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Sharon HATES Trump like Poison
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Discussion » Questions » Diet and Fitness » Any farmers out there? Let's talk compost. The real kind, not the offal in the White House. I want to grow some vegetables.

Any farmers out there? Let's talk compost. The real kind, not the offal in the White House. I want to grow some vegetables.

Posted - November 30, 2018


  • 8568

    By the way, please don't insult compost by connecting it to Trump.  Compost is very useful, after all.
      November 30, 2018 10:53 AM MST

  • 34930
    Oh I don't need it, Spunky. I have all kinds of good growing information on You Tube.

    Amazing stuff.  It is a lot easier to put into practice when I have people I can just exchange information on what they personally do.  The sites are great, but the actual talking to a farmer on here, enriches the knowledge.

    The more farmers the merrier.  I like the type, way better than politicians.

    And you are right.  Even compost cannot be toxic.  The once sacred place that Trump has trashed is not fit for human consumption in any form.

    This post was edited by Sharon HATES Trump like Poison at November 30, 2018 2:58 PM MST
      November 30, 2018 10:57 AM MST

  • 7145
    I did composting for a while. My city rents out compost bins- they're just the big black trash bins with the bottoms cut off and holes in the side. I researched a ton of options and settled on that. I just got too lazy to keep taking stuff out to it. I really wanted to do the worm compost style, but I figured that would dry up in less than a day here and kill all the worms. I liked the enclosed kind that you spin too, but I want to say those cost in the $200+ range and I couldn't justify it. The trash bin thing worked well though. Low-tech, cheap, and effective. 
      November 30, 2018 1:38 PM MST

  • 34930
    THIS is what I wanted.

    Where did you go?  I know they have co-op farms that will have employees plant a garden for you.  I cannot do that one.  I have no place to put a garden in this Association-governed area I reside in.  

    But I have a porch and could easily do a trash bin or $200 with the worms.  I can water the worms. I want it as close to nature as I can muster.  My life depends on it.   I'm tying to cure a very serious disease naturally.  

    There is no way I'm taking my gall bladder out.  There is no way I am enduring chemo.  

    I can say bye-bye before I ever do that one.  Not for me. This post was edited by Sharon HATES Trump like Poison at December 1, 2018 1:35 PM MST
      November 30, 2018 6:47 PM MST

  • 7145
    The trash bin one wouldn't work for you because the bottom of the bin is open- it has to be on the ground. I also don't know if the worm one would be an option because the little critters will still bake in the box, even if it stays wet. I've heard of people burying theirs, but that's also not an option in your case. A spinning one would probably be best- I don't think yours would be expensive. I had a family of five at the time, so I wanted a mega one, but there are small-capacity ones for under $100. I just ran a Google search and even Wal-Mart sells them for $79. 

    I have a yard, but the soil here is obviously not conducive to gardening. I basically worked my soil for about six months before planting. I went through it and loosened it all up, removed all the rocks, and integrated nutrient-rich dirt. I ended up doing a plot that's like 15 feet long and 4 feet wide, so I'd never have to step on it to work it or harvest it. I read a lot beforehand too. One cute thing I saw was to surround your garden with cinder blocks, then place strawberries and stuff inside the blocks. No bueno. Not in Arizona. Those plants baked. My end goal was to have a yard full of edible plants, so I also tried some of those hanging planters- Topsy Turvey. Also no beuno. Those plants became infested with gnats repeatedly and then eventually baked. But, the garden was amazing. So amazing. We had everything. I had cucumbers the size of my forearm growing. Tomatoes the size of baseballs. I also had little alcoves of blackberries and raspberries that did ok. I've got grape vines that grow well, but the birds get the grapes before I do every year. 

    Most of what I did was reading- lots of forums, blogs, and books. I also attended a couple workshops my city put on. Those are still out there. I glanced and info on some in Mesa and Chandler came up. Not sure about your direction, but I feel like there would have to be some. Home Depot likes to do gardening workshops in the spring too.

    I would think, if you don't want to partake in a community garden, you could do a raised bed (if your community lets you) or do container gardening. Just put all your plants in pots and maybe start them early, so they don't get baked in the summer. You can even start them indoors and move them out. Those are some good directions to dry; Google "Container Gardening" and "Urban Gardening" and you'll probably find things that work for you. I think the planting season here starts in February to have everything miss the freeze and get harvested by summer (there's a second planting season in the fall), so if you're going to give containers a go, you might well want to start them off indoors in like December or January instead. 
      December 1, 2018 1:53 PM MST

  • 22226
    not nne
      November 30, 2018 2:29 PM MST

  • 34930
    I reckoned that, Pearl.  
      November 30, 2018 6:48 PM MST

  • 1337


    You can work directly on the ground in piles, anything 1 meter cubed is large enough to generate the right temperature. Larger is fine: smaller is not.
    Or create a series of three bins side by side. One is for starting the new pile, one is for maturation, the third is the first or oldest from which you can draw the matured compost. Use recycled old hardwood. For less turning (work), try using home-made tubes of wire mesh - to allow air to penetrate.


    1) Layer thicknesses: 2" of green (fresh) to 8" of brown (dry) materials

    When the ratio of carbon to nitrogen in a compost pile approaches 30 to 1, the decomposition process rapidly accelerates as “thermophilic” bacteria move in and the pile heats up to over 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Start piles on bare earth. Use steel mesh for the prevention of access to rats. Use a few bits of rotting wood and old mushrooms, and a fluffy layer of browns on the bottom (at least 6 to 8 inches deep) to absorb moisture from the pile and keep things well-aerated, thus avoiding cesspool conditions.

    Do not include teabags - the mesh won't biodegrade. Avoid newspapers as the inks are toxic.

    2) Use your nose and fingers 

    There is no need to get out your calculator to know whether you’re striking the right balance carbon-nitrogen balance.
    When the ratio is lower than ideal (too much nitrogen), the pile will be slimy and stinky; simply add carbon (dry material).
    When the pile is too dry and slow to decompose; simply add nitrogen (water-rich green materials).
    In general, carbon-rich materials should form the bulk of the pile. A good rule of thumb is that each time you add a batch of nitrogen-rich ingredients, add roughly 4 times that amount in carbon-rich ingredients (in volume, not weight).

    Always add nitrogen sources (manure, kitchen scraps) in thin layers, not little piles, so that all the material is in contact with carbon-rich browns.

    3) Aim maintain an ideal moisture balance of 45% 

    Wet the blanket every day in hot, dry weather.
    In heavy wet weather, coverwith a tarp so it doesn't get too sodden.
    The perfect compost pile is moist. 
    Or cover the pile in a heavy layer of dry mulch to hold moisture in and encourage excess rain to run off.

    4) Be Patient

    Under ideal weather conditions with lots of pile-turning, you can get completed compost in only six weeks. On a large scale it helps to use machinery for turning big piles. But I only have four one metre cubic piles, inner mesh tubes, and I don't turn. I have too much other work to be doing, so I take the lazy approach whenever possible. 
    Once the pile turns into a dark crumbly soil-like substance, it takes another six months to a year for it to “mature” – worms, bugs, fungi and bacteria take over and further refine the compost into magic for plants.


    This post was edited by bookworm at December 3, 2018 1:41 PM MST
      November 30, 2018 10:19 PM MST

  • 5528
    If you are like me and don't have any farm animals or manure, I use a product called 'Root Blast' available from various garden stores. It was developed by some Canadian agriculturist and kinda looks like small dog food pellets. It is the best stuff I've used so far. I won 6 blue ribbons at the fair. 
      December 2, 2018 6:06 AM MST

  • 10808
      December 3, 2018 1:32 PM MST