside. I don't really know any other options for the winter. Good luck!

toxcrusadr
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Re: Compost question

Whether to use fertilizer depends on how your plants are growing. But it sounds like you're trench composting in the aisles, which not only takes time but also isn't right up around the plants. So your plants may benefit from a little fertilizer. Just don't overdo - a handful goes a LONG way. My dear wife has actually killed plants by sprinkling granular fert around them too heavily and getting granules onto the leaves.
Tox

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Compost question

I think we already discussed this earlier, but re: "My mom flipped out when I told her I wanted the rind for compost. She was saying it will stink and attract flies" : Your mom is just wrong. Sure if you just put your watermelon rind out on your patio and left it, that would be true. But mixed into a properly managed compost pile and covered with fall leaves or other "browns," there will be NO odor and you will not have flies buzzing around your compost pile.

I keep a 2 gallon bucket with a tight fitting lid (laundry soap and kitty litter come in things like that) under the sink to keep compost scraps. It doesn't smell as long as the lid isn't opened. If left too long, the smell may knock you over when you open the lid! A coffee can I would have to empty every day, might not even be able to stuff all the scraps from one dinner for two into it. If you cook from scratch from your garden veggies, you create quite a bit of leftovers.

There have been times in winter when I didn't feel like trekking through snow to get to the compost pile. I stick the bucket out on the screened porch. No critters can get to it there and it just freezes. And I just start with a new bucket. When ever the weather breaks enough for me to feel like doing it, I empty all the buckets on the compost pile.
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Jason L
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Re: Compost question

The composting is going pretty good. All but the lint and ends of the corn stalks have decomposed into indistinguishable stuff. I have a lot of corn husks I didn't have time to use as mulch yet and I'm not sure at this point what to do with them. I believe they have started to decompose in the open plastic bag they are in. Should I proceed to compost them instead of using for mulch and get more for mulch? I only have half the garden covered with corn husks. Half of that other half will have almost nothing in it in a week or two as the leaf lettuce and romaine have completed their cycle. I will eat what I can of them and the rest will get composted. I planted too much of it as I anticipated not being the only one eating it and ended up being the only one eating it. Once I pull up those the only thing left on that end are the pepper plants around the outer edge and the onions and garlic. I'm guessing that they will remain in the ground until the end of the season. I am planning on using that area for compost. And maybe reserving a small area to attempt to grow some spinach and cilantro to be harvested just before the end of the season.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Compost question

My onions have already been pulled and my garlic should be now, I just haven't had any round tuits lately ( :) ). I'm a bit south of you, but still I wouldn't expect onions and garlic to stay in the ground all season. (I guess that depends some on varieties and when you planted.)

You still have plenty of time to plant more stuff in the freed up areas. You could plant beans, corn (if you have room) or summer squash now. Or you could wait just little while and plant cold weather stuff like lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli for fall crop.
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

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