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Newbie question about compost

Posted by organic_flutterby 5 MO (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 2, 13 at 7:42

Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum and new to gardening and composting.

I want to start a garden in the spring and am planning it now. I am trying to make compost. I have a large bin that is now filled with leaves and some grass clippings.

I understand that if I keep it moist and turn it once in a while that I will get compost from it, right?

My question is can I keep adding kitchen scraps to it after it starts to break down? If I do, when will it ever be considered done? Or do I start another pile?

Thank you!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Newbie question about compost

Yes. If the pile stays moist, it will break down. By spring, it could be ready. Kitchen scraps break down pretty fast. Your best bet, is to throw a handful of red worms into the pile to help it get along where it wants to go.

RE: Newbie question about compost

I just keep adding to mine and the scraps and new stuff stays on top of the pile while I mine the bottom of the bin. I have a pile that I compost dog manure in where I let it age for more than a year before I add anything to it as I empty it out when it is ready. Then I start it up again.

RE: Newbie question about compost

Thank you both!

priswell, I will look into the worms idea.

virginian~dog poop? I didn't know one could do that.

I love the idea of composting. I hope mine works, I will be so excited. I've got a ton more leaves to rake up and bag. I'll probably save them to use next spring.

RE: Newbie question about compost

In a properly made compost pile that the bacteria are working on and generating heat the material will be too hot for earthworms, which is why in a compost pile earthworms are not significant processors of the material.
Red worms, or Red Wigglers, work in a vermicomposting process which is different then regular composting. Vermicomposting materials are kept wetter than a compost pile since the worms need much more moisture then would the bacteria that are digesting the materiasl in that compost pile.

Here is a link that might be useful: Composting Tutorial

RE: Newbie question about compost

Thanks for the link kimmsr. I will check it out.

RE: Newbie question about compost

If you don't turn your pile you will eventually get compost at the bottom as someone stated above. But if you turn your pile it will go faster. The fastest way to get compost and to have more coming along sooner after that is to start a new pile at some point.

For winter, make sure that you have some browns handy to layer with your kitchen scraps. You'll be amazed how much stuff you generate during the winter. A pile of leaves or other browns next to the pile or bin makes it easy to do.

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