Hello all, after some trial and error of what garden beds we like and what survives our zone 4A/B weather, my wife and I are finally getting started on a long overdue garden. Needless to say we have been waiting to do this for a while but life keeps delaying but no more, I'm clearing debris and scrap from a spot in our yard to start raised beds as it's what she has always wanted and after a test bed we want more.
Had some trees needing to come down around our property, as they were overgrown to a hazardous state, and have the logs in a huge pile with a decent pile of wood chips laying around. Looking to compost the pile and not sure what to add to it as I'm confused by so many options and quantities. I can get horse manure free of herbicides and chemical, a coworker has a 10x20 chicken coupe "knee high" with chickenpoop, leaf gathering in the fall as every tree in the neighborhood lands in my yard and neighbors bag there's for landfill use. Green weeds and grasses abound at work and old rotten soybeans at work can be scooped in 5 gallon buckets if need be. Wasn't sure if they would work but I'm referring to whole soybean grains, no pod or stalk, I work in a grain elevator and there's spoilage in corners when cleaning happens and it gets tossed so free beans if they work.
Sorry for the long post but wanted to hear your educated thoughts or experience with starting beds and composting. Trying to be resourceful as much as I can but able to purchase materials to get started. Thank you for any clarification you can bring, cheers.
You can compost anything organic. The fastest compost will come from a mixture of "browns" and "greens" brows are things rich in carbon like straw, dried leaves, cardboard etc. and greens are things rich in nitrogen such a grass clippings, fresh weeds, manure (without bedding). However you can compost pure straw/woodchips and pure grass clippings it will just take a bit longer.
The bigger the pile you can make the faster and better it will go, so I would collect everything on your list mix it up together heap it up in a corner and either forget about it for a year or two or keep turning it every month or so. If you turn it it will be faster but you don't have to. it will turn into compost left by itself just as well, it will take longer is the only difference.
I would be a little carefull with the beans, there are probably lots in there that would sprout so I might not add them unless the piles were getting hot, and then I would add them to the middle to make sure they were cooked by the heat of decomposition.
So there was some rain finally and I got to mow some grass and weeds as a green and alternated layers with the wood chips. Barely making a dent in the chip pile but I am planning on making a Big pile of compost for the future and am glad to be getting things started. Getting manures and other materials later but had a curious thought, if everything is layered, when I toss this from one pile to another, isn't it all going to get mixed? An obvious point yes but my curiosity is more along, why start with layers rather than just tossing it all together? Easier to "eyeball" portions or possibly get things started in a better way? Just curious is all, I'll get a picture or two up here to document progress if you like and keep updating, I know I like WIPs and pics.
I've been watching Charles Dowding lately since I'm just learning the ropes with composting. From what I understand, different temperatures of a compost pile will affect different materials. For instance, a certain temperature will kill weed seeds, but if it gets too hot it can kill some of the beneficial organisms in the compost.
How much do you know about where your soybeans come from? The majority of soybeans (at least in the US) get exposed to Roundup. You may or may not be willing to use such material, but this is a factor in making the decision. Also, if you're willing to use it, your garden plants' growth may be affected until the herbicide can break down.