Author Topic: backyard composting  (Read 1386 times)

gnappi

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backyard composting
« on: October 08, 2020, 12:01:44 PM »
I had a 50+ gallon rain barrel that was scheduled to go to recycling then I thought I'd punch a bunch of holes in it and compost my GF's and neighbors kitchen debris.

With it nearly full (not completely composted yet) I'm thinking that with the "recipe" I found online (1/3 garbage, 1/3 leaves and such, and 1/3 soil) I'm beginning to rethink the whole deal.

I did not have any soil lying about so I went and bought nearly a dozen cheap bags of "top soil" for the 1/3 soil part, and have used my leaf litter (depriving some of my trees of mulch) for the other 1/3 to mix with the garbage. Yes, I'll eventually wind up with nearly 50 gallons of compost but realistically I could just as well have bought a few 50 pound bags of Black Cow composted manure and not have wasted the effort.

Yeah, I saved the dump from getting our 15 gallons or so of garbage but once this experiment is done, I'm thinking of going the black cow route.

Has anyone else started composting and made it a LONG term endeavor? Your reasons for continuing to do it, aside from save the planet issue.







Regards,

   Gary

RodneyS

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2020, 12:09:04 PM »
I slow compost, using large containers & half barrels.  I put banana leaves & stems, various leaves, newspaper, kitchen scraps.  I don't bother turning, just allowing the bacteria & worms to break it down.  I also put old potting soil when transplanting potted plants, to recharge it.

In the garage, I have a DIY wormbin, with newspaper & brown cardboard bedding.  I feed the worms insect frass, kitchen scraps, various leaves and such.  Instead of waiting for the worms to compost everything and then separate, I just gather castings every now & then

skhan

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2020, 01:01:05 PM »
Ive been composting in my back yard for a few years now.
It's made with cmu blocks I'd estimate it's nearly the volume of a rain barrel.

It usually fills up every year during mango season due to all the scraps and seeds.
Goes back down to half after the rains.

I throw anything that's capable decomposition inside and don't worry about the ratios. (I don't use it for soil though)

All the plants around it really love it.

I'm planning a making another one in a different part of my yard.

The only time it smells is after i dump jack fruit scraps in it.

Work well for me but i'd build something a little neater it i had to start over.
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Fishinsteeg234

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2020, 02:13:25 PM »
I just built my first compost bin about a month ago out of pallets and chicken wire. I add all kitchen scraps and anything biodegradable/compostable: cardboard, paper, coffee filters/grounds, eggshells, spoiled fruits, kidís uneaten meals, etc. I try to turn the pile from one side to the other every other week. I have found this keeps my inside trash can smelling much better without the kitchen scraps sitting inside. The front can lift up to allow getting the shovel and rake in there to stir it up. Hoping by spring it will be quite full to distribute under all my fruit trees. I highly recommend composting!





Plantinyum

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2020, 02:27:16 PM »
I'm also composting my yard wastes (greenery) and the kitchen waste also that includes scrabs of fruits and veggies and other plant related no needs. Haven't checked on it till now to see what is happening ,but i'm guessing by next spring the  lowest layer should be ready for use, havent stirred it up also so maybe I should ?

Jaboticaba45

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2020, 02:31:00 PM »
Interesting as I just throw all the food scraps at the base of one of my trees...2 years later and it is already doubled in size compared to the other trees.

mbmango

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2020, 02:45:38 PM »
I do wonder about what might come in on a bag, whether it would be pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, random trash, etc., but I also don't like the packaging.  That's probably the only save the planet part, since every little bit counts.  What if it was dried, then packaged in a paper bag?  Just toss it on the ground and water it in.  Done.  Compost pods.

That said, I just chop & drop in place mostly.  Kitchen fruit waste is harder as it attracts/breeds all kinds of stuff.  I used to just dig holes in random places and bury a bucket at a time, but have run out of spots.  Not a large yard.  Just started a couple slow fungal compost piles to see how they go.  Want to try out a worm bin at some point.

spaugh

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2020, 03:06:29 PM »
We keep a 3 gallon bucket in the kitchen that gets filled every other day.  One of us takes it to the yard and digs a small hole under a tree or in a garden bed and buries it and covers back with dirt.  No fancy composting necessary.  The earth will do the work for you.
Brad Spaugh

Epicatt2

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2020, 03:07:17 PM »
I use yard waste and leaves in all my flowerbeds which I constantly replenish with whatever there is.  I've even been known to go up the street on my block and confiscate bagged leaves set out for pick-up, to add to my flowerbeds.  Spoiled hay from the feedstore is also fair game to add in, from time to time when available.

The mulch does have to be replenished as the season goes along because here in Florida 6 to 8 inches of mulch in the flowerbeds will burn down fast due to our Florida rain and heat.  All this mulching of flowerbeds eventually composts itself down as time goes on allowing me to dig underneath and harvest the composted humus to use for making a soil mix for my potted plants and fruit trees. 

This DIY pottng mix I've mentioned elsewhere on TFF as being equal parts of coarse builders sand + milled sphagnum + humus (from the flowerbeds).  That is all turned together using only just enough water to cut down on the dust from the sphagnum, etc.

The mulching here in my Florida yard is important since, with essentially sand for soil, mulching really helps conserve water around the plants, provides them with nutrients, and also blocks weed growth.

This is about the easiest way I've come upon for makng compost without developing an aching back from needing to turn a compost pile to keep it working.

Paul M.
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Epicatt2

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2020, 03:15:29 PM »
I do wonder about what might come in on a bag, whether it would be pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, random trash, etc., but I also don't like the packaging.

I mentioned making a DIY potting mix using bagged eaves found curbside in my neighborhood.  I feel the bags to see what's in them.  If I can feel a lot of twigs or grass clippings I just leave those bags.  I only take the bags full of leaves. 

The rationale for using those bagged leaves that is that folks seldom spray their trees and so there's no unwanted chemical spray residuals in a bag of leaves.  And anyway, why throw away something that will tun in to great, free compost?

Paul M.
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skhan

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2020, 05:02:43 PM »
Interesting as I just throw all the food scraps at the base of one of my trees...2 years later and it is already doubled in size compared to the other trees.

I did this before, it really helps.
They grow so fast
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skhan

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2020, 05:06:55 PM »
We keep a 3 gallon bucket in the kitchen that gets filled every other day.  One of us takes it to the yard and digs a small hole under a tree or in a garden bed and buries it and covers back with dirt.  No fancy composting necessary.  The earth will do the work for you.

My dad does this and works great.
I didn't like the idea of constantly digging around roots but I might just be babying my trees to much.

I found with buckets, we started getting fruit flys and ants in the house. (some times the weather wouldn't permit us to go outside, most of the time it was laziness)
I switched to compostable bags and hasn't been a problem since.
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Frog Valley Farm

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2020, 05:45:43 PM »
Compost is good for plants.  I make it monthly.  The Johnson-su method seems to currently be the system du jour.  It is a static system (non turned) with vents for air, worms are added towards the end.  Pretty easy to make for anyone.  You should not use conventionally grown food waste for compost, that is garbage. Compost makes great potting soil and is excellent for all food crops. 

For daily household food waste I find a fermenting system is easiest especially around here with critters.

Black cow is a turned, heat system and is devoid of life in its packaged state, but it is cheap and convenient.

Sunrisefruit

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2020, 07:51:28 PM »
i have a worm factory in my yard and have been feeding it food scraps and fruits that fall to the ground for the last three year.. it works great..
at least twice a year, i have new castings to feed my fruit trees  :)
« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 07:57:32 PM by Sunrisefruit »

JakeFruit

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2020, 11:25:23 AM »
I have two Compost Wizard Jr.s - https://goodideasinc.com/collections/composters/products/compost-wizard-jr
Started with one, but I kept putting more kitchen waste in, so it never finished. Now when one is full, I let the bugs do their thing on it while I fill the other up. Not having worms is a big negative to this approach, maggots and heat are not enough to finish it off properly. What comes out is thick & sticky/clingy, mixing it with anything is pretty impossible. I put it around the base of plants and let the banded millipedes get after it. I initially hated those little creatures when they started showing up in my yard by the dozens, but they do great work on the unfinished compost. When I go back to the little compost clumps and turn them over after a month or two, the compost crumbles into perfect tiny bits along with multiple millipedes curled amongst the waste.

If you live in a location that makes a traditional compost pile unfeasible, these barrel tumblers will work okay. As long as you aren't putting meat waste in there (egg shells are fine), the worst smell is something like weak horse manure (really only noticeable when you are turning it). The biggest workers are fly maggots, you are basically breeding flies in them. Mine are maybe 50 feet away from our patio; the rare times we've eaten anything outside, our food gets swarmed more than usual. It's Florida, not being able to peacefully eat outside in the heat isn't a big sacrifice.

Tang Tonic

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2020, 01:31:26 PM »
My family and I backyard compost on another level.  Since I have built my own homestead from scratch, I decided to forego the septic tank as a way of dealing with our waste.  Right now we have a bucket to barrel composting toilet and use either coco coir or peat moss as the medium to cover the humanure with.  We generally fill up a 55 gal drum in about a months time including other some other green waste and cardboard thrown into the mix and have a rotation of three drums going.  By the time we have rotated back to the third drum, it is well broken down and of excellent quality. 

We also have the urban worm company worm bag with African night crawlers.  Works great!

Next up is a black soldier fly larvae harvesting box for our chickens. 

Eventually we will convert our bucket to barrel composting toilet to either a bio-digester to create our own biogas or improve the current system to a terra preta composting toilet system.

https://www.homebiogas.com/Products/HomeBiogas_Toilet

https://sswm.info/water-nutrient-cycle/wastewater-treatment/hardwares/site-storage-and-treatments/terra-preta-toilets




 

Ulfr

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2020, 04:25:24 PM »
I use chickens and worms (big wheeled garbage bins for the worms).

I used to use a big cage for composting but I was lazy turning it so it took too long and fed the rodents.

bigalxx15

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Re: backyard composting
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2020, 10:01:12 PM »
Iíve been using the Jora Composter Tumbler JK270 for three years. While one side is finishing I can start the other side of the composter.


 

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