Making Compost

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by ClissAT, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    When you think about the various ingredients you will use or gather for compost, think about whether they are hot, warm, cold, wet or dry inclusions.

    So grass clippings and garden prunings would be cold, whereas chook manure and pen scrappings would be hot.
    Horse manure (100% manure from the paddock) is warm, but stable waste that also contains urine in the shavings is hot.
    Then there are the wet and dry ingredients such as kitchen scraps which are wet. Paper and egg shells are considered dry.

    A compost heap is just a cake made with a variety of ingredients in the right proportions to cook then cool for a yummy cake that worms, bacteria and fungi turn into plant food.

    There are several reasons to compost certain materials.
    As Mark Seaton discovered, chook manure and pen cleanings generally need composting to kill the seed and cool down the manure by using up the excess nitrogen. Another way to use up the seed is to lay out the material and encourage germination by exposing to light and moisture. Young seedlings have all their nutrition activated with the addition of sunlight and moisture. So then once dug into the rest of the laid out material, provide a whole new batch of nutrition to the heap.

    Brown materials generally need a longer slower composting period. The addition of nitrogen for the heat in the form of hot materials such as chicken manure is the easiest.
    However, stable waste is a good alternative and often free if you have a trailer and can visit the race horse stables or race track on the nominated days. But whereas you might use say 5kg of chicken waste, you would need 10kg or stable waste. However the flip side is that stable waste is more available than chicken waste unless you have your own chickens.

    Green waste takes many forms from weeds to shrub prunings and palm fronds to grass clippings. Grass clippings should only be used in thin layers that won't clump unless you want to get heaps of exercise turning the heap every day. Grass clippings will get very hot for a short period due to the high chlorophyll and nitrogen content.

    Many green and brown waste benefit from being put through the chipper machine such as shrub and tree prunings and palm fronds.
    Paper falls under the heading of brown waste.

    So depending on what sort of materials you have in what volumes and what sort of compost you are aiming to achieve, determines the proportions or your heap and the length of time your heap will brew for.

    Then there are earthworms to consider. What is the main reason for your compost heap. Is it to make compost or grow worms or both? If to grow worms which in turn make your compost, your heap needs to be more moist, green and cooler with lots of kitchen scraps or other food for them.
     
  2. badalley

    badalley Member

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    We really do not need worms for composting. Worm composting is a type of composting. You can do composting without the help of worms also.
     
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