I am about to compost something?

Joseph Robertshaw

Premium Member
Dec 30, 2022
Temperate (all seasons)
I am about to try to turn a tragedy into an asset, if all goes well.
I got COVID symptoms on Christmas Eve (2022) which was also the day I noticed something wrong with my fish pond. The pond's ice sheet seemed strange. I investigated and discovered that, after the initial freeze, the concrete basin of the pond had cracked in the unusually extreme cold (2F/ -17C) and drained all the water out the bottom. The 72 Chinese goldfish and Koi all died. I am still sick but today I am going to go bury them in my garden.

I am not sure my compost bins (picture attached) could handle that many fish so . . . here is my current plan. I have a dense clay soil I have been working home-made compost (and a little organic bagged soil into) for a couple of years now in a 20ft x 20ft row garden. My plan was to dig a trench under a 1 ft high mounded row (20ft long), add sawdust, fine wood chips, and some ground dried leaves under and over the fish and then cover in mounded dirt. This will be my resting row for next year (as I rest one of the 7 rows each year).

If this plan has problems please tell me soon as I have to move on this quickly.
I appreciate any advice at all but I highly value advice that has also been tested.
I am about to compost something?

I am about to compost something?

I am about to compost something?
I'm sorry for the loss.
Perhaps the compost won't handle that many, but you can always dig them in directly into the ground. I believe tomato plants really love fish. Just make sure it's dug in deep enough so that animals won't come digging.

I think you're on the right track, really. Keep doing what you're doing and it should be alright. And I agree with JP, gypsum could aid in breaking up the clay.
Hi there,
Sorry for your loss
I really think you'r on the right track. Don't know about the wildlife at your place. If you have boars, foxes, raccoons e.g. you should make sure that they are buried deep enough as Mandy mentioned, something about 2ft at least (for germany it's recommended to bury at least 1m down if it's the size of a cat for example thats 3ft something). and with the amount of Fisch you have it could get smelly if you don't dig deep enough.
Other that that you're on the right track. Just to mention: maybe still put a handfull in the compost to maximize the diversity of nutrient input.
The garden in the pictures look great by the way😍

If you don't have much time you really should consider a permaculture veggie garden with any watering system. That way you only have to spend your time on the really important tasks. Also check out a "drip irrigation system". As a watering system they don't use as much water, but a steady stream over time that ceeps plants well watered and minimizes evaporation.

Ah, no comment from me other than good luck and gypsum does really well to break up that clay (gypsum binds to the clay particles and prevents them from holding water).
Thanks! Yes, for this row garden I have been adding gypsum along with the amendments. It seems to be helping.
It's a shame that it's the wrong season for Soldier flies, the larvae would sort your fish problem in record time.
I also don't yet have chickens but that is on my slow-going list of goals. The chickens and flies would speed up the process I am sure. I think it will work out though as I don't plan to touch this one row for a year.
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