Growing Grass On The Compost?

brownthumb65(8B Florida)July 8, 2011

I've been turning and watering a pile of leaves from last fall. Huge pile and I'm always sore. So far so good. Smells nice, but I've read that I should put "greens" in there. The guy who mows the lawn around here must have a lawn mower that just does not leave many clippings. I was wondering if anyone has ever tried spreading grass seed on the compost pile and sprouting it then turning it under for the nitrogen?

It's all Sycamore leaves with small amounts of pine needles and no animal by products at all.

Thanks!

Halime

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jonhughes(So.Oregon)

Hey Halime,
That is kinda what I am doing, although mine might be a little extreme, I am growing Watermelon,Cantaloupe,Honeydew,Butternut,Zucchini, Cucumbers.... and when I am done harvesting, I AM going to turn the Nitrogen right back into the pile ;-)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 12:07AM
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brownthumb65(8B Florida)

WOW ! Jon, That's beautiful. You have a nice set up there. I am sure you're not tending all those by yourself? Looks like you're running a business out there. That's what you're doing right? You sell your veggies? Or you must have a HUGE family! I am IMPRESSED. This is my first year but I am doing a lot of learning and reading. Your place is beautiful!!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 12:17AM
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jonhughes(So.Oregon)

Yeah, All by myself ;-(
You don't get to choose a wife who is into the same things, by the time you figure it out ,it's too late ;-)

Anywho...I digress ;-)

I don't sell any of my produce, I donate everything to the Local FoodBank, most of it gets used by the various Food Kitchens in town for Elderly,Homeless,or Poor.

I donated over 5000 lbs last year, and this year my goal is 8000 lbs, it is a real blessing ;-)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 12:36AM
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joanie_pomseed(8)

Brownthumb, I think Captain Compost does what you described.

Jon, you're my new hero. ;)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 11:01AM
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darth_weeder(z7 NY)

Jon, you donate "everything" to charity?
You're a better man than I.
I'd need to go into rehab if I couldn't taste some of my own produce.

What do you live on?
Frozen pizza and Pop Tarts?

two green thumbs up

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 7:57PM
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brownthumb65(8B Florida)

Going to check out "Captain Compost" Thanks!
Would you believe I have to return a small package of seed I bought because I did not know how hazardous to my health it was??
It is some kind of "treated" seed and has all these warnings on the package. I do not want to add that to my compost. lol...

Jon, Once again your place is beautiful and excites me. I am attempting to do most of my plants in containers also and off the sandy soil we have here.
Halime

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 8:04PM
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jonhughes(So.Oregon)

No... I apologize...
When I said "everything", what I meant was I don't sell anything.... I give it all away, mostly goes to the FoodBank , but a lot does go to Family and Friends also (but what goes to them doesn't get "weighed" ,the FoodBank weighs everything I bring to them), so when I say I gave over 5000 lbs to the FoodBank last year, I only know that because they keep a running total of everything that is brought in.What I snack on and what friends take, doesn't get weighed...

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 8:48PM
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brownthumb65(8B Florida)

WOW, I am drooling!!! You do all of this with compost and organic methods? I don't want to pick your brain too much because I know you're busy. I'll have to search the archives for past posts from you. I can learn a lot!!!
:-)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 11:42PM
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brownthumb65(8B Florida)
    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 11:48PM
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vermontkingdom(4a)

Jon,
My goodness, people around here think I'm a pretty good gardner but compared to you, I'm in the minor leagues.
Like you, my greatest joy is to give my stuff away. For me, I love to bring baskets of it to church on Sunday morning and have one time wonderful gardeners, but now elderly congregants, treasure it away.
I'm interested in how you get everything to look so good and to be blemish free. Do you use any pesticides?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 6:24AM
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jonhughes(So.Oregon)

No...
It isn't that I think they have limited value,I just don't need them, I use a 18 volt Dewalt Cordless Vacuum to suck up and exterminate Squash Bugs and Cucumber Beetles,and I am able to catch some white butterflies, the other bugs, slugs and such are dispatched by my trusty scissors that I keep in my back pocket, I just cut them in half and that ends their reign of terror. ;-)

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 9:35AM
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lazy_gardens

Jon - I love the raised bed for the vines. How do you reach the ones on the top of the heap?

Where are you doing this? It looks like a storage yard.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 2:29PM
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jonhughes(So.Oregon)

I have no ides how I am going to harvest these things ;-)
This pile is just my "extra" compost and I needed to get it out of my bins ,so I would have room to make more, I didn't want it to mix with my gravel driveway ,so I put it on a tarp.
Then as I saw it just laying there and not doing anything productive ,I chose to plant it, hopefully I can reach the produce without killing some vines in the process of harvesting....
That is still to be seen....

I have a small 1/2 acre lot that resembles a bowling alley, real thin and long.
But I make the best of it....
I use every space I can find to grow something ;-)

The Garden is built on my gravel driveway, my business and home are on the same lot.

I am a General Contractor and these sheds hold all of my supplies...

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 3:30PM
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rmontcal

Jon - could you please explain the "wicking" effect that you mentioned in your video? Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 3:45PM
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jonhughes(So.Oregon)

Hi rmontcal,
The earth "naturally" wicks (or in this case,licks) up water, going both directions...
For example if you have a 5 gallon bucket and you set it on your concrete driveway , and lets say you use compost as your growing medium, all of the little particles will filter down and clog up the available space and the PWT (perched water table)will rise and roots will then be drowned , but if you were to take that same 5 Gallon bucket and cut off the bottom of it, and set it on "free draining earth', any extra water you gave it would be "wicked up" or "licked up" by the earth.Either way , the process of removing the bottom from a "container" (no matter what size), and the medium now having free access to the earth, takes it from being a "container" to a "raised bed" ...of sorts...
and of course, once the plants roots get down past the "bottom of the pot" they are in hog heaven, they will have access to whatever moisture and nutrients are down there.

Did you see my video on Preparing a Planting Bed (link below)

Here is a link that might be useful: Preparing a Planting Bed

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 5:32PM
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