need help here with soil

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

  1. nub

    nub Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thank you :)
    So I should add dirt to the contents of the heap and keep turning at 2 day interval ?
     
  2. nub

    nub Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't have thermometer for the compost heap. It is in direct sun light. It does get hot here especially past 3 weeks as there were no rains. Usually we get rain every other day if not every day. The ratio was roughly one part manure one part green stuff and 2 parts brown stuff.
     
  3. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You can kind of get a feel for it. If the heap is not toasty warm, its not working. Also, you should be able to sqweeze the slightest bit of moisture out of a handful, then you will have the proper amount of moisture. No moisture = not enough. A sream of water = too much.

    As an added precaution against evaporation, tarp the pile. If it is sunny hot, a white tarp is best. Oh, and place sticks on the pile then place the trap over them, this way you will still allow oxygen in.

    Here is the first of four piles I built last year:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-O2CUyziP8
     
  4. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Oh, the best ratio is 1/3 1/3 1/3, all mixed as evenly as possible. The goat manure does have higher nitrogen levels, so that is very good! Oh, one more thing, use your chicken guts. Pile up about a foot of mixed material first, put the meat right there in the middle, then finish with mixed material to over a meter high, but not over a meter and a half. Just build a gravity pile. If you have any comfrey plants, put a bundle of it in the center with the chickens guts. That'll kick 'er off! Let me know how its going please!
     
  5. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    No need to add dirt. And thing living in the soil would be cooked and ate by the bacteria, and that would be treasonous murder!
     
  6. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,786
    Likes Received:
    148
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    gardening, reading, etc
    Location:
    near St. Charles, MI, USoA
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    -15C-35C, 10cm rain/mo, clay, full sun, K-G Dfa=x=Dfb
    if the heap was dry then you need to get some water in there, i would open up the pile a bit when it is raining and let it get wet. toss a little dirt on top after you open it up to the rain. go back later and close it back up again after it gets moistened.

    the small amount of dirt is for a specific purpose which Rick does not understand, his conditions and materials are much different than yours.

    check it in a few days, if it is too dry then you do not have the pile covered well enough, you want to hold the moisture in, the materials you are using are coarse enough that you should be getting plenty of air without having to do anything special.

    if you are covering the pile with a tarp, you do want to leave some small air gaps at the top to let air/steam out.

    you'll know it is working when you check it, open up just a small bit and stick your hand in there, if it feels warm and moist you should be good, leave it alone for a week, you have coarse materials (you can let them go a bit longer between turnings than you would for finer materials).

    [Rick's comment calling it murder is outright wrong and off base. it is no more murder than what is happening in his own digestive system]
     
  7. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My advice/post is what Geoff Lawton taught in his PDC, and he said this system works around the whole world.


    I would further add the penalty is up to 20 years and or 50,000!
     
  8. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  9. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,786
    Likes Received:
    148
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    gardening, reading, etc
    Location:
    near St. Charles, MI, USoA
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    -15C-35C, 10cm rain/mo, clay, full sun, K-G Dfa=x=Dfb
    let's get at some basics here. what is one of the early lessons in a PDC?

    get a yield.

    seeing how nub has now spent over two weeks and still no compost, doing all that chopping, turning, etc. well, tell me, for all the work that nub has done or all the work involved in trying to make an 18 day compost, where is the yield?

    that space could have been used for actually growing crops from the first day using the method i posted. nub could be half way to a bean or peapod crop, or be thinning and harvesting baby greens from many other veggies by now.

    if someone comes hungry to me, if i have no food, but i do have seeds i can get going from the start. i don't have to tell them that in 20something days i can have sprouts and greens for them. i can have sprouts in three days, greens in a week, peas and peapods in 30-40 days, etc.

    i dunno about you, but i find that being efficient with my materials, energy and time is important. hot composting serves a purpose, but in some cases it isn't needed at all. knowing the difference of when to use a technique or when to do something else is important in permaculture.
     
  10. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I won't agree with you songbird. Like a normal American your focus is on the short term at the expense of the long term. But that might be ok with most people, if anyone want to agree with you, go for it. This short term method you advise is just not me and I don't think this type of advice is hardly necessary.

    Learning how to compost, in my view, is one the the top skills an individual can master and benefit from.

    Geoff's PDC didn't teach to just get a yield. Who was your PDC teacher?
     
  11. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I seem to be missing something here ... where exactly are you nub? What's the climate/temperature?
     
  12. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What's that line about...... a little learning is a dangerous thing? ;)
     
  13. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In my experience the piles al my place that haven't done anything have been too dry or had not enough nitrogen (manure).

    The heat issue isn't about how much sunlight / environmental warmth is heating the pile, it's about heat being given off by the bacteria as the go nuts on the compost ingredients. So if it isn't getting hot then you haven't got the magic happening.
     
  14. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In very dry conditions, it might be a good idea to dig a pit. Lets think there is a shortage of material, or maybe for someone who doesn't have a high physical ability, the smallest dimension of the pit 1.5x1.5 meters, .5 meter deep. Line the pit with compacted clay so the moisture in the pile is not leached into the soil. The location, on the shade side of a tree, being sure to have the hours of 10am to 2pm shaded.

    Now mix your ingrediants into this pit, thinking about the carbon, nitrogen, and the mineral/sugar/bacteria contents of green material, adding water as you go. This should be a gravity pile - meaning you continue adding to the top of the pile - with gravity pulling the material down around the sides. Get it at least a meter high, and no more than 1.5 meters high, but don't allow the compost to wall up against the edges of the pit, lest the pile turns anaerobic.

    When the pile is finished, place sticks around the outside and tarp, then go through the process of turning in four days. Outside to inside (here a second nearby pit would be handy), and then every two days thereafter until it is finished - 18 days total - monitoring the moisture content as you go. Geoff has said he can get it done in 11 days, by the way.

    In the PDC, Geoff teaches about many ingrediant possibilities, including discussing which green plants are the best, the ratios, and more. You can see clearly he is enthused to talk about composting, and I believe him. One other thing he said, and I have had trouble finding this information, is that synthetic fertilzers last 1.5 years in the soil, raw manure (my idea he also includes kitchen waste in this category) lasts less than five years, and aerobical compost will last in the soil for seventeen years. I'm in for seventeen years, as if you divide the long lasting effect into the work provided, the nutrient levels of the food grown, the locking of toxic materials into the carbon, and the fact it is instantly available, makes this process the winner in my mind. If anyone that takes his PDC doesn't come out of it making this kind of compost, there is something seriously wrong with their attitude.

    In my research ( simply by typing in aerobic compost study into a search engine), I found this. Not nearly as descriptive as the PDC, but it will get you coming:

    https://web.extension.illinois.edu/homecompost/science.cfm
     
  15. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  16. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,786
    Likes Received:
    148
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    gardening, reading, etc
    Location:
    near St. Charles, MI, USoA
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    -15C-35C, 10cm rain/mo, clay, full sun, K-G Dfa=x=Dfb
    again you have this method of twisting what is said and ignoring the actual meaning. for some reason you also need to turn this into personal insults. you've done it to several others recently too. obviously, i don't have anything to add to your understanding. have a good life...
     
  17. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sorry, not intended to be personal.
     
  18. nub

    nub Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thank you guys. I love you all.
     
  19. nub

    nub Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I misunderstood this.
    You mean put the material to be composted ( like dry leaves, manure and green stuff) in the veg bed then top it with 4-6 inch of soil and can sow seeds in this soil?
     
  20. nub

    nub Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I live in malaysia. Wet tropics.
     

Share This Page

-->