lottena
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When do I compost

I started composting in April and now have quite a lot- I think mostly greens. I've added coffe grinds, egg shells, dry leaves, wood chips and a lot of yard waste.

I have a vegetable garden and a few flower beds. When do I add the compost? And how do I know it's ready (I have to say I haven't been good about turning it, there's so much and it's quite heavy)

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rainbowgardener
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when to use compost

Almost any time. Plant with compost in the spring. Add it as top dressing/ mulch through the season. Plant with it again in the fall.

It's finished compost when it is crumbly, smells earthy, and you can't see any of the original ingredients in it, except in mine the occasional bits of eggshell.

I don't turn my compost at all, except 3X a year when I want to use my finished compost, I turn it over/ upside down. That is, I take the stuff off the top to be the bottom of a new pile. I keep turning it upside down like that til I get to where all the earthworms are. Then if that part isn't quite finished, I stir it around a little and poke some holes through to the bottom for aeration and it very rapidly becomes finished.

lottena
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Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:39 am

thanks so much. o.k I'll probably start planting again soon for fall so will turn it over to see what it looks like.

i don't keep my compost covered and we've gotten quite a bit of rain. should i cover it?

rot
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cover it

..
Keep the bins, piles covered from rain and sun and sheltered from the wind. Keep it a few feet from the house because of critters. Keep it close enough so watering is handy.

The rain will leach good stuff from the pile or bin and a too wet bin will just go anaerobic.

The sun will dry things out.

The wind will suck the moisture out like all get out.

I believe the garden guy on NPR likes fall for spreading the compost. Tilling might be another matter. I'm too lazy to till. I'm too impatient to wait so I will defer to rainbowgardener and spread anytime. The sooner it gets to the ground the sooner the stuff can start helping.
..

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rainbowgardener
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covering compost

I don't cover mine, though it is under a shady tree, so it is protected from baking and drying out and heavy rain is broken up a bit. But I believe all the rain we've had this year is part of why my compost pile is running hotter than usual. Apparently left to my own devices, I wasn't keeping it moist enough. With so much rain keeping the pile more moist, it did better.

a0c8c
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Mines never covered, so it drues fast, but it's four feet tall so the bottome stays moist. I use it all the time, new plants, plants that need some nutrition, and any random thing I can think of. Doubles as food and mulch

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