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<  Composting, Mulch, and Soils  ~  Some of my compost piles still frozen in the middle

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:06 am
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pmPosts: 307Location: Alaska
I think what happened is the pile was cooking in Sept after I turned & mixed them & got done cooking after a few months. Lost their heat & froze due to the long winter. The one on the right is mostly thawed but not thoroughly done, so I'll mix some fresh HM in & cook it all summer.
The one on the left is the last year's "done" compost but still frozen pretty good. I'm going to open it all the way & let the sun thaw it faster.
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 1:05 am
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pmPosts: 307Location: Alaska
Screened HM compost. As it thawed I screened it. When done it was 5' X 10' X 5' (about 9-1/4 yards).
Used a bunch for the raised beds yesterday & today, about 1/2
:?: Should I cover it to keep it fairly dry? :?:
(Notice the grass is getting green :) )

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Close up:
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 9:43 am
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:08 pmPosts: 187Location: Zone 5
Wow... it's gorgeous!

I must be lazy. I never screen my compost. Seems to work alright but it sure never looks as beautiful as that.



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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 1:26 am
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pmPosts: 307Location: Alaska
The HM source stack it on a gravel pad, when scooped up I get several rocks with it.



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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 6:47 am
User avatarJoined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:43 amPosts: 284Location: Zone 5B Pennsylvania
Bogy looks like you have composting down to an art it looks fantastic. Can't wait to see those AK veggies growing in that.

John



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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 12:45 am
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pmPosts: 307Location: Alaska
Thanks Luv2

Thanks John
& thanks for the SFG idea, so far I'm liking it. Some work to get it going but in the end I think it's going to work great. Used your compost start method this year with some N to get it cooking.

I have high hopes. However I realize that anytime you try something for the first time it usually takes some tweaking to work well. Looking at the soil in the boxes, I see no reason the plants shouldn't jump out of the ground. Several beans came up today, everything else is looking good & healthy. Today was 55, so allot cooler than past 4 days but still sunny.

It sure will be easier to maintain, I got the water hoses untangled & laid out today, now they can stay there. No need to pull it all up to roto-till (still will have to blow all the water out in the fall with an air compressor so not split the fittings & valves) . Mulch between the boxes will help with the weed problem. I think I have more usable space also, 8 boxes 12 feet long & 32 tires & still have used only 1/2 the garden space.

Plan to grow the potatoes the old way this year but add compost to the hills instead of hoeing. May put in a few more boxes for zucs, peas. Rest of garden I will do a comparison, old vs newSFG

For the larger plants, I thought about covering the soil with clear plastic & cutting an X in it for the plants. (increase soil temps & hold moisture)
(did that one year but had weeds under the plastic). Maybe some 10' maybe 1/2" PVC pipe under the plastic with small holes by the plants for watering. Using a gravity feed from solar heated drums, I'm not sure "soaker hose" would work.
The soil/compost is pretty light & dries out faster than the garden soil. (or I'm over reacting & it's plenty moist underneath)

The hoops & plastic are working well so far, like today(High of 50 deg & a cold South breeze off Cook Inlet), I just opened one end so not to get too hot but still be warm. (+ warmer at night fully covered) just a little of a PIA to put on & off but being able to plant earlier than I ever have offsets that. Soon that should be a mute point if we get a good summer & the frost threat is gone. (may be useful in the fall to extend fresh salads also)

SFG, so far I see lots of potential, more space, & less work. (once all the set up is done)

I'll probably bug you & the other SFG GURUs with ?s as I learn.

Thanks again.



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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 8:39 am
User avatarJoined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:48 pmPosts: 41
That is the most beautiful compost I've ever seen. What a great job you've done!


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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 6:25 pm
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pmPosts: 307Location: Alaska
Thanks Katxena
Learned the "how to" on this site. JohnB, Luv2 & Breezy & others gave me loads of helpful advice.
Plus a good source of HM helps.



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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:33 am
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pmPosts: 307Location: Alaska
Compost bins in the garden finally all thawed, Used most of it to top off the soil boxes after I compacted them. Now I need to mix the one on the right, add some grass clippings & it should be done by fall. 2 year cycle on these bins for done compost. (actually one year but fall to fall, garden plants, leaves & grass clippings). Will start new bin in the fall & use this years to fill the done box on the left.
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:40 pm
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:02 pmPosts: 1927Location: PNW
It seems you have a system down now. What will you take on next? :D

It looks like you have bird houses on the tall poles, or am I seeing it all wrong? My daughter had appendicitis and had to have it removed a couple of days ago, so I'm apt to see most anything wrong after that stress. I didn't sleep much for 2 nights and it caught up to me today. I'm hoping to have some energy tomorrow so I can haul some of my compost to some areas I need it.

Enjoy your garden!


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 1:12 pm
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pmPosts: 307Location: Alaska
Purple Martin houses. Fewer birds this year?
(House upper left has cable TV & a jacuzzi)

Hope your daughter all OK now. Composting & gardening is relaxing, helps relieve stress. Make yourself go haul the compost, great medicine!



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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 8:02 pm
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:02 pmPosts: 1927Location: PNW
I thought the house on the left looked like a mansion with all the trimmings. :D How high up are they?

Thanks for the well wishes for my dd. She's doing better today, not as much pain and she was able to sleep most of the night. It has been tough on her since she already had some health problems.

Gardening is my stress relief, but I haven't been able to do much this week. My health isn't great either, so the big stresses like this take a lot out of me so that I don't have the strength or endurance to do much. That's how I've been the past 2 days. I went out and did a little today, but didn't last long. Not a good time of year to be this way! The weeds are winning big time. But, the important thing is my daughter. She helped me do some weeding a couple of weeks ago, so I'll get some lettuce in at least, later than I typically do. I scattered some seed in a pot a month or so ago and we'll be harvesting those. She was sorry she didn't get the tomato area cleared out, since that's her favorite. I'll put a couple in big pots to speed it up, rather than wait until I weed the area. I just hope the pot is big enough for an indeterminate...time will tell.


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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 9:39 pm
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pmPosts: 307Location: Alaska
Emptied & mixed the garden compost bin (bin on the right). It was pretty dry & had broke down better than before the solar heated bin. Still going to take a full year to get it usable. Mainly because I start it in the fall with mostly garden plants & leaves. Watered & added some N. Added some 1-1/2 inch PVC with lots of holes for air (vertical) Plan is to empty it into the done bin on the left this fall so I'll have some for next year. :)

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Last edited by bogydaveon Mon May 25, 2009 12:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 1:40 am
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:02 pmPosts: 1927Location: PNW
Good work! Now sit back and relax and enjoy that beautiful view. :D


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