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Compost coffee filters and tea bags, Burmuda?

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by catlover on April 16, 2003 05:58 AM
I am new to composting but with all my granite soil I have to do something. I have 26 liquid amber trees and 6 birch that the leaves all come off at the same time. My green source would be cuttings of my Burmuda grass. Would I just be planting (Heaven forbid) more Burmuda grass or should I find another green source? Should coffee filters and the tea bags themselves be added to the compost pile? Should I use pine needles in compost pile? What do you think of these tumbler decomposers? Do they really work or am I going to waste my money? I have osteoarthritis so it is sometimes hard to turn the pile with all that weight of debris (liquid gold). Have a source of horse manure also. If anyone knows info. about any of these things it would be greatly appreciated. Karen

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by weezie13 on April 21, 2003 05:28 AM
Yes to all of the above. Tea bags and Coffee grounds (filter and all). Kitchen scraps are a good source of green too. Banana peels, orange rinds, egg shells, onion scraps, old bread, apple cores or peelings, etc. Grass is great. The best time to start new compost bins is in the fall when brown leaves mix with freshly mown grass and that gets the stuff cooking "fast". Chop your leaves up with the lawn mower to get them in smaller pieces (smaller pcs. compost faster) The trick is not too wet and not too dry. You asked about the compost tumbler..... I have 5 ground composters and also a double barreled compost tumbler by Mantis (I think, I just drew a blank, but I think it's the only double tumbler out there) Anyhow, Each composter has it's own individual traits. The tumber is nice in many ways..... I am use to the ground ones and let alot of the worms do some of my work.... The tumblers need to be close to the backdoor to tumble once a day (especially in the winter months or your're treking everyday to the back 40 through snow knee deep, ect./Also, I am in the north with snow and the tumblers don't work in the winter months, they freeze up. Just like the ground composters. Now down south or Calif. area they may continue to work in those months, I'm not sure about that.) They are a bit heavy after winter with the frozen load, so turning may be a bit hard in those first few weeks of spring..... Once it thaws out it's basically ok. But depends on how much you use and or put in. I have 7 bins total (could use 8 more, I compost alot of leaves, kitchen scraps and clean up from previous garden supplies.) I start the piles in the spring and fall. The tumblers are small in size and should chop up alot of your stuff... But it also depends if you are a patient composter or not. I now have a good supply and can use and not use a fast as I need. If you are in a big hurry the tumblers are great, if you have time and the yard the box ones are fine or even a corner of the yard where you just throw every-thing and let nature work, 3,4 or 5 years or so you'll have the same the results in longer time, just no turning. I do all the methods....Now, there is the single tumblers out there on the market but because I compost alot I had to have the double tumbler because what they fail to mention in the single tumblers is.......... Where do you put your "compost stuff" for the supposed 2 weeks to render the compost down, You can't keep adding to the tumbler when you are letting it work. You need to start a seperate place for the next stuff to start. I can't remember any of your other questions, I've gone on so. Hope this info helps a bit!!!

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by weezie13 on April 21, 2003 05:35 AM
Forgot the pine needles....They are great but will take a bit of time to render down.. I take a huge pile and run over them again and again with my lawn mower and end up with tiny pcs. That will get them going quicker too. Also there's a kind of compost starter you can add to the bins that get the stuff going quicker.... I only use that when I have a pile of unchopped leaves I want to get activated or in the spring when the pile is wet and I'm adding stuff and it's just trying to recover from the winter (again warmer climates may not have that problem???)

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by catlover on April 25, 2003 08:31 AM
Weezie13: Thank you so much for the info.. I have some ground piles going but it seems to be taking forever. Not a patient person and yes I needed the compost "yesterday" if you know what I mean. You answered a lot of my questions about what to compost. My only major concern now is the composting of Burmuda grass. Of all the sites I have gone to there has only been one person who says composting Burmuda grass is not good because each piece can start. They recommended drying the pieces but said to only scatter that compost on lawns etc. where the possiblility of spreading Burmuda would be okay. I am really scared of spreading the EVIL BURMUDA! Have you or anyone else had direct experience with composted burmuda? In a pickle if I can't use grass as my green source. CatloverKaren

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by weezie13 on April 27, 2003 09:18 PM
Well, let's see if I can remember all the questions, I personally don't know if I know about Bermuda grass specifically, (I have a grass that sounds like that stuff, runs on runners through the ground and is very tough to get rid of.....I think of the time I was trying to get it out of my vegetable garden and as we rototilled I grabbed the long strings of roots and did a reasonable good job...Put all of it in a black plastic garbage bag and thought I'd leave it there to self compost there (also a technique for composting fallen leaves, but you must be extremely patient for this method, many many years!!!!! Just throw everything into a black/or brown plastic bag and throw it on top of something, I do this sometimes to kill something underneath it~Wild White Yarrow is a nemisis of mine. One of many!!! The heavy black plastic kills what's underneath and inside the bag heats up with the dark color and semi cooks the stuff to death but also can keep it alive at the bottom because it's moist and it can stay alive to a looooooooooong time. After 3 years or so the bag started to break down and the grass escaped into my strawberry patch, I am now moving the strawberries to a saver area. And then will just mow where it was....... You said you had access to horse manure, though a good source of "crap" that too can be a nemisis as the seeds, to some things, don't get broken down into the stomach of the animal and are pooped back out, the grass seed is one and will regenerate if the pile is left to set...... Composting is alot of science and to kill the weed seeds it has to be a cetain temperature inside the pile some seeds are way harder to kill....Tomato seeds can with stand composting heat, My own personal feelings for my composting is.... No weeds, No roots of weeds.....and No flower heads that have seeds of weeds.... I don't have a thermometer for my piles, all done by site and smell and time....... If I am going to use weeds I do two methods #1. for the pile I cut up just the stalk of the plant and through out the seed heads and roots... #2. for weeds I pull in my garden I put into a small pot that I got plants in along my beds. (usually small 2" pots all the same color ~green or black~ and then leave the weeds in there to dry out!!!!!!!!!!!! A long time to make sure those little critters don't come back to life......) This helps with the weeding and kinda of looks matched and then when they are fully dried up and I mean dried up will I use them, I'm funny about weeds, I have enough of them and figure I don't need to defeat my purpose if I'm planting weed seeds when I think I'm putting on nice organic stuff. THE DREADED BERMUDA GRASS, tell me, when you cut the lawn and you would use the grass, does just the leave come off or are you getting roots too? Not firmiliar with the grass but find out if the grass roots from the leaves or blade?? (not the roots or the nodes on the runners of the grass, the actual leaf it's self~or blade of grass I should say....) Seems like if you are only getting the leaf or blade of grass and not roots or runners possible..But again I am not firmiliar with that grass as I live in the North and supposedly it doesn't grow up here. Do you not use the kitchen scraps??? What about rabbit manure or chicken poop? Or worm composting???? I use mostly kitchen scraps.. Banana peels, apple, peels and cores, any fruit top or out layer and all veggies (can't think of one you can't use), egg shells, coffee bags and tea....lettuce leaves. Go to your local grocery store and see if you can get the trimmings from the produce department or a restaurant kitchen if you know someone or a place well enough to ask (I used to do both when I worked in the rest. business for 16 years......)I dont' need to because I have my mom, tenant and another neighbor donating "green" stuff too..Find out from someone who really sells that grass to help you with it...... Fall time is a great time to use the clippings from the lawn when you mow under all those dead leaves, gets them piles cooking immediatly. Well, I think they are going to shut me off from answering questions any more and I'm awefully long winded!!!! Keep me posted!!!

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by njoynit on July 26, 2004 09:29 PM
I have bermuda grass and some of it gets composted.It seems to compost fine for me,I'm south and I work my compost all year but it works slower in winter but it does work.sis does hers in a truck bed liner and she adds old chicken poo as she has chickens.shes TN,but we basically compost the same way,she probably has more coffee though.we both use pich forks& backbone.she drinks more than me too so hers has more beer,but she'll rinse her hair in beer too so maybe not.LOLclaims it helps the brain..LOL

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I will age ungracefully until I become an old woman in a small garden..doing whatever the Hell I want!

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by Pineapple_Raye on July 26, 2004 09:47 PM
Hello and welcome to this forum...

You have got some good advice here from the members.

Composting in a tumbler can be done. However, I found out that it will not create compost faster than my old hand method. Nevertheless, you have a small problem and turning a pile is now not an option.

Again we are glad you are on this board. Please feel free to ask questions. If there is a problem or just a rant to say how great your garden is going we would love to hear it. War stories are great!!

If you have a defeat and post about it I know we will give to you all of our attention.
Pineapple_Raye
by Phil and Laura on July 27, 2004 04:27 AM
I DO HOPE That You All are usingUn-Bleached COFFEE FILTERS???
Now I am an Organic grower, I am NOT a tree-hugger..well Maybe a little [Embarrassed]
I am Not a Paranoid, or an Extremist,However,
I DO AND ALWAYS HAVE USED BROWN COFFEE FILTERS..Ever since 1979..Remember Love Canal? F.Y.I.
Dioxin, a chemical byproduct of the manufacturing of chlorine bleached paper, is believed to be the single most carcinogenic chemical known to science.
Studies show that 40-70 percent of the dioxin in bleached coffee filters can leach into your coffee; dioxin found in paper milk cartons also leaches into the milk you drink.

Our bodies are very good at metabolizing many things. Through special enzymes, our bodies are able to rid themselves of many environmental toxic substances that we come into contact with daily. However, Dioxins (and other organochlorine compounds) Aren't included. Even if we are exposed to very low levels, dioxins remain in the body and accumulate.
These Stats are from the E.P.A Folks, I would Never alarm anyone with anything I did not know to be FACT...And as much coffee as I drink... [Roll Eyes] Phil
by weezie13 on July 27, 2004 05:18 AM
Phil,
I did not know that!!
Is the same for the white paper napkins'???

Weezie

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Pineapple_Raye on July 27, 2004 06:45 AM
quote:
I DO HOPE That You All are using Un-Bleached COFFEE FILTERS???

Now Bill why don't you really tells us what you think of Bleached Coffee Filters~~~
LOL! MY TURN! GOT-YA! LMSO (laughing my shorts off.)

We love ya anyway  -
by Bill on July 28, 2004 07:03 AM
I use a permanent brass coffee filter! [Embarrassed]
I guess that's unbleached..... [grin]

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by Phil and Laura on July 29, 2004 04:04 AM
Hello Everyone, Lookin Like Rain so I can visit here instead of garden chores after work! [grin] Ok Raye..EVEN [Big Grin] Bill, the permanent filters are a real good idea...I don't have any info on brass Hazards, I had one for a short while(couldn't hold up to my HABIT I think it was some sorta nylon? Weezie...No pulp paper is Naturally white.
I might add that in the last few years Most of the Paper Mills have changed the way they bleach...Does this make it safer?? NO just lessens the exposure, it has not eleminated it... If any one cares to here...The REST OF THE STORY, I will Gladly ramble on [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]
by weezie13 on July 29, 2004 08:38 PM
quote:
Weezie...No pulp paper is Naturally white.

Yeah, well, duhhhhhhh! [Embarrassed]
You are sooooo correct...
But I never thought of the "bleaching" process" [Embarrassed]

****Phil,
Do you know who has brown paper towels??
Taco Bell!!
*I do save those and load them in....

Weezie

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Cedar on January 02, 2005 05:08 AM
There is not a weed I detest more than bermuda. That said, I havent had any problems with it in my compost. I am careful with it though. I make sure my compost is really, really done. You don't want any living sprigs to get into your beds. You know what happens if they do, bermuda everywhere.
by Carly on January 15, 2005 08:01 AM
Besides saving my tea water for the plants, I also save my tea bags and coffee grounds. I mix it with the store-bought soil when I'm going to pot something - it stretches the soil, and plants like these things.

They like eggshells and egg water too.

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When sorting seeds, do not whistle.
by Spider Lady on March 29, 2005 03:08 AM
Hi Phil...We use unbleached coffee filters & try to stay away from anything bleached as much as possible. But what if you can only get milk in the waxed cartons? We use organic milk. I'll have to check with them on their carton use.
[scaredy]
by Spider Lady on March 29, 2005 03:12 AM
I'm enjoying all your composting info. Our town hall sells composters, so I started mine in the fall out in the area where I want to put the garden. I've been filling it all winter & read where it would go dormant in the winter & not to expect to have your compost the first spring as it would probably take about a year to get it finished the first time. What is your take on this? Should I be watering it? [flower]
by weezie13 on March 29, 2005 06:43 AM
Hi [wayey] Spider Lady,
Welcome to The Garden Helper's Forum!!!
We are very glad you found us!!

And composting is my most favoritest thing
to do, besides pick flowers... and grow flowers,
and dig in the dirt and read about gardening and talk [gabby] about gardening and.......

oh, er, um, I get a little carried away
when someone mentions compost!!!

There's lot's of info here about Composting,
if you do a FORUM SEARCH and type in COMPOST or COMPOSTING, I know you'll come up with several posts on the subject...

Don't hesitate to post on those threads still active if you have any questions, or start a
new one on it... and don't ever think any question won't be answered, we all try our darnest to make sure everyone gets an answer!!!

Weezie

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by weezie13 on March 31, 2005 08:58 PM
Spider_Lily,
How'd you do finding some info on it???

Is your compost pile in an area of land/property
that has a lot of water or standing water/?

Depends on where you have your pile, how much sun that's on it, and what you've put in it,
to determine if you need to water it...

*Does that make sense?*

I have different compost bins, 7 actually and each one acts differently, and the time of year when I start them determines how fast they compost down...

I have a plastic one that's brown that heats up fast, it also has a flat top, that allows no water into the bin, so I do have to water it..
*So I put it in a wetter place to compensate...*
Then I have a green plastic one that has a slit in the top where the two sides to the top meet, and it's wet constantly, when it rains, so I put that one in a dryer place...

I have a twin bin compost tumbler and that's seems to be wet alllllllottttttttttt!!!
So, I make sure I put in alot of dryer stuff...

I start my bins in the fall, and they cook faster, but still don't use them until the following spring time...
I start one's in spring and use those the following year....or if I really need them to get emptied, I pull the stuff out, and put them in dark heavy duty garbage bags..... let them finish up in there, and re~fill the other bins that I need..

Does that help a little, don't hestitate to ask any more questions, always happy to help you out with COMPOSTING!!!! [Smile] I really love the stuff.

Weezie

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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 -

http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Carly on April 01, 2005 03:37 AM
I also use coffee filters when I have too much of a hole in a plastic pot - I just put the filter in first. Then I TRY to remember not to pick the thing up from the top - ha ha!

:-0

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When sorting seeds, do not whistle.
by patches1414 on February 25, 2006 02:53 PM
Hi Cedar, [wavey]

Boy, I understand what you are saying about the Bermuda grass; but, weed is probably the more appropriate word. My neighbor has it in their yard and it came over into my yard and flower beds. It is horrid and terribly invasive. When I first noticed it I took it to the nursery and to find out what it was and they identified it for me. When I asked what I could do about it, they told me to MOVE!!! That's pretty scary. I've been waging an ongoing war with it for years, so I don't dare put it in my compost bins and I don't even put it out with the yard waste. I bag it up with the trash and hope it gets destroyed.

patches [kitty]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"

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