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Composting short-cut?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by JerseyHeidi on May 24, 2006 07:14 AM
I am not quite dedicated enough to make a real compost bin/heap, so I've just put layers of cut grass and coffee grinds around in my vegetable garden. Is there some risk in doing this rather than putting it through the composting process first? Any other suggestions of stuff to scatter about? I'm always careful not to have the fresh grass touching the plants.
by JV on May 25, 2006 12:54 AM
If you use pesticide on your grass I wouldn't put it in my veg. garden. I put clean eggshells in my compost as well as directly in my garden. You might run the risk of burning up your plants as the compost heats up if there is enough to start composting. I always have a compost pile also have a tumbler so I just add the compost to my garden as well as flowers I plant.

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by johnCT on May 25, 2006 01:06 AM
The only problem would be that the organisms that break down the materials will be using up much of the nutrients(nitrogen, etc.) that would otherwise be made available to the vegetable plants. If I were you I would just find another place for the pile. Behind the garden maybe? You definitely don't NEED a bin to have a compost pile.

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John - Zone 6
by Sir Ts Princess on May 25, 2006 02:01 AM
A faster and "neater" way of composting is using worms to compost. Just put the stuff in a rubbermaid container with some holes drilled into it. They can sit anywhere on your property in Spring, summer, and part way through fall, but after that should be moved somewhere indoors like say a laundry room, mud room, bottom of the kitchen pantry. You can find more information on this all over the internet, it's called vermicomposting. There are other benefits to this too besides just composting faster...you also have free worms for fishing as they will multiply when they are happy...and they are happy eating our garbage!!

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by peppereater on May 25, 2006 03:53 AM
What you're doing is sometimes called "sheet composting," and it's a fine way to do it. The only drawbacks are the herbicide issue JV mentioned and the possibility of weed seed getting in the garden. The issue John mentioned about decomposing materials using up nitrogen isn't a big deal with grass clippings and such, things like sawdust and wood chips could do that, though. Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, and are very good to use as a fertilizer.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by JerseyHeidi on May 25, 2006 02:00 PM
Thanks for the advice! I am going to look into making a real compost pile too.

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