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sid1967

My Compost Does Not Start?

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I piled some leafs and grass cut in a 1,20 m high stack and hoped it would produce compost but it's not. Too dry maybe?

Can anybody give some advice?

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You need to add a catalyst for the decomposition process to begin, try pouring a can of beer onto your pile of compost, the alcohol and the yeast will start that process.

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Beer's a good idea but if you don't want to waste one a few earth worms and yes some moisture will as well..If the pile is not surrounded and contained it works better if it is, in like some wire mesh, with some plastic of some sort around the base about a meter high to force the debris to compact, generate some heat and humidity.

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Everything that you need as a catalyst is in normal soil itself. All compost heaps should include 10% soil.

a little fresh cow dung is also useful.

If the leaves are dry it will take a while to get started. You may need to moisten it. Peeing on it can be useful :) -adds a bit of extra nitrogen

Be careful of using plastic as air will need to be able to enter the pile or you may end up with anaerobic decomposition and this will not make good compost, just a foul smelling sludge.

How long ago did you make this pile?

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^I think if you note I mentioned plastic around the base, that is to allow for air flow..And then you advocate adding cow dung or peeing on it?? Surely that won't cause any foul smells.... :D :D :)

Edited by WarpSpeed

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^I think if you note I mentioned plastic around the base, that is to allow for air flow..And then you advocate adding cow dung or peeing on it?? Surely that won't cause any foul smells.... :D :D :)

Absolutely.

A compost heap that has soil, cow dung and urine incorporated will not emit any foul odours as long as it is properly aerated; moist, but not soaking.

Of course, cow urine is better, or maybe soil from a cow pen as this has soaked up a lot of cow urine :D

Believe me - I've mixed a lot of compost in the last year.

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probably about a month ago

it seems very dry, it never rains and its hot

but i watered it sometimes

maybe its not compact enough it seems very loose

????

:)

Everything that you need as a catalyst is in normal soil itself. All compost heaps should include 10% soil.

a little fresh cow dung is also useful.

If the leaves are dry it will take a while to get started. You may need to moisten it. Peeing on it can be useful :D -adds a bit of extra nitrogen

Be careful of using plastic as air will need to be able to enter the pile or you may end up with anaerobic decomposition and this will not make good compost, just a foul smelling sludge.

How long ago did you make this pile?

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probably about a month ago

it seems very dry, it never rains and its hot

but i watered it sometimes

maybe its not compact enough it seems very loose

????

:)

Hello Sid,

Freshly cut lawn trimmings will decompose very quickly. However if it is the tough grass that runs everywhere and you have pulled it out, it will just dry out. Dry leaves and grass act like thatch, water just runs off and once it is dry, it's very difficult to moisten it again. Actually - not difficult - impossible when in a heap without soil added.

I think that you have 2 choices.

1) Top the pile with a good layer of soil and wait for the rainy season. You can even plant pumpkin seeds into the soil if you want. That way as you water the pumpkin you will be helping to moisten the pile. I grow pumpkin this way, but usually not to harvest. As long as the stems, runners or whatever you like to call them are fresh and green, they act as a great moistener and additional greenery when/if you turn the pile. When the stems are tough and white, then you have the same problem as with dry grass. Just scoop out the seeds from a pumpkin, you don't have to dry them, just spread them around and some will grow. If you aren't worried about actually getting pumpkins it doesn't matter how close together they are. When they start to run away from the pile, i just cut them back, chop them up and throw on top of the pile.

2) Trench it. Dig a shallow trench no more than 300mm/1 foot deep and throw everything in, cover with a few inches of soil. You may have to dig it over after about a month to reintroduce air supply. Just dig a small section and see if it has compacted too much. You will need a sharp blade if long tough grass. You can do the pumpkin thing here as well :D

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I've had very little success getting my Pile to heat up.

But after about 6 months it makes good compost anyway.

After about 3 months I mix it up, dig it out at 6 months.

At night we pee in a bucket & throw it on the compost in the morning.

Very little smell.

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<br />You need to add a catalyst for the decomposition process to begin, try pouring a can of beer onto your pile of compost, the alcohol and the yeast will start that process.<br />
<br /><br /><br />

HILARIOUS,

beer does it,for me too 5 cans of the sod gets me started,X-cuse the pun!

Now ,one member suggested to skim the old lady,s Pla Ra urn,und use the juice to start the EM

More?

Curious?

Here we go,take a 20 liter(litres) garbage can,fill half with bore-nam water(no chlorine from Nam-Papa!

Add the litre of P.R.juice,add some sugar(molasse is perfect) add =pinched from Po, 1/2 litre of Lao Khao, mix well, after 24 hours the amber EM is ready will send the sprinkled heap of waste apeshit,or in a spinning frenzy.

Now to be serious,you have to wet the will be compost first,on a grass/planr free ground,can be anywhere,sprinkle the perimeter with Boon Khau=chalk or lime to keep some pests at bay,in order to work Organic.

Beer,that reminds me of the "Beer-Trap"

I use such device to keep most snails or crawling pests away from my mushrooms,use a flat bowl,filled with beer (please dont waste your Budw..)S....a will do,

in the morning i see snails/critters in abundance floating about.

BTW,has anybody any idea if the small garden variety of snails is edible.

Resembling the Escargots I love to eat in the cafe Montparnasse in Paris.

What a waste,i use chalk along the walls of the house and garden/orchard to get rid of them,and F..g in the Membership who knows about that

I know Hoy Cherry is edible, but at some months of the year,deadly poison when consumed.

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