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Composting Wedding Greens

 
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1. I just collected a lot of greens from a wedding and plan on composting them. It is a mix of cedar branches, shrub branches, and carnations. I plan to shred everything down into little pieces but will this work fine in a compost?

2. I can't have any animals on my property so I can't source herbivore manure from my property. I've been told 1/3 greens, 1/3 browns, and 1/3 manure is a good composition for compost. I could try to find some farm that might have excess manure and offer to take some off their hands, but is it necessary to use manure?

3. I also have some unused potting soil. Could I throw that in the compost pile as well?
 
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Since those things still have green leaves on them, they might be "green" enough and not require any manure. If they are chopped up and piled, and once in a while turned and mixed, you'll get to see if they are breaking down. If they seem to be too dry or too "brown" and not breaking down, you can add some urine sometimes. Might be easier to source than manure; you can keep a can or plastic container in the bathroom and discreetly carry it out if you can't pee on location :)

If they were sprayed with any weird preservatives they might take a long time to compost. Luckily I don't think the items you listed are in the grass family, so they shouldn't have any aminopyralids in them, which is the one scary family of persistent herbicides that can cause long term trouble in compost. But I have no idea about florists' practices. Can you ask the florist who supplied them?

 
Taylor Eagy
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Rebecca Norman wrote:Since those things still have green leaves on them, they might be "green" enough and not require any manure. If they are chopped up and piled, and once in a while turned and mixed, you'll get to see if they are breaking down. If they seem to be too dry or too "brown" and not breaking down, you can add some urine sometimes. Might be easier to source than manure; you can keep a can or plastic container in the bathroom and discreetly carry it out if you can't pee on location :)

If they were sprayed with any weird preservatives they might take a long time to compost. Luckily I don't think the items you listed are in the grass family, so they shouldn't have any aminopyralids in them, which is the one scary family of persistent herbicides that can cause long term trouble in compost. But I have no idea about florists' practices. Can you ask the florist who supplied them?



Thanks Rebecca. I'll definitely try the urine. Has anyone tried using human manure? I read that manure with at least 80%+ vegetative matter is ideal for composting. If I ate vegan for a day and collected the manure would that be safe to compost or would I have to age it?
 
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Eating vegan has absolutely nothing to do with using humanure. Read the humanure hand book (free pdf) if you want to go that route. I recommend his system.
 
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hau Taylor, I can not see any reason to not compost those materials, especially if you shred to small pieces.

Cedar branches - greens and browns (the woody stems are the browns), same goes for shrub branches.
Carnations are greens.

Manures are not a part of good compost unless you are trying to compost manure, Soil on the other hand will be desirable for helping with bacteria/fungi introduction and to cap the heap for moisture retention.
If you want to use the potting soil you mentioned, go for it, just use it as thin layers between your browns and greens. or you could use it for the cap material.
Urine is a source of Nitrogen (ammonia compounds such as urea), consider that an amendment not a part of the actual heap build.  

Humanure requires fairly high heat within the compost heap, the pathogens will not be killed off unless you are building specifically for that sort of manure (this goes for dog manure too).

Redhawk
 
Taylor Eagy
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:

Manures are not a part of good compost unless you are trying to compost manure, Soil on the other hand will be desirable for helping with bacteria/fungi introduction and to cap the heap for moisture retention.
If you want to use the potting soil you mentioned, go for it, just use it as thin layers between your browns and greens. or you could use it for the cap material.
Urine is a source of Nitrogen (ammonia compounds such as urea), consider that an amendment not a part of the actual heap build.  

Humanure requires fairly high heat within the compost heap, the pathogens will not be killed off unless you are building specifically for that sort of manure (this goes for dog manure too).

Redhawk



Thanks Bryant. If manure is not part of a good compost then why do so many permaculture designers like Geoff Lawton recommend this formula for an 18-day compost: 1/3 greens, 1/3 browns, 1/3 manure? Then adding an activator like comfrey, nettles, yarrow, fish, animal body, urine, etc helps speed up the process. They recommend a minimum of 1 cubic meter in pile size.
 
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