Chaesman wrote:Well we officially started our compost pile today. It is about 5ftx3ft and about 6 to 8 inches high at the moment consist mainly of dried grass clippings raked dried leaves and chicken manure that has been sittining for about 3 months already. So here are the new questions
1. am I suppose to moisten this pile initially?
2. are weeds from the garden exceptiable to go in the compost?
3 how soon and how often should I be turning the pile
average day time temps are low to mid 70s right now if that makes any difference
I plan on adding more lawn clippings and leaves and manure over the next few days to get it up to about 2.5 feet high.
Congratulations on your new compost pile! I'm sure you will soon grow to love composting. Are you doing something to contain your pile? It would work much better, if that is all the material you have, to be 2'x3' and 20" high. Ideally you want a 3'x3'x3' cube. It really helps the stuff in the middle to have a deeper pile like that. Spread too thin disrupts the process.
Yes moisten the pile initially. You want it to be as damp as a wrung out sponge at all times. I am surprised how much water a compost pile consumes. If it dries out it stops working. That's not a total disaster, once it gets wet again, it starts up again, but it certainly slows the whole process down.
Yes OF COURSE weeds from the garden are acceptable in your compost pile! That's part of the whole point of the thing, to recycle all the nutrients that are in all those weeds. The only thing you might want to be careful of is if the weeds already have a lot of seeds. As long as you pull your weeds before they have gone to seed, no problem. If they have lots of seeds AND your compost pile doesn't run real hot, you could end up with viable weed seeds in your compost. But even that is not a disaster (there are few true disasters in composting!
), just increases the weeding work a bit. But just pull the weeds before they go to seed and there's no issue.
How soon and how often to turn the pile will get a whole bunch of different answers. Depends on what you are trying to do. If you want to run a hot compost pile that will break everything down thoroughly and quickly, you probably want to turn it after a couple days and every few days after that. Other people who do that kind of composting can tell you more about that. I do lazy composting and in the past have just turned mine every couple months and that works too.
But I will say I just got a new compost bin, referenced here:
It came with a compost mixing tool about like this:
[url=https://www.amazon.com/Bosmere-BOSMERE-36-COMPOST-AERATOR/dp/B0007WIVU2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1305804177&sr=8-3]compost mixing tool[/url]
So since my new compost pile is taller, more enclosed, and I have the tool, I guess I will be doing a little more mixing!