Hummingbird House The Garden Helper
No-dash-here, you've found The Real Garden Helper! Gardening on the Web since 1997
vine bar
Wild Willy
 

Beginner Composter

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
« Prev thread: Begging for Cornbread recipes...| Next thread: beginner needs help »
Back to Thread index
by htanguay on August 01, 2006 12:54 PM
Hi everyone

I am slowly starting a compost pile in a metal trash can. I am doing home renovations and trying to clean up the backyard so I don't want to build anything yet.

One area that I am cleaning up is an area where we had a large dog pen. It is very much over grown with weeds and plants (maybe they're all weeds-don't really know). I have been pulling them up and raking them up with the old leaves there. I am wondering if all this stuff will be safe to put into my compost pile. On the ground, there is piles of old woodchips we put in the dog pen as well as some straw. I know we are not suppose to use pet feces, but are these woodchips okay? In the dogs current pen, the grass is forever growing. I have been trying to dig this up since it is too difficult to clean up after the dogs with the grass. Once I pull this grass out, it is okay to throw this in or should I avoid it?

Also, as I am cleaning it up I have noticed trash and have been pulling it out, but I am sure there is more that I haven't caught. WIll it be okay if this is in the pile and then pulled out as it is sifted?

I can't wait to get this area cleaned up-next year I plan to start my garden here using square foot gardening! I get more and more excited as I clean it up!! [clappy]

I also had read that pet/people hair is okay for the compost pile. I vacuum a few times a week due to my shedding dogs. Is it always okay to dump this into the pile (I use the swiffer vacuum so it is easy to dump).

Thanks for your help!
Heidi

* * * *
Have a good day!

Heidi
by rogmee on August 02, 2006 03:27 PM
I would have no problem putting anything you mentioned into my compost pile except the carpet sweepings. The hair is fine but most carpets are made of synthetic products that I don't want to put into my gardens.

I pick trash from my compost every time I use it. I have no idea where it comes from, wind, squirrels?

Good luck with your "square foot garden"!
by tkhooper on August 04, 2006 02:55 AM
Welcome to the composting group. We love compost. In regards to the weeds. The best method is to pull them up and then leave them laying on the black top or somewhere they can't dig in until they are dead. Then throw them on the compost pile. If they have developed seed heads take that part and throw it in the trash. Don't want to plant weed seeds in the compost. Same thing for grass. If you are pulling it up by the roots shake all the soil off and leave it out to bake until dead before you put it in your compost pile. And make sure there are no seed heads on it.

You know there is a lasagna(sp) layering method of preparing a garden that would save you a great deal of back breaking labor. Ask longy or weezie about it. They are experts at explaining it. I would make a hash of it.

You know you don't need to compost in a container. I have a pile that sits directly on the ground and it's easier to turn than what I have in the bin.

And I agree stuff gets into the compost from who knows where and I'm always pulling it out when I sift.

* * * *
 -
 -
by porter57 on September 07, 2006 11:36 AM
kinda funny, i put some leftover tomatoes and leavings from cantalope peeling and geuss what?
i now have a couple tomato plants and a cantalope vine in amongst my flowers!!

guess it didnt get hot enough to kill the seeds
by patches1414 on September 07, 2006 04:13 PM
Geesh, Porter, some people have all the luck! [Roll Eyes] I tried growing cantalope once and they just didn't do very well [Frown] and you get them growing in your compost bin without even trying. [dunno] Maybe I should have tried growing them in my bin! [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

* * * *
 -
 -
"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!"
by Longy on September 07, 2006 05:10 PM
One way of cleaning up the grass and weeds in the dog run is to get some chickens in there. I take it there are no longer dogs in there....
They'll clean it up, provide eggs and manure for your gardens. Chooks are A great addition to a vegetable garden and are really easy to care for..

* * * *
 -
The secret is the soil.
by ND farm girl on September 07, 2006 06:34 PM
I started a compost pile late this summer and I am so excited about it!

PS - what is square foot gardening?

* * * *
PattyM
by patches1414 on September 08, 2006 07:29 AM
Patty, square foot gardening means you build a 4'x4' box frame out of wood using 1"x6" or 2"x6" lumber, if you want it a little deeper you can go to 1"x8" or 2"x8". DO NOT use treated lumber! [Frown] You can make your box frame smaller or larger if you want but don't go any wider than 4' or it will be too hard to reach your plants or tend to them. Make sure you rotate your corners so you end up with a square. Place your box frame directly on the ground and put landscaping material under it to control for grass or weeds. If you don't want to use the landscaping material you can dig up and remove the grass under your frame, but that's a lot more work.

Now you can fill your box with a mixture consisting of 1/3 compost, 1/3 coarse vermiculite, and 1/3 peat moss. No soil is needed and you won't have to use any chemical fertilizers. The peat moss and vermiculite will keep the soil mix loose and help retain moisture in your box your compost should supply the necessary nutrients for good growth. Next, build a grid on top of your box or you can make it a bit smaller so it fits inside your box frame and lays directly on the soil mix (it kinda looks like a window frame that would have 16 panes).

Now you're all ready to plant 16 different kinds of seeds (flowers, vegetables, etc.) in each box according to the recommended spacing requirements for each plant. Mark each spot and make a shallow hole. Put 1 or 2 seeds in each spot in and cover the seeds without packing the soil mix down and DO NOT over-plant! Keep it watered as needed and according to the different plants requirements and don't over water. Now wait for your crops or plants to come in. [flower] [flower] [flower]

When a certain plant or vegetable is finished you can add new compost and plant something different. I hope this makes sense. [Roll Eyes] I know how to do it but it's kinda hard to explain. [Wink]

* * * *
 -
 -
"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!"

Active Garden Forum

« Prev thread: Begging for Cornbread recipes...| Next thread: beginner needs help »
Back to Thread index