Composting, Daleks and NPK

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dave45
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Composting, Daleks and NPK

Post: #283530 dave45
Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:18 pm

I have been "composting" for decades and currently use the council's black daleks.. I just tip stuff (almost anything) in the top and dig out "compost" from the bottom every now and then.... it is full of worms and I doubt that it gets the heat production advertised for "proper" composting, so its probably just a wormery. The stuff that comes out the bottom is really good looking - dark and crumbly and pong-free. I dig it into the garden by the barrow load... BUT... how good is it - how do I tell?

Supplementary Q:

When mucking out the chickens I put the wood-shavings and poo in a bucket and soak it for a month or two, squidging it now and again so that the shavings get a good soaking in it.... Then I dig it into the garden (it stinks a bit). How good is this stuff likely to be in comparison?

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diggernotdreamer
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Re: Composting, Daleks and NPK

Post: #283535 diggernotdreamer
Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:47 am

Why do you put your chicken stuff into a bucket? That is the stuff that would really heat up a compost bin. I only really compost chicken bedding, and it is the basis of everything, it becomes my potting compost and goes onto the raised beds. I am assuming you don't turn your compost? as you are pulling stuff out of the bottom, in which case it is more like a wormery. If you lifted your dalek and starting throwing the top stuff into the bottom and interleaved it with your chicken droppings etc, you would get the heat in it. The reason I would do that is to try and kill a few weed seeds and to get my compost made quicker. I used to make compost in 8 weeks by turning it and adding nettles, grass mowings and cooking it fast. But at the end of the day, anything that has gone through worms is full of nutrients, any organic matter you add to the garden is increasing its fertility. I trust in the goodness of my compost, my garden is fertile and full of worms and everything grows really well. If you have good crops, your soil is dark,crumbly and full of worms, then everything is fine. In my world, I believe in the compost, if the compost is good, life is good

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Odsox
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Re: Composting, Daleks and NPK

Post: #283536 Odsox
Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:36 am

One interesting cautionary tale about worm compost, as opposed to wormery compost.
My compost bins are also essentially worm bins, and one year I spread the compost complete with resident worms onto my polytunnel bed, and almost immediately planted it up with cabbages.
Wrong move .... the tiger worms instinct to climb upwards to find more food meant that every mature cabbage was absolutely full of worms and totally inedible.
You learn by your mistakes ...... :lol:
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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diggernotdreamer
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Re: Composting, Daleks and NPK

Post: #283538 diggernotdreamer
Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:10 pm

Yuk, that is horrible. I have found the odd few worms inside cabbage but never like that. When I empty out my wormery, I spread all the contents onto a sheet and put a piece of damp sacking up one end and leave it for the day, then most of the worms have gone under the damp dark sacking and can be collected and put back into the bin.

becks77
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Re: Composting, Daleks and NPK

Post: #283539 becks77
Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:28 pm

My compost bins,(read wormeries) take ages as you say they dont get hot enough will dig it in though once a year maybe. The chicken poop I add to the compost bin someone once told me it acts as an accelerator, clearly that was a fib!! ;)
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diggernotdreamer
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Re: Composting, Daleks and NPK

Post: #283542 diggernotdreamer
Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:26 pm

becks77 wrote:My compost bins,(read wormeries) take ages as you say they dont get hot enough will dig it in though once a year maybe. The chicken poop I add to the compost bin someone once told me it acts as an accelerator, clearly that was a fib!! ;)


It is not a fib. Adding nitrogen rich matter to your heap does help to accelerate the process, that can be grass mowings, nettles, chicken, rabbit droppings and strawey bedding. Only by turning your compost heap, adding these materials and any water as necessary can you introduce the air needed to make the aerobic bacteria come to life, if you interleaved the chicken bedding/droppings it would work better. Those dalek bins are ideal really because you can just lift them up and move to one side, turn and add materials easily.

ina
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Re: Composting, Daleks and NPK

Post: #283552 ina
Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:46 pm

diggernotdreamer wrote:It is not a fib. Adding nitrogen rich matter to your heap does help to accelerate the process, that can be grass mowings, nettles, chicken, rabbit droppings and strawey bedding.


Or your own urine...
Ina
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dave45
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Re: Composting, Daleks and NPK

Post: #283554 dave45
Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:37 pm

tbh years ago I tried all that turning the heap stuff and it seemed to make no difference. the only heat I got/get is from grass clippings... and that is just so much single-ingredient stuff complete with mould/fungus.... I really don't mind it taking 6-12 months to process. I do tip the odd bucket of chicken-poo/shavings into the heap now and again for a bit of variety... and the odd dead rat carcass.

I even mix shredded paper straight into the soil. It looks ugly for a week or two, then just disappears. What I don't know is how "good" these various mixtures and options are compared to commercial fertilisers. I'm guessing you only really get nitrogen from poo?

becks77
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Re: Composting, Daleks and NPK

Post: #283557 becks77
Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:18 am

Ina I dont think my neighbours would approve of me pottering down the garden for a pee every morning ;)
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ina
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Re: Composting, Daleks and NPK

Post: #283562 ina
Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:52 pm

becks77 wrote:Ina I dont think my neighbours would approve of me pottering down the garden for a pee every morning ;)


Neither would mine. You collect your urine in a covered container and empty it out once or twice a day. You can do that in the dark if you fear your neighbours' wrath... :wink:

I really think more should be made of the most natural and freely available fertiliser that we have! Why pay money for something that we then pay for again to clean it out of the water? (Sorry, that sounds a bit confused :scratch: : we pay for fertiliser instead of using what we have - and we also have to pay to clean urine out of our drinking water... Not quite so directly, of course, but somewhere along the line we all do pay!)
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becks77
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Re: Composting, Daleks and NPK

Post: #283563 becks77
Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:05 pm

I understand, still don't think I could though
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ina
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Re: Composting, Daleks and NPK

Post: #283571 ina
Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:23 pm

becks77 wrote:I understand, still don't think I could though


Try and read this:

http://www.liquidgoldbook.com/

(Sorry - looks like I'm on a mission here! :cooldude: )
Ina

I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

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diggernotdreamer
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Re: Composting, Daleks and NPK

Post: #283573 diggernotdreamer
Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:31 pm

Laurence D Hills had a more delicate acronym for this - HLA or Household liquid activator. A gentlemen at all times, he said if you could arrange your household affairs, you could benefit from the nutrients of HLA. My arrangements are, I have a camping loo, complete with seat which I throw some shavings into, or you could use shredded paper. Anyone could have one of these in the shed in the garden or allotment and can avail of the facility when out gardening rather than having to nip back indoors, taking off wellies, clothing etc. This bucket can then be emptied onto ones compost heap, rinsed round and re-primed again. Some people are more sqeamish than others about this sort of thing and up until recent years, I would never have divulged that I have been a keen collector of HLA for quite a long time :oops:

ina
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Re: Composting, Daleks and NPK

Post: #283576 ina
Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:49 pm

diggernotdreamer wrote: Some people are more sqeamish than others about this sort of thing and up until recent years, I would never have divulged that I have been a keen collector of HLA for quite a long time :oops:


Urine is far "cleaner" than most stuff that goes onto our crops - unless you have a serious infectious disease, of course, or take a lot of nasty medicines... Urine is practically sterile, unlike livestock manure that can come with all sorts of bugs in it.
Ina

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becks77
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Re: Composting, Daleks and NPK

Post: #283589 becks77
Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:27 am

Some good ideas there thank you, Ina think I'll see about ordering the book through the library. DND always wanted a downstairs loo ;)
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