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BostonBull
08-23-2008, 04:57 PM
What would be the absolute best ingredients, and at what ratio for a compost pile?

I have some land behind the shop I can use to make some compost, and I have all the machinery needed to turn and add to it available there too.

For free, I have access to Chips, Leaves, and fresh grass clippings. I know there is more, but I get lost with all the talk here. Manure? Sheetrock for lime? Veggies (if I can get them)? Fish? What else?

Please go easy on me!

If this is posted elsewhere on the site, please delete this thread.

Kiril
08-23-2008, 05:01 PM
Use what you have -> 30:1 = starting C:N

JDUtah
08-23-2008, 05:03 PM
is 30:1 by weight? (I think that's obvious but just wanna make sure)

Kiril
08-23-2008, 05:28 PM
is 30:1 by weight? (I think that's obvious but just wanna make sure)

30:1 = 30 parts carbon per 1 part nitrogen. Doing it by weight is better than by volume.

Ratios of common raw materials.

http://compost.css.cornell.edu/OnFarmHandbook/apa.taba1.html

wallzwallz
08-23-2008, 05:29 PM
BostonBull, a good book to get you started is the Rodale Book of composting, $15-16, has diagrams of different pile types and lists of materials and percentages. You probably can find the same info on line somewhere.

JDUtah
08-23-2008, 05:32 PM
30:1 = 30 parts carbon per 1 part nitrogen. Doing it by weight is better than by volume.

Ratios of common raw materials.

http://compost.css.cornell.edu/OnFarmHandbook/apa.taba1.html

Thanks Kiril! ... 'twill be usefull at some point.

Might eventually build a public caclulator where you select what you have and it tells you how much of each to put in the pile.

BostonBull
08-23-2008, 10:17 PM
Any good online sites of all the Carbon and Nitrogen sources?

treegal1
08-23-2008, 10:31 PM
Boston are you really going to do this, that's great!!! here hope this helps,
http://www.compostingcouncil.org/

also a good rule of thumb is 3 parts green waste to 1 part brown, its stupid but it works.......

BostonBull
08-23-2008, 10:40 PM
I am really going to try this out! I have the space, it will be a project transporting it, but oh well.

I figure I will use grass clippings, leaves, small amount of wood chips, coffee grounds, and maybe some sheetrock.

How far does this cook down? Say if I wanted a 10 yard yield? Should I start with 20 yards of material? I know this is a small pile to some of you! And how long is it good for?

BostonBull
08-23-2008, 10:42 PM
Heres a cool site, not sure if it is all accurate?

treegal1
08-23-2008, 10:51 PM
hey 2 yards is a respectable pile!!!! 20 will do you good to start............

BostonBull
08-23-2008, 11:06 PM
Heres what I am aiming for........

10-15 yards of leaves and grass clippings.
2-4 yards of chips
5-10 lbs of coffee grounds
MAYBE 1-2 sheets worth of sheetrock if I can find it


How much water and when? How often should it be turned? is it OK to add items after I have already started the pile? Like veggies, newspapers, more coffee grounds, etc etc?

Thanks for the help! I will be starting my first pile this week, just have to get the grass and leaves from the Landscaper next door.

Even if this pile doesnt turn out to be the BEST, should I still put it on my lawn?

treegal1
08-24-2008, 03:27 AM
Heres what I am aiming for........

10-15 yards of leaves and grass clippings.
2-4 yards of chips
5-10 lbs of coffee grounds
MAYBE 1-2 sheets worth of sheetrock if I can find it


How much water and when? How often should it be turned? is it OK to add items after I have already started the pile? Like veggies, newspapers, more coffee grounds, etc etc?

Thanks for the help! I will be starting my first pile this week, just have to get the grass and leaves from the Landscaper next door.

Even if this pile doesnt turn out to be the BEST, should I still put it on my lawn?sounds good!keep moist 50% water ??? just dont let it get to wet or dry.if it gets cold turn if it gets real hot turn if its 2 weeks turn!!!adding after is ok as long as it gets finished+135+deg for 3 days, and or turned 3 times!!Its real hard to foul up a compost pile, your 10000% ahead of most composters already!!!

BostonBull
08-24-2008, 09:11 AM
Ill get started this week and post some photos.

Thanks for the help!

cudaclan
08-24-2008, 09:22 AM
Supermarkets in cooperative composing programs in MA
http://www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/srpclist.htm

Composter’s registry (are you listed?)
http://www.findacomposter.com/home

Sheetrock “waste” can be obtained from damaged deliveries at the Big Box stores. Eventually it is discarded, just ask.You already know about leaving a bucket at the local coffee shops.

Daner
08-24-2008, 09:28 AM
Most Sawdust works great mixed with the grass clippings...Its very high In Carbon ,Also straw mixed with those grass clippings...Old corn stalks also high In Carbon. I try to mix a ratio 20-40:1 C:N
Just a reminder...make sure you cook the weed seeds...some run Into troubles later on down the road when they spread compost on lawns thats not cooked.
One more tip...keep the grass clippings out If they have been treated with a herbicide.
Best of luck with your new compost Idea:usflag::canadaflag:

Daner

BostonBull
08-24-2008, 09:45 AM
Do I still have to cook grass clipping that MAY contain weeds? I will be using grass clippings from the landscaper we rent to, and our own woodchips that we produce. The leaves will also be from the landscaper next door, and coffee will be from Starbucks. I will have to ask the local building center for some damaged goods, thats a great idea!

treegal1
08-24-2008, 09:51 AM
boston, every thing need to get hot for a time in the pile, the hoter and longer the better(within reason)

BostonBull
08-24-2008, 10:04 AM
WOW, I though he meant actually boiling the seeds! What a newb!

I get it "boil"=getting hot enough in the pile.

Kiril
08-24-2008, 10:05 AM
boston, every thing need to get hot for a time in the pile, the hoter and longer the better(within reason)

Nice save :clapping:

cudaclan
08-24-2008, 10:12 AM
Know where your grass clippings are coming from.

Search word: Clopyralid

Daner
08-24-2008, 11:46 AM
WOW, I though he meant actually boiling the seeds! What a newb!

I get it "boil"=getting hot enough in the pile.

No No...We build round spinners and train the rooster to chase the chickens on the weed rail...and the boiling water underneath and all the seed stick to the sides....take the chickens off there ride and the seeds will cook In the sun

Always time for some humor

Hey one more tip...get yourself a moisture/temp gauge from your local farm supply...then you will know whats going on In the pile

Daner.

BostonBull
08-24-2008, 12:08 PM
No No...We build round spinners and train the rooster to chase the chickens on the weed rail...and the boiling water underneath and all the seed stick to the sides....take the chickens off there ride and the seeds will cook In the sun

Always time for some humor

Hey one more tip...get yourself a moisture/temp gauge from your local farm supply...then you will know whats going on In the pile

Daner.

Yeah Yeah I get it :hammerhead:

I am going to try one pile first, for FREE. If I like it and turn out a good product I will then buy a gauge and maybe add some not free ingrdients to the mix. Everything so far is free to me, and delivered right to my pile.

BostonBull
08-24-2008, 12:11 PM
Know where your grass clippings are coming from.

Search word: Clopyralid

It doesnt seem like it is used in my area.

My clippings will be from mature lawns, at commercial properties and residences. The chances of herbicides being present are slim to none. But I will ask them before allowing them to dump.

Now synthetic ferts, post and pre emergents.......I cant guarantee those wont be present.

Kiril
08-24-2008, 12:43 PM
If it ain't free, don't compost it.

JDUtah
08-24-2008, 05:04 PM
I thought post and pre emergents are herbicides? What other pest control would they be?

Why do you not want grass that has been treated with them?

BostonBull
08-24-2008, 05:36 PM
I thought of that after I posted, but wasnt sure.

I would guess that you wouldnt want grasses treated with them, because they will also kill off beneficial microbes, and the heat of the compost will exemplify their strength and they will no longer be selective in what they kill?

treegal1
08-24-2008, 06:42 PM
its just the one prem that is a long lasting chem in the soil most others are gone in days at 135deg

Daner
08-24-2008, 08:26 PM
If the composting materials have been contact with a herbicide,It will still break down under the right conditions and decompose...But It will not be IMO a organic compost...one batch of compost can be so different than the other batch even If there all organic materials

treegal1
08-24-2008, 08:46 PM
If the composting materials have been contact with a herbicide,It will still break down under the right conditions and decompose...But It will not be IMO a organic compost...one batch of compost can be so different than the other batch even If there all organic materialsnot IMO for a garden, there is no way it would pass with me, but for lawns, I will let a little more slide............

Kiril
08-24-2008, 11:09 PM
I would agree for the most part. Hesitate to use it on food crops, compost it well and use it everywhere else.

Daner
08-25-2008, 08:58 AM
another way of putting It would be...there's everything from "green"#1best of everything added and monitored compost pile... to a "Red"#8 Junk pile thats not monitored . Also the all Organic compost you make to a T Is worth more $
Just like anything else...you get what you pay for...most of the time.
In the long run...Its like gold to a lawn