Any good ideas for kick starting a compost bin pile?

Posted By: AnaCook  Posted On: Feb 20th, 2012  Filed Under: Home & Garden

Hello, I have been working on my compost bin and pile for about a month now.  I have collected non meat items that have not been cooked(peelings, tops from strawberries, egg shells, coffee grounds etc.), not shiny news paper(shredded), old cattle manure and grass trimmings.  Is there anything that I need to do before using it in my garden?

Thanks in advance for the help!

  1. cowboy jack says:

    I’m no expert on compost… (nor on gardening for that matter).  With so few scraps to add to mine, and it took so long to season, I gave up, and am doing true Square Foot Gardening… it’s so much easier than “Row Gardening”…  Turning your scraps, with some moisture will help get it ‘seasoned’… I just know that it must be “old”– as for cattle manure… I know that “green” manure of any type will burn the plants… So I went to the barn and dug down to get that which was so old as to be unidentifiable to add to my new “All New Square Foot Garden” Mel’s Mix (which must have 5 different composts) … The egg shells, if finely crushed, and the coffee grounds may be OK…. hope someone who knows more than I will sign in and give you more info. (And say if you need to ignore my input…) Shalom and good gardening, CBJ

  2. cowboy jack says:

    PS to the compost question… When I clean out the chicken house soon, I’ll put the manure in a bucket, add some water, and make a “tea” … My mother-in-law used to put that kind of ‘tea’ around her roses and they were outstanding! Maybe someone will sign on and tell us how long to wait, before it’s ‘cured,’ so’s not to burn anything… CBJ

  3. AnaCook says:

    I think the “tea” soaks for two weeks.  Try filling a nylon knee high,nylon onion bag(something mesh like that won’t fall apart but will let water soak into the manure you are using) add to a barrel or bucket of water removing the bag before you add to your plants.  Be sure not to splash up on leaves.  I like the idea of a square foot garden too.  I have one started and I plan on making more.  Not raised beds though.  I live in a hot dry area and fear that I would have to water almost constantly.

  4. MajorKarma says:

    Good Morning,  I am new here but I am not new to farming, ranching and the nursery business so, I am going to add a bit of my advice for creating your own compost. 1) Coffee Grounds; if you will contact your local Starbucks and ask them nicely, I am sure they will save their coffee grounds for a day or days for you to pick up and add to your compost.  2) Horse Manure; if you look around for riding stables, I am sure you will find one that will allow you to come with your own plastic bags and shovel to collect as much as you want…the older, more dried out the better. 3)Leaves, and grass cuttings are fine if avoid seeds and “cook” your compost; black plastic bags on the sunny side of the house should work fine but don’t seal them too tight or they will blow up ;)  Whatever the case taken the above 1,2,3 components with equal parts plain dirt and sand..meaning 1 equal part of each of these, along with any appropriate kitchen scraps, mixed/blended well and placed in large plastic garbage bags that you turn periodically will produce excellent compost for your garden in about 5 weeks, at which time the mixed needs to dry well in the sun before being turned into the soil where you are going to plant. I have used this mixture for starting palm seeds and growing vegetables in my Palm Boxes at the nursery for many years. Good Luck  P.S. The better the riding stable, the better the manure.

  5. MajorKarma says:

    PS PS. If you are short on grass cuttings and leaves for creating your compost mixture, you can buy a bale of “Grass Hay” that is aged (dried out)..this is not alfalfa, this is a blended grass hay fed to horses; preferably very fine stemmed from the first cutting. Blending and breaking up your compost before “Cooking” it is essential. The amount of this Compost Mixture you use to turn in to your planting area depends on how hot your mix is but a safe bet is 1 gallon to 5 gallons of plain dirt…this is a part of the Alchemy to garden compost ;)

  6. wanda duckworth says:

    does anyone know about using tobacco (spit) juice  on a garden or around roses??please and thank you …this would be a form of fertilizer i think..

  7. StephenMorris says:

    to “cook” your compost you need
    calcium carbonate (CACO3) with that hay,& manuer
    best time do do this is in winter
    it will get very hot

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