pointer80
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jump starting compost?

Hello all, What can I put on my unfinished compost pile to jump start it? I have a lot of browns and will have more leaves also but no green material until I start mowing grass which will be a while yet. I also do not have enough kitchen scraps for all the browns so looking for something to jump start it. Thanks.

PaulF
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Re: jump starting compost?

Sprinkle some high nitrogen fertilizer on the pole, water it in and turn things over. The N will take the place of greens until you have clippings. Be sure to add in some soil when you are turning so that the bugs (microbes) present will start to feed (decompose) what you have.
Paul F

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rainbowgardener
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Re: jump starting compost?

If you stop by Starbucks or any other coffee selling place, they will usually give you used coffee grounds by the bucket (you may have to bring your own bucket). When I was working, my office made coffee every day. I brought in a bucket with a tight lid for people to dump coffee grounds in to. Took it home on Fri and brought it back clean on Monday. Despite the color, used coffee grounds are an excellent "green" for the compost pile.

If you are pulling weeds yet, all the pulled weeds can go in the compost pile. An ideal green is manure. Manure for composting can come from bats, sheep, ducks, pigs, goats, cows, pigeons, and any other vegetarian animal. Anyone you know have a hamster or guinea pig? Their used bedding is a good green/brown mixture, having pee and poop added. Or check with local stables for composted horse manure.

Any ponds near by you have access to? Where I used to live there was a big pond at the bottom of our hill. It would get covered in duckweed. I would take a net and scoop the duckweed out and take it to the compost pile. It is very rich in Nitrogen and would heat my pile up like crazy.

Talk to restaurants, groceries, farmers' markets. They may give you some of their scraps or allow you to dumpster dive for them.

You can buy in pet stores timothy hay and/or alfalfa, which they sell as guinea pig feed/bedding. Soak some of that in water to culture appropriate microbes and then dump the whole thing on your pile. (Hay is a green, straw is a brown).

You can buy nitrogen rich additives like blood meal to jump start the composting.
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pointer80
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Re: jump starting compost?

Thanks guy's

imafan26
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Re: jump starting compost?

You can always add kitchen waste and manures as well. Manures have to be hot composted or set at least 120 days. If you will not be using the compost before then, it should be fine. Here most stables are happy for you to take it away for the asking and chicken manure is usually cheap from the farms.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: jump starting compost?

Well horse manure and probably other large animals. The chicken and guinea pig droppings can go directly in the compost pile.
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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Gary350
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Re: jump starting compost?

If you want to speed up 1 year of composting to only 1 month put your compose in a 55 gallon metal drum with both ends cut out. Set it in the yard or garden in full sun. Paint metal drum & lid flat black to pick up lots of heat from the sun. Fill it with what every you have, if you have too much brown and not much green add water green provides water the compose needs. If you want your compose to be a complete fertilizer add wood ash & nitrogen. 100s of videos on You Tube look at this video it takes 30 days start to finish to make finished compose in a black container in the hot sun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRAaAkfirRU

pointer80
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Location: northern Michigan

Re: jump starting compost?

thanks guy's

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applestar
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Re: jump starting compost?

From a post in my garden thread (note emphasis in bold) —
Subject: Applestar’s 2018 Garden
applestar wrote:I’m finally getting around to tackling the big garden beds on NE side of the house (opposite side of the house from the VG beds).

[...] this morning’s cleanup of the Spiral Garden in the light drizzling rain, beheading all the grass inflorescence/spike that grew to 3-4 feet, then cutting the remaining “hay” down as mulch.

[...]

The beheaded inflorescence filled a cat litter bucket (is that 4 gallon or 5 gallon?) — my neighbor gave me some more buckets ...they are SO handy around the garden! :() I packed them down by stomping on them with my booted foot, then filled the bucket to the top with nutrient-rich rain water saved from the hardening off started plant trays. I’ll keep stomping them down to submerge and they will ferment and be digested by microbes into “drowned weeds juice” — Nitrogen-rich fertilizer. They should start bubbling and foaming in a few days to a week, and when the foaming action subsides, and the mixture smells like fresh horse manure, you know it’s basically done. It’s a good way to dispose of weeds that are too mature and pose danger of dropping seeds, though just like horse manure, not all seeds will be killed.

What I like about this method is it can thwart those pesky weeds that will refuse to die and will mature immature soft seeds if allowed to remain dry. The strained liquid will be used as soil drench fertilizer, and the leftover digested plant matter will very quickly heatup the compost pile.

I plan on using this to feed the corn, squash, and melons.
I cut off the inflorescence and processed them separately because I wanted to use the rest of the grass as mulch/biomass, but it’s easier to toss the entire pulled weeds in a bucket. I do this with dandelions that I hand pull from areas of the front yard when I’m feeling ambitious.
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.

pointer80
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Location: northern Michigan

Re: jump starting compost?

thanks guy's

toxcrusadr
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Re: jump starting compost?

Human urine has considerable nitrogen. I will leave the rest to your imagination. :-D
Tox

PaulF
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Re: jump starting compost?

PaulF wrote:Sprinkle some high nitrogen fertilizer on the pile, water it in and turn things over. The N will take the place of greens until you have clippings. Be sure to add in some soil when you are turning so that the bugs (microbes) present will start to feed (decompose) what you have.
Paul F

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