Dog compactor, missing compost pile

Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)February 21, 2013

For the past almost-year, I've been piling OM in an older compost heap, originally a brush pile, with the intention of finally putting everything in a particular spot, then using the old compost pile spot to start a new cultivated bed, should already be very fertile, will just need more tilth later. By the first of December, it was over 4 ft. high in the middle, kind of a row about 6-7 ft. long, 5 ft. wide... Nice!

One morning recently I looked out there and it was gone and our dog was laying there. If he slung that stuff, he happened to sling all of it all the way to the overgrown, abandoned yard next door, about 10 feet from the pile. There's no sign of it anywhere. Of course there's shrinkage to be expected, but it went from suddenly looking about the same to flat.

Can a 185-pound dog really flatten compost like that? Apparently. It doesn't even seem worth moving now, just a few inches of stuff there.

Took this pic in Sept. It was a lot taller but not a whole lot wider when I stopped adding to it around Dec. 1.

Have you ever had a compost pile go missing?

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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Even if the dog had flung it that far, there would be some evidence of the flinging and flailing...I figure.

tj

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 7:04PM
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lonmower(zone8 Western Oregon)

185 pound dog?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 8:07PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

You said it was originally a brush pile. Was the volume mostly twigs and branches with air in between, with a thin layer of added OM on top of a loose structure? If so, then the old twigs and branches could have composted and become very soft, so the dog lounging on it could flatten it easily.

Sometimes I've found old twigs and had them almost disintegrate in my hands.

Alternatively the dog could have eaten it (the old excuse, Mom, the dog ate my homework/compost pile).

Claire

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 8:21PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

LOL the dog ate my compost!

Tsuga, no doubt. When this dog digs a hole and flails dirt, there's a MESS, a destruction zone.

Hardly any of the brush (sticks too small to burn but too big for regular compost pile) was still much distinguishable the last time I stirred this before dumping a few last loads of leaves, a couple 5-gallon buckets of greens. At that point, it looked like mostly pine needles full of "dirt." I do try to fork it up at the bottom when I'm finished, to make air pockets. Maybe it was finally ready to be a hot, fast pile at that point. If so, it was probably the heat that attracted the dog to lay on it but still hard to imagine it flatting that much, even though I can see it's flat.

Yes, he weighs 185 last time we checked, a great Dane. I've had to bring in a lot of big rocks to put in flower beds so he doesn't nap on my plants. Apparently Begonias, Caladiums, and Coleus are good for laying on.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 9:10AM
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Allen456(8)

Maybe the dingo ate your compost.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 10:36AM
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toxcrusadr

Shoot, if he's that big, get a harness and hitch him up to some farm equipment and put him to work!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 11:13AM
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Oil_Robb(3)

A compost fed 175 lb dog? that would be like a corn fed steer in texas...dont take it down town China or it will be part of the dinner for two B dish for the next week...Thats whats frusterating about composting, if you have a garden of any large size and want some compost these compost bins dont make much, you spend 4 months working them to get 1 wheel barrow of compost when you need 50 wheel barrows full. Thats why I incorporate the fresh stuff in the fall and let the garden do its thing for 5 months .

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 1:39PM
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sugarmaple

I like the dingo answer :^)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 5:36PM
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robertz6

Some neighbor slipped him a couple of bones to look the other way while they made off with your pile.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 4:21PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Me too, Sugarmaple, but Robert's suggestion is pretty darn funny too.

...just glad compost wasn't my homework!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 5:34PM
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robertz6

Noticed today my new dog has been digging up my bokashi material buried in the garden three or four days ago.

His bowl, outside, was full of dry dog food. Seems to prefer the bokashi, fermented smell and all.

Now if could just dig one hole and get him to do number two in it, instead of pooping all over the back yard.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 3:29PM
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