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Starting a new compost pile

 
John Master
Posts: 512
Location: Wisconsin
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Been watching hours of videos and am getting ready to build a compost pile. I am making three raised beds and need soil, want to "build it myself" instead of buying planting mix already done. I have access to as much horse poop as anyone would need for free, I have a good few cubic feet of mixed hay/dirt from last years hay bale garden, it has been composting over winter without much breakdown. I also have a few trays of worm castings built up. I have a 55 gallon barrel of fermenting ground up kitchen scraps that was going to feed my small worm bin. I have almost a gallon of worm tea drippings from over the winter, and a few bags of bone meal, blood meal, and rock dust. Also have a good pile of mostly hardwood leaves that have been rotting over winter along the forest edge.

My questions are, do I need to go find greens to get this thing to take off? Will my brown sludge of fine pureed fermenting kitchen scraps be the nitrogen source or do I need to go find a bale of last years hay or coffee grounds or something from someone? There is nothing really green around here yet, except pine trees. Do pine needles work good or should I avoid composting pine?

Thanks for any advice you could give.

 
John Elliott
pollinator
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I wouldn't worry about "greens", I think they are overrated. Sure, if you want to hot compost some freshly cut stuff, you can adjust your green to brown ratio and get it nice and hot to kill all the weed seeds. But that's not what you've got. From what you are telling us, you have everything that fortunate plants have lying under them when they come out of their winter slumber. And that is usually enough to make them take off. If you use all that in your raised beds, you should have a fine garden.
 
John Master
Posts: 512
Location: Wisconsin
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Built the pile Monday, probably 2 yards of material, already up to 122 f in only 3 days. Cooking along nicely, going to turn it Monday, should save me from having to work out Thanks to all for the help!
 
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