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Old 01-25-2013, 01:13 PM   #1
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Talking Composting

We have a small garden which I intend to double this year in the spring. I am interested in formally composting (making a bin, caring for it, etc...) My husband asked what the difference and benefit is of doing it that way as opposed to just throwing leaves and food scraps in the garden and just turning the soil over? I am much more environmentally concerned than my dh, he wants to do the most frugal thing (which usually works out in my favor since green is usually cheaper). SO I come to you all, asking for good reasons to do it in a container? I was kind of thinking a worm bin would be fun for my kids...but I want to do what is best for the garden too.

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Old 01-26-2013, 03:22 AM   #2
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:35 AM   #3
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Re: Composting

You can add just to the bin not all over yard. I think when my family did as kid I remember it was better if the compost was already decomposed than still needing to do so when you pre in plants.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:35 AM   #4
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Re: Composting

It keeps the critters out of scraps if you have a bin to keep it in until it breaks down & can be composted into the ground, from what my DH told me. He insisted we have a tumbling composter, & he is the KING of frugal when it comes to that stuff, but said something about the right ratio of oxygen to break it down... & it can break down rapidly in a bin that is being tumbled regularly.

I want to make a worm bin too... baby steps though... as we already have the tumbling composter because DH got as super deal on it last year.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:00 PM   #5
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Well currently we bury all the scraps in our garden. So I don't have a problem with the critters. But I can see why it would be easier for the garden to use the resources if it is already composted, not to mention it would be an even mix of brown and green material. If we just put the leaves in there in he fall, and food refuge all spring/summer its not evened out. Some townships around us give compost to residents for free, unfortunately not mine
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:10 AM   #6
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Re: Composting

The composting process creates so much heat that it will help the materials break down faster, as opposed to being buried directly in the garden. Also, you can use the compost in a direct area to affect the plants you are planting, whereas if you just throw the scraps in there it probably won't make as big of a difference, depending on the size of the garden. As compost is the mix of green and brown material, it's really more than just "scraps" and I think provides more to the soil than the broken down green material. It is really cool, too, from a scientific point, to watch a large pile of waste create a small pile of compost.
We compost both our horse/chicken bedding as well as our food. When we lived away from the farm we had a 55gal drum on a rotating spigot. I don't think that worked as well as a pile, but that's just my opinion.
I found this about throwing scraps in the garden from a Nat Geo website: "It's possible to bury food scraps directly into a garden, but you run the risk of disturbing the roots of existing plantings as you dig. In addition, vegetable peels and other scraps release excess nitrogen as they decompose, which may burn the roots of nearby plants." But other than that, I think you would be fine if you don't have an animal problem. Because you would have less heat, I would break down whatever scraps you throw in the garden into smaller pieces to it would decompose faster. Have fun!
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:15 PM   #7
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When you throw whole foods in the garden it can actually starve your plants here's why.
You have your compost materials) onion tops potato peelins etc.) Then the bacteria come and multiply and break them down to become compost while this is happening the bacteria also eat nutrients out of the soil stealing it from yout plants. Its not until they have completely consumed their available food that they die back and in laymens terms their bodies explode and release the nutrients that is what you are doing when you compost seperatly you allowing the bacterial bloom to happen in a controlled area and when they die and become the nutrient hummas type stuff with lots of AVAILABLE nutrients for your plants you spread it in the garden
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:00 PM   #8
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Re: Composting

I just got a large plastic trash can with a lid and drilled holes in the bottom and up the side. This is my first attempt, so we'll see how it goes.

My question is how I can get enough brown material to cover my dood scraps. I guess I can take a bucket around the neighborhood ans collect leaves from the gutters. Where else can I get brown material?
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by MrsSaraT View Post
I just got a large plastic trash can with a lid and drilled holes in the bottom and up the side. This is my first attempt, so we'll see how it goes.

My question is how I can get enough brown material to cover my dood scraps. I guess I can take a bucket around the neighborhood ans collect leaves from the gutters. Where else can I get brown material?
I believe you can use newspaper- we get a Sunday paper and I've been saving a stack in the garage for a while. Leaves in the fall of course too. I think it works better if you have the energy to shred t or tear it up too.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:31 AM   #10
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Re: Composting

I have a worm bin and am loving it. It is plenty for our kitchen scraps but during canning season the large quantities go into a compost heap. I'm a fix it and forget it type of composter. I don't do anything fancy to my pile, just throw stuff onto whenever we have a lot (kitchen, yard, garden, channel waste) and maybe turn it 3-4 times per season (april-october). It takes longer to make finished compost that way but its a completely brainless way to go about it.
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