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Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Ken Anderson, Nov 2, 2015.
I think you should add a "yuck" button to the "like" button. YUCK!
I started the anaerobic compost barrel today. I put the plastic in the garbage can, filled it about half way full of pine needles (which will squash down), added the bucket of compost that i have been saving, and then piled some grass clippings and chopped branches that Bobby put through the chipper,
The lid is on, and the project is started.
Then, I noticed that the poison ivy was starting to come up; so I got the weedeater and cleaned off all of those that I could get to. As long as I can keep them weeded back, hopefully, it will stop it from spreading.
Now, I am in relaxing and drinking my carrot/coconut smoothie.
After living up north for a few summers in a row, I found that I had poison ivy along the fence on two sides of my yard, and on a tree in the center of the yard. I think I got rid of that though, but I watch out for it when I'm here.
Does that make them eat up the compost pile faster @Ken Anderson ? And do you have to tell them good morning every morning too? I'm smiling really big right now at your post...but the truth is my Honey talks all the time to his plants and they just grow and bloom all over the place for him. So I guess you talking to those worms could work too.
What I have learned is that paper towels and shredded magazines take a long time to compost if there is too much of it in one place. The first year that I started composting, I was shredding all of the newspapers, junk mail, magazines, and even valueless books that I wasn't going to keep, as well as using a lot of paper towels, which were added to the compost pile. Three years later, pretty much everything had been composted except where I had packed too many paper towels together, and some large wads of shredded magazines. The paper towels could have probably been hosed off, hung out to dry, and reused, as they didn't look that had even begun to compost.
Adding boxes full of compostable stuff helped a lot, as I have stated above. I have also found that if I mix the shredded magazines with shredded newspaper, junk mail, and cardboard, and also add in some leaves or old straw from outdoors, everything will compost. So when I have a lot of shredded stuff to dispose of, I will dump it into a box along with table scraps, leaves, or straw, and that seems to do the trick. I think of it as if the magazine paper alone doesn't taste very good, so I have to mix it in with some stuff that will attract the critters that compost everything. Perhaps it picks up the taste of the more digestible stuff, so it all composts.
Also, I can sprinkle shredded magazines over the top of everything, and then add a layer of leaves, another layer of shred, and another layer of leaves, and that works too.
As for paper towels, I just can't wad too much of it in any one place. It probably doesn't taste good to the composting critters but, more likely, it compresses together too tightly for good composting.
Shredded cardboard and newspapers are good, and junk mail seems to compost okay even though it has bits of plastic from the envelope windows.
I put a lot of shredded magazines on the top so I needed to sweeten it up with leaves. It's like trying to get them to eat their peas by mixing them with something they like.
I think I mentioned it in this thread before but one of the concerns that some people have about composting glossy magazines is that they use a metal based ink that can be toxic, but that's not the case anymore. They might use a different ink on the covers but newspapers, magazines and even books that aren't intended to go into collections now use a soy-based ink that is friendlier to composting. Some magazines, that people tend to think of as collectible, might still use a metal based ink because it lasts longer, but most of them use soy. The reason that newspapers and, even more so with magazines, tale a while to compost is that they have a high lignin content, which is a part of the woody cells of plants, that is resistant to composting. Since I like to experiment with my compost, I have added whole, un-shredded, books and magazines to my compost, and found no evidence of them after the rest of the pile had composted. When surrounded by more digestible compost material, they compost at roughly the same rate, but if you were to pile a bunch of whole books or magazine on top of one another, they would sit there for a long time before composting.
Most things will compost. It's a matter of time and balance. I use a cardboard box in the kitchen that we dump our kitchen wastes and coffee grounds into, covering anything sloppy with shredded paper. Because my wife isn't keen on having the same box on her kitchen floor for days on end, after a day or two, I will fill the rest of the box with leaves, close it up, and add it to the compost pile. I have another box downstairs for uneaten cat food and coffee grounds, so I am adding a new box to my compost pile nearly every day, and sometimes more.
I like to remember that this is what was at the bottom of my compost pile.
It would make a great Independent Film...."The Life of a Compost Pile"....A Documentary by Ken Anderson.
I caught one of my worms trying to escape this morning so I punished him severely, as a warning to the others.
I think it helps to cover the compost pile every now and then. When I uncover it in a few days, it will have mushrooms all over it, but they will disintegrate within hours of exposing it to light, and covering seems to speed the collapse of the pile.