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Buy Compost Ingredients?

Discussion in 'Composting & Soil Building' started by digitS', Jul 9, 2018.

  1. Jul 9, 2018
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    I don't know why the heck not!

    We seem to be caught up in the use of what many people throw away. We salvage neighbors' leaves and rain-spoiled hay.

    We may buy fertilizers, mulch and soil amendments. How about if we get them together in the compost bin? Compost is valuable!

    I like the idea of "equivalents" and weighing material , starting with those bales of hay. It makes sense. Here's a 12 page handout with the recipe on the first page:

    Compost - Michigan State University, College of Ag, PDF

    Steve
     
  2. Jul 9, 2018
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    not if i can help it, but in the end we do need wood chips for mulching... last year we didn't have any leaves brought to us. i'm guessing that this year will be the same so whatever mulch i get will be what we grow in the gardens and whatever i can scrounge from the green manure patch. i try to keep as much that is grown in a garden in that space so what is removed is only the produce and what is returned is via the worm compost of vegetable scraps, etc.

    i think there is a price where it makes sense based upon what you can get in return, but i doubt many people actually do that calculation because they also put a value on the materials in terms of how they look. i know Mom does for the wood chips.
     
  3. Jul 9, 2018
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    John Jeavons wrote a book about growing more vegetables.

    But, in his writing, he says that 60% of what we grow should be for composting.

    I'm very inclined to agree, although I've never allocated anywhere close to that much ground for that purpose. Compostables fall way, way short of adequate every year ... buying fertilizer ain't cheap.

    Steve
     
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  4. Jul 9, 2018
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    we get enough rainfall to easily turn any bare ground into fertile sod within a few years, then that can be harvested for green manure/mulch. i'm also quite happy to use chunks of sod.

    in the more arid west i think you need to use the arid adapted trees to grow enough fodder that can be harvested. i think chopping at ground level leaves the soil too exposed and those plants can't recover easily enough compared to a deeply rooted tree. some of those trees are legumes so their detritus is great for adding some extra nutrients to a garden.

    as it is i have chunks of wood scattered around all over the place and they eventually rot and turn into humus. some i've just put down and they may take ten years to get broken down, but i'm not on any schedule here... i'd rather have the material than have it end up in a landfill someplace.
     

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