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tofuandpotatoes
Jun 26th, 2008, 08:24 AM
so i'm a 15 year old, and i recently started a garden for my agriculture class. i have since then became interested in gardening, and so i decided i wanted to start making my own compost.
so i have some questions.

1 what can go into the compost?

2 do i need to measure the Ph level or other levels?

3 if so, what should these levels be for the compost to be healthy for my plants?

4 how much dirt should i mix in with the yard waste and whatever else i put in?

Aradia
Jun 26th, 2008, 02:16 PM
All green waste from the garden can go into the compost. As can raw food waste from the kitchen (absolutely NO cooked food though, that can go in a wormery). Paper can go in. Grass clippings too, but these should be interlayered with drier waste, otherwise it will turn to slime.

PH levels don't need to be measured. You need a starter to get the compost going, this can be bought at a garden shop or, better still, get a bag or two of somebody else's compost and add to that.

What do you mean by dirt? Do you mean earth? If so, don't put any in at all.

The most important bit is turning the compost .. this will make sure it all gets good and hot and starts breaking down well.

Also, it's common practice to pee on a compost pile (easier for blokes than women!)

auntierozzi
Jun 26th, 2008, 02:56 PM
I keep a bowl under the sink which I fill little by little with veg cuttings during the day etc..and at the end of the day I wee in it!!! (shhh....that's a secret!) My compost heap loves it and there are nettles growing all around the edges.

rantipole
Jun 26th, 2008, 06:07 PM
I put cooked food in my compost all the time and it's fine. I also did not use any kind of starter. If you don't use a starter it will take longer to get going, but it will eventually be fine. If not using a starter, it helps to add a little fresh soil to the pile when you first start it to inoculate it with bacteria and other microbes.

You should turn your compost pile weekly to biweekly in the warm weather. In the winter, I just add to it without turning. It helps to water it periodically, although I guess if you are peeing in it that would suffice.

Cheers,
rant

auntierozzi
Jun 26th, 2008, 07:59 PM
I have found that cooked food can attract rats to an open compost heap it probably depends where you live. We get moles burrowing up underneath ours to eat the worms and slugs!

Throwing dishwater on the compost helps rot it down better in the warm weather.

rantipole
Jun 27th, 2008, 04:12 PM
From what I've read, rats are usually only attracted to compost if there are animal products in it. I've never had a problem with rats in my compost. I'm sure it depends on where you live.

Cheers,
rant

harpy
Jun 27th, 2008, 04:47 PM
I don't put cooked stuff in mine just to be on the safe side, but thinking about it surely just boiling or steaming vegetables can't make them any more attractive to rats?

I can imagine if you cooked them with oil that might be do it, but I wouldn't fancy putting fried stuff in the compost anyway :eek:

Jiffy
Jun 28th, 2008, 03:42 PM
I have two of the large plastic conical compost bins with lids. I have never restricted what I put in it but very little food gets thrown away in our house. I suppose that theoretically rats could burrow up underneath.

I have only ever seen one rat in the 12 years I have been composting but sadly for the rat our Fox Terrier got to him first.