composting yard waste?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kountryscape, Apr 18, 2001.

  1. kountryscape

    kountryscape LawnSite Member
    from iowa
    Posts: 133

    Hey do any of you guys and gals compost your grass clippings,leaves, and branches.

    I've been doing alot of power raking and overseeding lately and have truck loads of thatch to get read of. The city makes compost with yard waste and human waste . You pay to drop of the stuff and if you want the compost its 1.50 a bag.

    What if i composted using farm waste like cattle etc.

    Never done it need help i have three acres of ground so i have the space and no neighbors. i'm in the country.

    j. morgan
    countryscape
    the outdoor contractor

     
  2. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    hi, i just so happen to be pretty big on composting,i dont have that big of a pile at my house cause i have neighbors less then 50 ft on each side. but i do have a small pile, my grandparents live on a farm and they have a couple larger piles, and i work for my uncle who processes and sells composted mushroom soil. in all its generally the same thing. first must choose a location and structure. depending on where u are and what u use u might have to worry about runoff. do u have a lot of rodents in your area? how much can u accumulate? do u have a tractor with loader? what structures do u have on the property? u need to answer these questions in order to determine what is right for you. if u have farm animales (even just a few sheep) and a lot of yard debris, u may want to consider a large scale compost system. its amazing what u can get from compost piles. one the dirt for gardening and fertilizing, depending on what u put on it u can spread it on yards, put it in gardens, make compost tea, whatever. If you do have a lot of compost i mean like trucks and trucks worth, u may want to consider a 3 sided shed, this will protect from rain, allow it to stay warm, and not to bad of an eye sore, you want ur pile to be warm and dry, yes every now and then its good to water it. a 3 sided shed would allow for easy acces of the loader to turn it over and also for a truck to dump or load. u may want to make it big enough so u can have two piles, one of old stuff thats doing its thing, and one for fresh stuff, have to keep the cycle going, if you are thinking at a smaller level, maybe a cinder block structure, 4 feet high 6 feet wide 6 feet long, can even make it 4 feet high 12 feet wide 6 feet long with a divider in the middle so u can have two piles, and u can just through a tarp over this, u can do the same with wood, wood is good cause it breathes and compost needs air, in turn reducing amount of times u have to turn it over. if you think u need bigger then this then u would need a few piles and would have to turn them over weekly (thats if they are really really big piles) if you want smaller then what i said above (cinder block style) then u can just downsize what i said with cinder block or wood or heck even a bucket, the main idea is to turn it over as needed, after a while u can tell when it needs to be done, A BIG THING IS TO KEEP SAME AMOUND OF DARKS AND GREENS. what this means is u need to keep it balanced, u want to keep a good mixture of plant matter and dead/manure matter. grass clippings are the BEST. at first they are plant then dead. u never want to put any chemicals (ex pesticides) in your compost, or any wood that has stain or anything on it. i would avoid large pieces of wood, the smaller ur pile the smaller size wood i would put in. try to stick to the easy stuff, straw, hay, grass clippings etc. no meats, or bones of any type. if you have any questions at all feel free to ask, if i can not answer my uncle can. good luck, and if u have the right tools and the right setting and right stuff i can be fun. i enjoy it a lot.
     
  3. kountryscape

    kountryscape LawnSite Member
    from iowa
    Posts: 133

    Hey scotty sounds like ur an up and coming compost kinda guy that info is great and plymouth that site has some great info as well thanks for the help now maybe i can save a little money . and get something in return.

    j. morgan
    countryscape
    the outdoor contractor
     
  4. summitgroundskeeping

    summitgroundskeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    we have a dump pass with the city dump. If they are closed, I dump debris in my uncles fields. All you need to do is find someone who doesn't mind you dumping in their field. I don't to compost piles because of the horrible smell.
     
  5. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    smell can be minimized if proper maintenance is done on time
     

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