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sylviatexas1

July 2009 What Have You Fed Your Compost Pile Today?

sylviatexas1
12 years ago

I'm surprised someone hasn't already started this, given the mounds of potato peelings & onion skins & such that must be left over from the July 4 celebrations!

Since my celebrating was done at someone else's home, & I was on my "good guest" behavior, I didn't scrounge through their trash....

but I did add

1 trash bag of grass clippings & stray bits of mulch, donated by a landscaping guy at a shopping center

cucumber peelings

tomato bits & pieces

the usual coffee grounds/filters/leftover cold coffee, teabags, scraps of newspaper, cash register tapes, etc

& what have you fed *your* compost pile today????

Comments (54)

  • sylviatexas1
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    I think it's all good for a vegetable garden...

    I know sometimes people will use materials that may contain lawn chemicals in the compost they use in their ornamental/flower gardens, but not in vegetable gardens or orchards.

  • earthworm73
    12 years ago

    Over the past week I have added about 5-10 pounds (wet) of seaweed/kelp, dead crabs, carrot tops, beet tops, coffee grounds, watermelon rinds, cabbage leaves, old bread, weeds, & fish emulsion liquid seaweed. A side note about 10 days ago I buried half pound of freezer burned catfish fillets in the garden next to one of my cukes. That cuke has now grown over that area and the other one, without any fish nearby has not. A local grocery store gives away discarded fish parts (heads, tails, bones and guts) for crabbing bait. I plan to collect plenty and come fall bury them when I renew the lasagna bed.

    Larrick

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  • earthworm73
    12 years ago

    BTW...I added cat liter. Now not the traditional clumping kind but a kind made of 100% recycled paper. Just keeping the recycling process going.

  • iam3killerbs
    12 years ago

    Lots and lots of melon rinds and a squash vine killed by borers -- in addition to the usual ration of kitchen scraps and coffee grounds.

    Too much green, not enough brown, but I used the shredded junk mail for mulch and am nearly out of last year's leaves except for a bit that has a LOT of birch twigs in it. I wish I had a shredder to run those through because they don't compost well intact.

  • ptilda
    12 years ago

    Ashes from last night's bonfire
    Leftover watermelon rinds from last night's bonfire
    An ice-cream bucket full of kitchen scraps
    A bale of hay used to insulate my brother's trailer last year that was then shoved under his porch until I discovered it.

  • burra_maluca
    12 years ago

    A neighbour has just harvested his potatoes and seems to think I want a pick-up full of potato haulm for the donkey.

    I'm sure the compost heap will love it though...

  • sylviatexas1
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    1 tall kitchen bag of shredded office paper from an accountant (one of my "regular customers" for compost materials!)

    2 buckets used restaurant-sized tea bags ('nother "customer")

    torn-up & rained-on newspaper

    cucumber peelings

    leftover tea & coffee

    coffee grounds & filters

  • iam3killerbs
    12 years ago

    Corn husks, watermelon rinds, and weeds. I've got to shred some newspaper for it tomorrow.

  • swanz
    12 years ago

    Kids have been away all week and the milk has gone sour. In the pile now.

  • ptilda
    12 years ago

    Same-old-same-old. Plus 2 more scoops of ashes from the bonfinre, some partially decomposed leaves from another pile, a couple dozen shrimp tails, water & more leaves & kitchen waste. It's breaking down nicely now.

  • sophie12
    12 years ago

    way too much rain!!!
    mixed in today:
    gal bucket of "fridge" cleanings (don't ask/don't tell stuff)

    stopped at the cemetery (at my cousins request) and picked up the casket flowers from an aunt's funeral last week and brought them home and recycled them

  • sophie12
    12 years ago

    just pulled two 5 gal buckets of weeds to feed the pile, yummie!

  • idaho_gardener
    12 years ago

    My Mackissic 12p chipper/shredder came on Friday. I had some branches trimmed from the two apple trees. Saturday I ran them through the chipper shredder and had about 1 1/2 yards of chips. Sunday, that pile of chips was HOT in the middle. I'll have to go stick the compost thermometer in there to see how hot.

  • belindach
    12 years ago

    coffee grounds, cantaloupe, onion & tomato peelings, egg shells, bread crusts, and old yogurt. Paper shreds go to the worms.

  • idaho_gardener
    12 years ago

    Follow up to the ramial mulch that I ground up in my new chipper shredder. The temperature in the pile of chippings was 134 degrees F.

  • ptilda
    12 years ago

    An entire watermelon rind, leftovers from dead-heading and cutting down some Iris I was transplanting/dividing/trading, packing materials from my recent GW plant trades (newspaper, brown paper, cardboard), another ice-cream bucket of kitchen waste, some more partially decomposed leaves, another layer of dry leaves from the leaf pile, a scoop of ashes.

  • iam3killerbs
    12 years ago

    Half a gallon of peach skins (I froze 5 quarts and made a big pan of cobbler).

  • gardenz4evr
    12 years ago

    Sad news here I'm afraid. I've been trying to clear out my compost pile for a while now to start a new one. But given that I need to move it to a spot that needs a little prep-work first, and time limitations, I have been....are you sitting down? putting my compostables in the . . .trash.
    Aaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!!! I kills me to even have to say it. If someone would flog me I might feel better, but maybe not.
    I'm going to try to move the pile as soon as I can. I am still saving egg shells and crushing them. I feel I might have to go into no-composting guilt therapy. But to all the rest of you, enjoy yourselves. I'll be back at it soon I hope.
    PS. I am sorry if I've sent anyone into shock.

  • sylviatexas1
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    gardenz, can't you save your materials in a container of some sort???

    idahogardener, I am way bad jealous!

  • flowersnhens
    12 years ago

    This Week: A grocery bag stuffed with FRESH SEAWEED that we confiscated from the beach (is that illegal)..hehehe...lots of grass clippings from the lawnmover bag, eggs shells, banana peels, coffee gounds, squash and potato peelings, etc. I have been wanting so badley to collect fresh seaweed from the beach, so I had my 18 year old son stuff a bag full and we carried it off of the beach with a towel wrapped around it,,,,I thought I heard somewhere it was illegal to take seaweed from the beach,,IS this true??? Does anyone know???

  • iam3killerbs
    12 years ago

    More refuse from canning and freezing.

  • gardenz4evr
    12 years ago

    Well SylviaT,
    The problem is I have a thimble-sized back yard (townhouse you know) and I amd sort of in the process of getting my design in order. I need to move rocks and dirt and put this here and there, and I sort of stuck. My pile is in the finishing stages and I don't want to mix anything new into the curing pile, I just want to start a new one. But also, my bin is falling apart and needs to be replaced. More time and work etc. etc.. Anyway, that's my dilemma.
    So, there you have it.

  • belindach
    12 years ago

    Garden is burning up so starting to add plants from the garden into the bin.

  • gumbooter
    12 years ago

    I use a 50 gallon drum to make compost tea. This week I put 20 gallons of fresh seaweed, one octopus, 4 sea stars, 25 crabs, two fish, a huge horse clam and a few jelly fish. All dead of course. I add fresh water and stir every few days; draw it off in bucket fulls...use it directly beside most plants; then water the whole area heavily. Great stuff. Keeps the neighbours away as well :)

  • ptilda
    12 years ago

    Flowersnhens, I believe I read that once the seaweed makes it to the beach, it is considered "litter", and can be picked up by anyone. Harvesting in the water is illegal (at least in most places).

    Does anyone know if fresh-water seaweed would have the same benefits for the compost pile?

    Gumbooter, how can you stand the smell? Of course, I live near the world's largest fresh-water fish hatchery, so I wonder if I might be able to get some fish pieces from them when they have dead ones. Or maybe I can talk to some local fishermen & ask them to save their fish heads & such. Composters are SO weird!

    Another question, what is the benefit of human or animal hair in the compost pile? I once heard it's really good for the soil. I'm thinking about asking the local barber or dog groomer to let me swipe some hair once a week or so.

    Okay, I put 2 gallon ice-cream buckets full of kitchen waste, a bunch of weeds, 2 large yard-sized garbage cans full of leaves & other stuff from the compost heap & moved it to the new compost bins, so the stuff is about 1/2 cooked & was steaming in the middle. Of course, it's in the 60's up here in Wisconsin during the day (I actually have a space-heater on at this moment). Good thing our president cured global warming! lol

    I also put several shovels full of well-rotted cow manure, mixed with sand, on top of the bin #1, which is done being filled & is "cooking" right now, in order to hold in moisture, shade & weigh down the leaves (my primary brown) and add nutrients and other good stuff. Hope it works!

  • sylviatexas1
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    gardenz, my friend Phyllis went nuts at a "brugmansia cutting party" last autumn & ran out of space for them, so she planted some of them in her neighbor's garden (with permission).

    Maybe you could...

    nah, they'd say you were a compost wacko for sure!

  • gumbooter
    12 years ago

    Hi Ptilda:
    The only time my compost tea really smells is when i first begin to stir it...every few days with a big long stick into the 50 gallon drum...in this july heat it turns to liquid gold real quick. The smell is beachy, high; dead fish! but soon dissipates...i pour it around plants, then water well over head and the next day you can barely notice it. Its gone by day two. I keep a sheet of plywood on the top of the barrel. As far as you collecting dead fish...great stuff for your regular compost bin! I toss in crabs and fish all the time. Rats? sure. world is full of rats. the little buggers actually work for me: they stir up the compost! so i dont have to do it! plus they add nitrogen! As far as hair, human, bear or what ever; its fantastic for the compost bin...i collect it sometimes from the local barber...just layer it in; its filled with nutrients and slowly breaks down. I figuer anything that once was alive, once its dead, is great fodder for my compost. I love to place a piece of Rebar in the pile and build around it; come out a few days later and pull out the rebar...ITS STEAMING HOT!! thats making compost!

  • tio2girl
    12 years ago

    an old can of spaghetti sauce
    some used paper towels
    a few used tea bags
    watermelon rind
    lettuce
    carrot tops
    onion and garlic skins
    old rice
    and some grass clippings

  • flowersnhens
    12 years ago

    PTILDA: Thank you !!. That is good to know. I think I will collect more this week. I also might call the agriculture dept just to be 100% sure.
    I would love to find some fish parts as well...but I am NOT carrying that off of the beach. I guess I should contact a local restaurant.
    OK,,Thanks again, flowersnhens

  • randy_coyote
    12 years ago

    15 gallons of kitchen scraps, UCGs
    2 medium sized trash sacks of shredded paper, newsprint, old reports, etc.
    Watermelon rinds
    celery tops
    lots of egg shells
    cardboard - from toilet paper rolls to heavy duty corrugated boxes
    A little bit of bread (don't tell Annpat)
    and I'll be adding one groundhog if I catch him in my tomatoes. He's tearing hell out of the bell peppers just to get to the toms.

    Or maybe I can find a recipe for Groundhog Stew?

  • snoggerboy
    12 years ago

    Molasses and Eggshells and home made char soaked in extended EM disolved the molasses and "watered in". Heap mostly of a very wide variety of Leaves. Pretty hot 24hrs later.

  • blutarski
    12 years ago

    banana peels
    leftover bagel
    breadcrusts
    old watermelon
    cherry stems and the 'bad' cherries
    newspaper
    coffee grounds and filter
    a wee bit of coffee w/milk
    tea bags
    paper towels
    deadheaded flowers

  • iam3killerbs
    12 years ago

    4 slug-eaten tomatoes, the usual batch of kitchen scraps, and a whole bowl of some really NASTY broccoli slaw.

  • ptilda
    12 years ago

    Snoggerboy, can you break down your abbreviations?

    I added a watermelon rind, 3 containers of kitchen scraps, UCG, etc. Weeds, Iris leaves from plants I'm moving, more leaves from the big leaf pile.

  • sylviatexas1
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    5 kitchen bags of shredded office paper
    2 bags mixed autumn leaves & grass clippings
    bits of cucumber, green things from strawberry tops
    2 bags of used restaurant tea bags

  • compostkate
    12 years ago

    various melon rinds
    strawberry tops and mushy parts
    weeds from the garden
    3 gal. UCG
    soiled newspaper from the bird cage
    TP and PT rolls, fast food napkins, & used Kleenex
    soiled pellet bedding from the chicken brooder
    5 gal kitchen scraps from home
    5 gal of mixed items from staff room at work
    one songbird that hit the window
    one drowned mouse i found (i.e. smelled) in bottom of watering can

  • iam3killerbs
    12 years ago

    I fed the old pile a last helping of weeds, turned it into a location where it can sit until fall and started a new pile with some of the least decomposed leaves from the closed pile and a generous helping of kitchen and canning scraps.

    More canning scraps coming later today too.

  • bradley787
    12 years ago

    Lots of leaves and fresh cut grass and sadly a dead fish from my koi pond. I had to put it down since it was sick.

  • gjcore
    12 years ago

    A few tea bags, some watermelon rinds, leftover oatmeal, wheat straw and 4 gallons of bug juice.

  • blutarski
    12 years ago

    hot chili peppers, duck sauce, mustard, and fried noodles from dinner last night
    pencil shavings
    paper towels
    deadheaded flowers
    'bad' strawberries from our patch, plus some dead strawberry leaves
    dead hosta and yucca leaves
    a locust shell
    a little cold cereal
    some uneaten oatmeal
    old bread
    husks from 8 ears of corn
    a handful of the little green pinecones from our arbor vitae
    receipts
    two paper bags
    a bottle of very old lemon juice
    a live earth worm I found in my bag of last year's leaves.

    I'm going to need to add a lot of browns tomorrow, the cornhusks really loaded up my small composter!

  • blutarski
    12 years ago

    banana peels
    cherry stems and pits
    egg shells
    baked potato
    worchestershire sauce
    deadheaded flowers
    locust exoskeleton
    UCG
    tea bag
    pile of junk mail
    paper napkins
    paper towels
    small piece of cardboard
    receipts
    paper bags
    sempervivum plant that went to seed.
    cold cereal

  • sylviatexas1
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    5 gallon bucket of used restaurant tea bags (Yay!)

    1 bag shredded office paper

    shredded junk mail

    banana peels

    cucumber peels (rinds?)

    coffee grounds & filters

  • luckygal
    12 years ago

    As well as the usual daily stuff which i'll refrain from boring y'all with, our compost got a special treat today. DH did a boo-boo on making bread in the machine so one loaf of rising bread hit the bin. I'm almost afraid to go out and look to see how much it's continued to rise in this scorching heat. Probably taking over the entire back-40!!! I know, I know, it can't rise forever... ;-)

  • rj_hythloday
    12 years ago

    I'm house sitting a mastiff, she stands at counter level. Well I usually let bread raise in the oven w/ the light on, I wasn't thinking and left 2 loaves of sourdough to raise on the counter. She at one and took a bite out of the other. I put it in and never saw it again.

  • snoggerboy
    12 years ago

    ptilda - the EM is Effective Micro-organisms.
    I have yet to make up my mind on EM but I know Molasses makes a pile nice'n hot. Smells good too.

    Here is a link that might be useful: EM

  • ptilda
    12 years ago

    Cool! Thanks! Always learning :)

  • auntyara
    12 years ago

    lots and lots of weeds. seeds and all.
    mostly plantains.
    also over grown cosmos, poppy. annual painted daisy shasta daisy flops etc...
    pretty much 5 wheel barrels full of greens and a few shovel fulls of pine chips. i'm just piling it up till fall.
    stinks to high heck.
    but come fall it will be easy to mix in some(tons) of leaves.
    no worries on the stench.it's about 20 or so yards from the house.
    my closest neighbor is 2 football feilds away and owns horses.
    snicker... i tell DH is the horses.
    this is my 3rd or 4th batch this year and since i ran out of hoarded leaves i decided to cold compost for a while.
    pile it up and let it stink.i mean rot i mean compost.
    lol.

  • gjcore
    12 years ago

    Added about 8 bales of old hay 5 days , which needed a major soaking, the usual kitchen scraps and some corn plants which I'm guessing were shredded down by the local squirrels.

    The hay pile was steaming for a while today. Then I added the smaller pile I had going to it. I'm probably asking for problems composting hay. I'll only add the compost to the area that I've already been mulching with hay. So I guess I'm okay. I don't overly worry about weed seeds.

  • texaslynn
    12 years ago

    There is some pretty funny stuff being added to people's piles (locust exoskeleton!). I'm going to have to be more imaginative when finding material to throw in my bins :)

    Lynn

  • sylviatexas1
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    "i tell DH is the horses"

    A composter's gotta do what a composter's gotta do!

    Snork!