Freind
Full Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:49 pm
Location: Kenner, La

Composting

Hello,
I’m very new and I’m trying to a composter by my own. But I have many concerns.
1. Is that a good idea to make a composter by using a plastic barrel, like the blue chemical one? I have read that the composter needs very good ventilation, so I can make holes in it.
2. If I put this in open area do I have to cover it so the rainwater doesn’t get inside or the water is good for the compost?
3. I also read that the composter attract the rodents specially snacks. Is it true? If yes I’m wondering that why it attract the meat eaters. Anyway is there any suggestion to keep the rodents away?
4. In what amount of time the compost is ready. I read somewhere that takes a year.
5. For composting I have the easy access to egg shell, st Augustine grass, vegetables & fruits waist, tea bags, pine shaving with Guinea pig litter, newspaper, toilet paper. So are these good ingredients???
6. When the compost is ready how much I have to put. I mean that do I have to put a layer or spread it like the fertilizer.

Awaiting for the helpful advise.
Thanks.

[/code]

bogydave
Senior Member
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:11 am
Location: Alaska

Re: Composting

[quote="Freind"] Hello,
I’m very new and I’m trying to a composter by my own. But I have many concerns.
1. Is that a good idea to make a composter by using a plastic barrel, like the blue chemical one? I have read that the composter needs very good ventilation, so I can make holes in it.
2. If I put this in open area do I have to cover it so the rainwater doesn’t get inside or the water is good for the compost?
3. I also read that the composter attract the rodents specially snacks. Is it true? If yes I’m wondering that why it attract the meat eaters. Anyway is there any suggestion to keep the rodents away?
4. In what amount of time the compost is ready. I read somewhere that takes a year.
5. For composting I have the easy access to egg shell, st Augustine grass, vegetables & fruits waist, tea bags, pine shaving with Guinea pig litter, newspaper, toilet paper. So are these good ingredients???
6. When the compost is ready how much I have to put. I mean that do I have to put a layer or spread it like the fertilizer.

Awaiting for the helpful advise.
Thanks.

[/code][/quote]
1. depends on what chemical was in the drum. I tried a drum but was not successful, my best compost bin is from 3 pallets tied together on the corners & some boards on the front. Mother nature will break down organics if above freezing, It's been stated that the minimum size is 3ft X 3ft X 3ft for a good compost bin.
2. Depends again: lots of rain in your area may get it to wet, I cover mine & can control the moisture better.
3. I've had a few birds stop & pick at the insects, but my area don't have many rodents.
4 mine takes about a year, some areas faster if warmer (above freezing) year round.
5. All good ingredients, egg shell; I micro wave or roast then crush in a bag to speed up their break down time
6. again, depends on the soil it's added to; some is good , lots is better IMO, . I grow in 100% compost & have had good success.

Freind
Full Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:49 pm
Location: Kenner, La

Thanks bogydave & Marlingardener,
Yours advises are really helpful and appreciated.

Both of you guys suggesting to keep it open. I have found a 55 gal food grade olive barrel. You can check this out on craigslist posting no. 2456356467.

I live by New Orleans where the whether is hot and humid. So do you guys think the barrel will work.

And how often you guys spread the compost to you loan and garden and is there any way to determine the quality of compost.

Kind regards,

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Great suggestions from Marlingardener. I love my rain barrels, but if you do that, be sure to put a screen across it so that it does not become a mosquito breeder!
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

john gault
Green Thumb
Posts: 461
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: Atlantic Beach, Fl. (USDA Hardiness Zone 9a)

This is a Florida site, but the info is just as applicable to your area. https://www.compostinfo.com/

Freind
Full Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:49 pm
Location: Kenner, La

In that case I think I should stop thinking about the compost. But I’m wondering that is that ready made composter available at Home Depot works. I’m definitely not going to spent 100+ $s but I’m just curious.

Or may be someone near NO can advise who has tried composting in the plastic bin.

rot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:15 am
Location: Ventura County, CA, Sunset 23

Doable

..
The 55 gal can is doable. You'll want a lot of holes. The smaller volume means it will be harder to hot compost.

Folks that use a can usually get one of those corkscrew things to turn the compost. I suppose to turn one could just spill the contents on the ground and gather it all back into the can. One variation is to secure a lid really good and roll the can on its side. Just watch out for that lid popping off.

I haven't done the can thing myself but I have to expect compost a lot sooner than a year with a little effort.

to sense
..

rot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:15 am
Location: Ventura County, CA, Sunset 23

Good website

..
That website John Galt suggested is pretty good. It's well done so you can get in and find the info you need or you can read through it easily enough in a random fashion if you like.

I just noticed it was updated from what I remember. Fewer suggestions on bins and constructing them.

to sense
..

john gault
Green Thumb
Posts: 461
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: Atlantic Beach, Fl. (USDA Hardiness Zone 9a)

Freind wrote:In that case I think I should stop thinking about the compost. But I’m wondering that is that ready made composter available at Home Depot works. I’m definitely not going to spent 100+ $s but I’m just curious.

Or may be someone near NO can advise who has tried composting in the plastic bin.
I never spent one cent on composting (well other than a pitchfork I got at a yardsale). I have no containers; I simply do it either in a heap in my back corner lot or toss the kitchen waste in my heavily mulched areas of the yard, especially the areas I'm trying to build up as a future garden.

In that link I gave you it describes these various methods, here on this page: https://www.compostinfo.com/tutorial/methods.htm

BTW, There a many advantages of composting, but just one I notice yesterday, is that my trash can doesn't stink of rotting food. Every trashday, when the wind blows my way I can smell the stinky trashcans of my neighbors...yuck. Compost correctly and there's no smell.

wsommariva
Senior Member
Posts: 182
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:13 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey

Looks like you have your mind set on a tumbler. But before you spend the money try a wire bin. That galvanized screen sold at Home Depot. Three feet high and three feet wide. Keep it damp. Look at the posts about greens and browns. Leaves are a great source of browns.

bird dog
Full Member
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:42 pm
Location: Ukiah, Ca.

Everybody has their own ways of doing it and there are many different ways,after making compost for about 40 years I know what works for me and these would be my answers...1.My container is a ring of scrap 2"x4" wire 4' across and 4' high...2.I'm in Northern California with little or no summer rain but in the winter I cover mine so I can control the moisture...3.There is some rats in my area but I have never had any, I use no cooked foods or meats Period...4. Mine is ready in about two months. When I have enough collected to fill my cage I layer and wet, then I turn it with a pitch fork every 3 to 5 days the more often you do it the easier it is to turn, no compaction. I simply undo the seem on the cage and take it off the pile setting it up right next to the pile and refill it as I turn the pile...5. I don't use newspaper as I don't trust the ink but I do use my unbleached coffee filters with the grounds...6. I'm with everyone else here, add as much as you have and I never seem to have enough... This is just what works for me everybody has their own ways the important thing is that you use what most people treat as garbage to make the most valuable addition to your soil while keeping it out of the garbage dumps.

Freind
Full Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:49 pm
Location: Kenner, La

I appriciate to all for your help. I'm not ready yet but I'm working on it and I'm sure with all this help I will have good results. Once again thanks to all and have a Bless living.

Freind
Full Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:49 pm
Location: Kenner, La

Flower bed

Hello,
I'm prepairing my new flower bed but that area has st augustine grass. Can anyone advise what to do with the grass, i mean kill or something. If kill it then what would be best thing to do which doesnt effect the soil quality. and also advise how sould i prepair the bed, I mean soil and fertilizer.
Thanks.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

This is a completely separate question from your composting question above. You might get better results if you post it separately in the lawn care forum. More people would see it there who might be able to give you better answers. I'm personally not a lawn person. I work on converting as much lawn as possible to more productive uses and what "lawn" I have is just whatever grass and weeds come up, kept mowed and trimmed, so it looks green and neat.
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

Freind
Full Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:49 pm
Location: Kenner, La

Thanks, I'll post it again over there.

Freind
Full Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:49 pm
Location: Kenner, La

I started composting on my veggie bed. It has a 5 1/2 in high edging so I started dumping everything on the bed. Pls advise if I'm doing right. And also I’m wondering that do I have to add some soil or mud with my compost or not, if yes then what kind of soil?

I have also noticed that all my compost material is shrinking. And I believe that it is the part of composting. But my question is that is it okay to add the new material with the old one or I have to keep them separate.
Thanks.

Freind
Full Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:49 pm
Location: Kenner, La

I think I post it at the wrong topic. I'll post it again at the right area.
Sorry for the inconvinence. :oops:

Freind
Full Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:49 pm
Location: Kenner, La

I started composting on my veggie bed. It has a 5 1/2 in high edging so I started dumping everything on the bed. Pls advise if I'm doing right. And also I’m wondering that do I have to add some soil or mud with my compost or not, if yes then what kind of soil?

I have also noticed that all my compost material is shrinking. And I believe that it is the part of composting. But my question is that is it okay to add the new material with the old one or I have to keep them separate.
Thanks.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Composting in place is known as 'sheet composting' or sometimes 'lasagna composting' for the layers. If you type either of those into the Search the Forum Keyword Box, you will find a lot written here about them.

But yes, you will want to cover the compostables with something, soil, mulch, even newspapers. And probably once you have built your layers, you don't want to keep adding new stuff in that spot, go find a new spot, so the old stuff will have a chance to break down and get finished.

And you probably don't want to plant in that spot until the materials have pretty well broken down.
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

Return to “Composting Forum”