Amazed at composting debris....

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Steiner, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    Earlier this year I built a 5'x5' bunk for compost for that material that was coming off landscaping jobs as well as the occasional clippings. I have to say how amazed I am at how fast that small area has been able to digest the material. I don't bag except for my own lawn which is 100% organic.

    I am still learning how to mix the browns and green and turn and water but wow. An entire year worth of hedge trimmings, pulled peony, hosta, and basically any other scraps.

    I built it in hopes of creating compost for my garden just a once and awhile thing but I feel addicted now. My wife rolls her eyes at me when I say I am going out to turn it, or I pull egg shells out of the trash for it!

    I was wondering if you guys had anything like this and how you do it? Off my dream shop I always envisioned a few bunks where I could turn material with a skid steer. Maybe 3 bunks for finished, 1/2 done, and starting compost.

    I guess many do it as a hobby and most larger guys just pile it somewhere and let nature take care of it.

    1. But are there any guys doing it on a medium scale without the giant

    2. Would a bunk with a skid steer turn every week suffice?

    3. I know there is no great market to buy this unless your doing major volume but I do buy about 100 bags every year of compost so maybe I can offset cost? Does anyone bring a bucket of their own compost as a soil amendment?

    New York
  2. Toro 455

    Toro 455 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    You could contact your county extension office for a localized recipe. They could tell you how often to turn it etc.

    I don't compost because I'm close to the city of Columbus. They compost their waste and sell it for a penny a pound. I have a topdresser and have spread tons of the stuff.

    You have my admiration for composting your own.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    There was a fellow with pix of his operation and he was composting giant hills of leaves from the cleanups and used a skidster to turn until it was done... water when needed and turn it when needed... its often more than once a week I believe, people who do it soon get the 'feel' for how its done and what is needed... have fun... :)
  4. greenstar lawn

    greenstar lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    I started this yr as well. Nothing big and I turn it with a pitch fork. Added some grass clippings some manure and some vegetables. All is organic as well. It wasn't even my idea but my girlfriends idea. We plan on using it for our vegetable garden
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  5. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,915

    That's good to know, Toro. Thanks.
  6. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    Municipal compost is loaded with seeds from everything imaginable. There is no way to kill them other than steam or heat sterilizing which is what the commercial products get. Municipal or home grown compost is good for gardens maybe where you can pull weeds all summer but most people who use it on their lawns find out the hard way you don't want to do that. I have a neighbor who had a couple of yards delivered for his garden. They dumped it on his lawn next to the road in the front of his property. Now that area is solid nutsedge and spreading. :hammerhead:
  7. Toro 455

    Toro 455 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    There's an herbicide for nutsedge now. I'm going to try some for the first time. Not related to the compost though, Comtil Plus is a first rate product.
  8. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    If its done properly the heat from the composting process kills weed ovens needed.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    That is exactly true... no ovens needed... IF... done properly and who can trust the gov't to do it properly??? :)
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Maybe they should hire you to "take a look at it". You know, because you can tell if a compost is good just by looking and smelling it ....... right axe?

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