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composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or bad?

Posted by greenhousekendra Kansas Zone 5 (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 14, 10 at 18:08

This is my first year with a large compost pile. It was left here by the last owners. We also have some fruit trees, crabapple, apple, pear and peaches and I also have a vegetable garden. What are general rules on composting fallen fruit from trees? What are the compost rules for plants from the garden. For example compost my tomato suckers but throw away a diseased tomato plant?

What is the difference between hot and cold composting?

I'd like to just throw everything in there since I will not be using any of the compost until next year. Does amount time make a difference? For example, if I compost a diseased plant will it cause problems next year after a freezing winter in Kansas?

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 14, 10 at 22:29

I compost anything and everything that was ever green and growing. Our pile is about 1/2 shredded maple tree leaves, & the rest is garden refuse, sticks, raspberry canes, and sunflower stalks. I only remove compost once a year, in late May/early June.


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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

My chickens get first shot at any fruit, then the rest goes in the compost pile. Right now that is apricots. Having a great harvest this year...first one for my two trees.

I trimmed my daisies back today...will haul the trimmings to the compost pile tomorrow morning while it is cool.


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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

People that practice what is called today "conventional" gardening methods (use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides) will tell you any diseased plant material should not be composted and must be thrown away and they do that and still have problems with plant diseases and insect pests. Those of us that have practiced true organic gardening have found that we can compost diseased plant material and will not have much of a problem with plant diseases. I have corresponded with people all over the world that had the blight problems on potatoes, tomatoes, peppers until they made their soil into a good, healthy soil that would grow strong and healthy plants. They have found, over the years, that if they do not add fresh compost to the soil where they grow those plants every year signs of blight will reappear.


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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

Rules? We don't need no stinkin' rules!

What are general rules on composting fallen fruit from trees? It attracts bears and raccoons. If you don't have pests like that, make layers a fruit or two thick, covered with dry something to keep the bees and wasps away. By spring it's composted.

What are the compost rules for plants from the garden. Whatever you clipped off or pulled up, toss it on.

I compost everything - that fungus on your tiomatio plant becomes food for the compost microorganisms.


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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 15, 10 at 14:58

There aren't too many rules, stinkin or not, that apply to composting. But it would be wise to remember, if you build your pile big enough, it will, sooner or later, catch fire!


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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

Bears and Raccoons yes but Badgers? We don't need no stinking Badgers! Compost away mate!

Curt~


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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

This forum is a funny bunch!

Thanks for the answers. I'll be reading more to learn more. Fire.. huh?


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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

composted a dead duck one time...
never saw hide nor hair (err feather) of it again.

You wanna hot heap ? the sugar from fruit will help a lot. I put a cup of molasses in water when making heaps = Steaming HOT !


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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

Fire both symbolic (pile heating up can be said to 'catch fire') and literal. Some of us with agriculture in our family history have tales of barns burning down due to the straw/hay in the barn catching on fire (as it would if it gets rained on and put away damp).

Microorganisms may be small but you get enough of them working away and .. things happen.

Hot piles mean (generally) an active pile. Materials heat up, cool down, pile gets turned, heats up again, etc etc. Cold means pile materials up, if it heats great, if not so what, let it work for a while - year or three - and you get compost.

Most of us find you get compost faster with the hot method, but use what you like/what works for you.


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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

It is not the size of the pile of organic matter that cause the spontaneous combustion, it is how the material is stacked. There needs to be just enough moisture and air, both, that will allow the bacteria to work and generate sufficient heat to cause the organic matter to reach ignition temperature and then it will burn. This is why most everyone that knows will tell you that the internal temperature of your compost pile should not be allowed to exceed 160 degrees.


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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

  • Posted by pt03 3 Southern Manitoba (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 26, 10 at 16:47

From what I understand it is several conditions that are required before spontaneous combustion might occur.

No documented cases of spontaneous combustion have been reported for compost piles smaller than seven feet.

Apparently, size does matter.

;-)

I've exceeded 160F numerous times, yet to have a fire.

Lloyd


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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

Anybody 451 F Thanks

Curt~


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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

"What is the difference between hot and cold composting?
sfallen is right that "hot composting" means an active pile that is layered correctly, moistened regularly , tossed when the temps begins to fall, etc, thus creating decomposition and temps that are hot enough to feel when you stick your hand in: 130 - 160 F. "Cold composting" is when you throw the compost materials to your bin or pile and let 'er lie. The higher temps are not created; it takes quite a bit longer, but rot does happen eventually. I call it the Lazy Person's method, and I practice a modified version: Occasional tossing, watering, etc., but not reliably. I get compost 2-3 times a year.


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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

Apparently Lloyd is beginning to understand that compost piles can spontaneously combust, and apparently those people at the University of Minnesota have not talked with the people at the state office that handles fire reports because I am quite sure that many reports detail spontaneous combustion of small, backyard, compost piles that set buildings afire.


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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

  • Posted by pt03 3 Southern Manitoba (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 27, 10 at 9:13

Apparently kimmsr hasn't learned to comprehend what he reads. If he can find one quote from moi that says I don't believe spontaneous combustion can happen, I'll buy him and his family a steak dinner.

Your problem kimmsr is that you post stuff that is outright wrong or made up and you often attribute it to other organizations. When asked for the links you usually state you can't find them, the links no longer exist or there is some new research available.

Maybe you should contact the U of Mn to tell them of all your vast knowledge of documented small compost pile fires, I'm sure they'd be thrilled to hear from you. lol. While you're talking to them, make sure you educate them on your made up fact that the size of the pile has nothing to do with spontaneous combustion.

Lloyd

P.S. By the way, how much real rubber is in a tire? (snort)

P.P.S. Sorry to OP for hijacking the thread but sometimes incredible inaccuracies ought to be challenged.


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RE: composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or b

Good reading, thanks for all the information. Cleaned up the yard and I have a silly smile on my face every time I take it all to the compost. Composting makes gardening more fun!


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