DoubleDogFarm
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Composters and Non-Composters & Their Garden Square Foot

This is a little survey of Helpful Gardener members that compost or Not and their square footage of garden. I'm looking to see if the size of a garden makes one more likely to compost. Small garden=Composting?

My fenced in garden is 54ft x 72ft about 3900sqft. My new area is roughly 50ft x 50ft = 2500sqft.

I basically don't compost but sheet mulch and I still till. I bring in trailer loads of manure in the Fall and incorporated it in the Spring. I also use truck loads of grass clippings from home and neighbors. What little kitchen scrap I produce goes to the ducks or worms. So I would say I am a non-composter. Just to put a few inches of finished compost on the garden would take a mountain.

I'm thinking Gardeners / Farmers like jal_ut and other large producers of food don't compost. Myself included. :)

So,
1. Do you compost?
2. How large is your garden?

Eric
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

gumbo2176
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My back yard garden is not near the size of yours, roughly 900 sq. ft. in all. I do compost but use it pretty sparingly since, like you mentioned, it would take a small mountain to cover my garden with a couple inches of the stuff.

What I do is turn over the soil, usually by tilling when the garden is pretty empty or by shovel if just removing a few things that are done. I'll then form my rows and only apply compost to the formed rows and hoe it in. Right now I don't have much finished compost left, maybe a couple wheelbarrows full. I did just bring home about 15 large wheelbarrows full of stable waste and have added to that 3 very large bags of grass clippings, a couple bags of oak leaves and garden waste to get things started.

Between my rows I'll layer cardboard or newspaper, cover in leaves and grass clippings to help mulch, conserve moisture, block weeds and decompose over the summer to be turned back into the soil in September.

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rainbowgardener
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You may be on to something. I can see how composting in piles would get more cumbesome as you scale up. I garden about 700 sq feet in a bunch of beds and I compost.
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SPierce
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mine is 8x8. i do put compost on it, also use compost on any containers i end up planting

DoubleDogFarm
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SPierce wrote:mine is 8x8. i do put compost on it, also use compost on any containers i end up planting
but do you make your own compost?

Eric

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SPierce
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:
SPierce wrote:mine is 8x8. i do put compost on it, also use compost on any containers i end up planting
but do you make your own compost?

Eric
I have a compost pile started finaly; it wasn't ready enough to use my own this year, but i will be using my own next.

Dillbert
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lemme see, more than one garden to place a vote for . . . .

1. yes
2. 500 sq ft

1. yes
2. 1500 sq ft

1. yes
2. 1000 sq ft

treehopper
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about 1500 sq. ft. and I do compost...with the help of a neighbor(s). He drops his grass clippings and I take leaves in the fall from the others.
I started a compost pile, because I gardened. Now I find myself gardening, so I have someplace for my compost!!

DoubleDogFarm
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Dillbert wrote:lemme see, more than one garden to place a vote for . . . .

1. yes
2. 500 sq ft

1. yes
2. 1500 sq ft

1. yes
2. 1000 sq ft
Dillbert, You must have quite a large composting pile to make any difference in a 3000sqft total area. 2" of compost would be 18.5 yards of compost. If you covered everything.

3000 x .167 = 501 divide by 27 = 18.55 yards Correct me if I'm wrong :wink:

Eric

Dillbert
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>>This is a little survey of Helpful Gardener members that compost or not and their square footage of garden. I'm looking to see if the size of a garden makes one more likely to compost. Small garden=Composting?

>>So,
1. Do you compost?
2. How large is your garden?


>>quite a large composting pile to

piles, sheets . . .

what are we talking about

sorry. totally baffled by your last.
I garden.
I compost.

I did not read into your initial survey that one had to (sheet?/whatever) compost over the entire area of one's garden.

if that's the question, count me 3x no.

if it's a sheet composting question, where does the size of the (by definition non-existent) pile come in?

DoubleDogFarm
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Whoa, Sorry Dillbert.

Your right, You have a good size garden and you compost.

Thank you.
Eric

cynthia_h
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Yes, I compost. I don't know what else I'd do with all the kitchen waste, fabric scraps, cotton balls (don't ask; dog hygiene), cereal boxes, etc. that we generate. I can't imagine just throwing them out. So if I didn't have a garden, I'd probably be giving compost away to the neighbors or friends of DH at his work (I just gave away worm castings the other day this way).

I have 96 sq. ft. of raised beds + about 10 containers ranging in size from 10" diameter to 24" diameter under production here at the house. I have rented an additional 32 sq. ft. elsewhere.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

DoubleDogFarm
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Thanks Cynthia.

Environmental composter, that's cool. I wasn't thinking that direction when I started this post, but I like it. :D

Eric

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applestar
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I compost. I'm so trained to compost I can't bear to throw compostables away. DH made a huge batch of soup today and was tossing veg scraps in a paper grocery bag for the compost pile. It filled 1/2 the bag. Throw all that in the garbage or down the disposal and into the water system? No way.

Don't ask me how many sq. ft. I've never tried to add them all up and I don't really know the actual size of some of the beds. I don,t think I *want* to know. (ref. What Kind of Gardener Are You thread) I did add another 1'x10' to one bed and two 2'x4' sections to another bed this year. :roll:

hit or miss
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360 square feet at this time.

I compost but have a hard time coming up with materials to use.

I've been re-reading the John Jeavons book on growing biointensive and it only calls for 1/2" of compost over the beds. Additional fertilizers like alfalfa meal can be used as soil tests call for it.

It's hard for people to understand how much I can grow in such a small space. I'm also working on adding beds as I go. I need to get something growing just to raise material for composting!

DoubleDogFarm
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hit or miss wrote:360 square feet at this time.

I compost but have a hard time coming up with materials to use.

I've been re-reading the John Jeavons book on growing bio intensive and it only calls for 1/2" of compost over the beds. Additional fertilizers like alfalfa meal can be used as soil tests call for it.

It's hard for people to understand how much I can grow in such a small space. I'm also working on adding beds as I go. I need to get something growing just to raise material for composting!
Biomass cover crops is a whole nother topic and I don't consider composting, but soil building.

Eric

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PunkRotten
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1. Yes I compost
2. I got 4 beds; they measure roughly 16x2, 4x2, 4x2, and 8x2.

pickupguy07
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I started making compost last summer... this will be the first time I have compost in my garden.
My Garden is about 50' x 8'.... so about 400 sq ft.
My compost that was finished in 4 ' x 4' pallets, and was about 3 ft high. It was all moist, and looked wonderful.

SO I don't know if what I put on is enough, too much or what. I do know the garden looked good when I got dome tilling it about 8" deep.
Life is great..... but if you get lemons - compost them :-)
Near Atlanta GA... newbie to gardening & Composting

DoubleDogFarm
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I changed the topic title hoping the non-composters will post. :wink:

Keep it going folks. :D

Eric

orgoveg
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Only 260 sq. feet and I compost, but I can never make enough to cover it all. I could probably make more if I wasn't so picky about what I want in the pile, but it still wouldn't be enough.

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!potatoes!
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we compost. we've probably got a little more than a quarter-acre we're growing on.

i never apply it to a large area and till it in - whole small beds or well-amended planting holes is the norm.

btrowe1
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My garden is 25' x 45', I have a compost pile (grass and leave clippings )and a compost tumbler plus a precompost holding bin, I do not see myself using the compost on the garden. But I will be using the compost on the flowers and my growing pots. I have a source that has much aged horse manure that i will be using for the garden.

hit or miss
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Sorry, I'm not talking cover crops. Growing plants specifically to cut and compost is what I was talking about. Right now I'm intentionally growing weeds to compost! :shock: I guess that makes them "not weeds"! :lol:

DoubleDogFarm
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hit or miss wrote:Sorry, I'm not talking cover crops. Growing plants specifically to cut and compost is what I was talking about. Right now I'm intentionally growing weeds to compost! :shock: I guess that makes them "not weeds"! :lol:
If you follow John Jeavons design, 60% of your garden would be [url=https://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&sa=X&biw=1024&bih=571&tbm=isch&prmd=imvnsbo&tbnid=HiBB_8CN3j1AbM:&imgrefurl=https://www.growbiointensive.org/about_costarica_report.html&docid=OgYDn9s3ONPbfM&imgurl=https://www.growbiointensive.org/images/grow-bio.jpg&w=400&h=300&ei=nfh4T8vVNamhiQKwnMinDg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=659&vpy=125&dur=3359&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=114&ty=128&sig=100245684111842089518&page=2&tbnh=123&tbnw=164&start=18&ndsp=24&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:18]grains.[/url] Then you would have the stalks for composting.

bcallaha
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I have a little less than 3000 sq ft of garden, and I don't compost, however, I buy compost at a local place and will be putting somewhere around 18 cubic yards of compost on my gardens this year.

Brad

Allegre Nee
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:I changed the topic title hoping the non-composters will post. :wink:

Keep it going folks. :D

Eric
I think only the composters would be interested in a composting poll, LOL. I'm the only person I know (in real life), other than my dad, who composts.

I have four 4x4 garden boxes and a fifth which is as yet unplanted, so a total of 64-80 square feet of garden bed area. I use the compost when I initially fill the garden boxes; I mix it with potting soil, peat moss, and vermiculite. I also apply it kind of randomly throughout the year as a fertilizer, like when I pull out an old plant and add a new one in one of my grid spaces I toss in a handful of compost.

My actual garden area is about 625 square feet. I use mulch and yard waste such as raked up leaves, etc to cover my "walking space". Once that kind of breaks down, I throw it into the compost bin.

dustyrivergardens
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Yes I definitely compost. My gardens very's in size and right now it totals about a quarter of an acre and growing...lol every year I try to enlarge right now I am enlarging at my brothers house I am out of room.lol

mattie g
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I just started composting this year (see my thread in the Composting Forum), and I have a pretty small area for vegetable gardening. I'll probably use my own compost primarily for tea, but might also put some in some of our flower beds that need improving.

- Three ~8'x1.5' beds
- One ~4'x6' bed
- Another 20' sq. or so of extra space around paths and the like
- Three 12-gallon pots, and various other sized and shaped pots - just really started them this year

That said, in my first year of real gardening (last year), I used about half mushroom compost and half native soil in the holes I transplanted my plants in. I had some absolutely monster tomato plants - a couple in excess of 11' - and some nice, big tomatoes that came from them, so I know what compost can do for a garden!

barnhardt9999
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I have two 18' x 2.5' raised beds (plans to add two more this year), a winter squash/pumpkin patch in-ground (5 plants) and 5 fruit trees (2 fig, 2 plum, 1 mulberry). All said I've got a little over 200 sq. feet of garden space.

I compost my kitchen scraps, lawn clippings and oak leaves from 2 mature oak trees in my neighbors yard.

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rainbowgardener
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I will say the CSA farm I belong to is five acres, intensely farmed, totally organic, produces pretty much all the veggies for 100 families. They compost -- gigantic rows of compost pile, tractor turned.
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

Brant
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I used only my own compost (except a couple bags of coffee grounds my roommate brought home) and it was enough for 75 sq feet - one of my two plots - after saving up a whole year (I don't really have grass so I don't even get grass clippings). That half of my garden looks spectacular this year, the best I have had any garden and much better than my other plot which I used composted manure on.
Brant from Phoenix

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