need help here with soil

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by nub, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. nub

    nub Junior Member

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    hello it seemed the place to post this.
    i am trying to make raised beds for veg. i have the goat manure and dried leaves . i just have to get soil now . can anyone please tell what ratio should be all these hings?
    thanks
     
  2. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    Standard compost mix 1/3 manure, 1/3 dried material, 1/3 green material. Heaped no less than 1m, no more than 1.5 meters high, a gravity pile. Turned outside in on day 4. Turned outside in every 2 days until day 18. Should be soil at this point ready for the beds.
     
  3. nub

    nub Junior Member

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    Thank you so much :)
     
  4. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    How tall are your raised beds? If there's a lot of empty space to fill you might consider using old wood to fill the space, or even broken up styrofoam boxes.
     
  5. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Another fill you can get for free and worms love it is cardboard most shops have to pay to get rid of it these days .
     
  6. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    nub, how large are these raised beds? if they are large enough you can do the composting right in them and not have to move the materials more than once.

    as for the ratio of materials, if you want to be more precise you can look up the nitrogen content of the droppings and then see what the carbon ratio of the dry materials and make sure it is in the right proportion.

    myself, i'm not too picky about this as the soil organisms can work it out as you will be using the garden beds they'll get turned and mixed eventually. you could layer the droppings, put the leaves on top in a layer, put a little dirt on top of that, and then keep layering that and topping it all off with a layer of soil about 4-6 inches deep. you can also include some green/fresh plant leaves, chopped grasses, etc. as they will provide extra nutrients.

    make sure it is all moist (but not dripping soggy wet), you can plant right into the top layer of soil things like peas and other plants which will provide top growth and protection from the wind, sun and heavy rains. the soil will subside as the composting underneath works. you might even get some heat generated, but most plants won't mind a bit of heat on the roots. you may even get quicker germination of certain seeds in some climates.

    you do not have to turn it. that is for folks who like a lot of exercise and they want compost that is perfect. for a garden bed this isn't very critical, it will break down eventually as you plant, harvest and mix leftover green and brown stuff into the beds.

    i'll second the use of cardboard as a worm bedding, if you pick boxes that are just the plain brown with black lettering or as little lettering on them as possible those are the best. stuff with shiny colored printing on them is less desireable, shredded and moistened a bit and you're good to go, worms love the glue, the air spaces in the cardboard are like little worm hotels, mix a bit of dirt in if you are using earthworms as a part of your worm species mix, they need a bit of grit, crushed egg shells are good too. :)
     
  7. altamira55

    altamira55 Junior Member

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    No fooling? Styrofoam boxes? I have a friend who's a nurse. She has pharmaceuticals delilvered to her office in boxes lined with styrofoam to keep the contents cool. Since she has loads of it to give away, I've been trying to think of a use for it. It worked nicely last year as insulation for a brooder for young chicks. I've been wondering it there's any use for it in a garden, of if it would be toxic ...
     
  8. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    re: styrofoam...

    i would not use it, if you need filler use organic materials, or mineral.

    problems with styrofoam are legion, it breaks apart, gets away, pollutes much surface water and ends up in one of the floating messes in the ocean until it finally gets beaten apart into small enough particles to be incorporated into the bodies of animals, along with any other toxins which tend to bind and then tag along.

    i'd take cardboard, coconut shells, chunks of wood, natural sponges, hollow gourds, and many other things before i put any form of plastic into the gardens.
     
  9. altamira55

    altamira55 Junior Member

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    That was my impression. I googled it just now, to see what I could find, and it appears to have few redeeming features. However, styrofoam sheet material, including coolers and the stuff my friend gets, can apparently be recycled into other polystyrene products. I must tell my friend about this. It would probably be pointless to request that the drugs be insulated with a less toxic material. Most Big Pharma people don't seem to care about good health (except perhaps to want less of it, so they can sell more drugs to sick people).
     
  10. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Yes please don't use styrofoam in the garden, or bury it to get rid of it. It's a significant enironmental hazard. I think many places now recycle, but better if we don't use it in the first place :-(
     
  11. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    My take on this is that if you don't take it from your friend it is going into land fill, or a water way. I'd prefer to put it where I know it isn't going to do any harm - buried deep in your back yard having a useful function. If you want to break the chain of production of the stuff then you (we all) need to stop buying things that are packed in styrofoam. That involves a life of 'radical simplicity'.
     
  12. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    there are chances for recycling styrofoam in the states now. our own setup at present does not recycle it directly, but with a little effort we can find a place to drop it off where it will get reused in a safe/responsible manner. once you bury it, i'd say all bets are off for it being later used as dirt is often not seen as a good substance to introduce to a plastic/chemical recycling process...

    overall though, i am with you 100% and try to avoid plastic packaging in all forms. just so much easier to recycle paper items (either set it out with the recycling or using it in the worm bins or as a garden mulch) on site. if we don't bring it home then we save all around. i don't have to mess with it and they don't have to produce it or move it.
     
  13. nub

    nub Junior Member

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    I have decided to use your advice and this morning some friends came over and we managed to make a good size heap. Less than a meter high and more than a meter wide. We will turn it on the fourth day.
     
  14. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    You'll be addicted now…. I reckon compost making is the most fun you can have in the garden with your clothes on.
     
  15. nub

    nub Junior Member

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    Haha... You r right. My kids also enjoyed playing with leaves :)
     
  16. nub

    nub Junior Member

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    Compost does not look like compost

    Hey guys. We turned the heap and it does not look like much has decomposed. It has been hot here. No rains for the past 3 weeks. Has some thing gone wrong? What can I do help the situation now?
     
  17. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    What are the ingrediants and how did you mix it together?
     
  18. nub

    nub Junior Member

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    Dry leaves then green stuff then goat manure . There are about 3 layers of it.
     
  19. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    What are the ratios? Did you add water? Have you taken its temp? You do need to be higher than a meter.
     
  20. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    the best thing to do was when you were turning it to make sure it was moistened and mixed with some dirt to make the pile hold moisture better and to make things stick to those banana leaves to help break them down faster.

    another thing to do, is to make sure the pile is covered to hold enough moisture in.

    also if it is in the direct sun or hot, to cover it deeply enough to keep it cooler.

    my previous recommendations in this topic/thread still apply.

    learning sometimes means making mistakes. you'll figure it out eventually. :)
     

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