• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Retrying compost  RSS feed

 
Posts: 39
Location: Southern Michigan
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, I screwed up.  I was dumping our food scraps into the compost pile but not adding enough carbon for the last year.  Now I have a surprisingly small amount of ultra heavy compost.  It's outside and exposed so it's breakdown (and I would imagine nutrient runoff) was mostly done by critters, bugs and the elements. It is smooth (for lack of a better term) so I'd like to add it to garden beds this year, is there a way to improve its texture in the next month or should I just treat it as more of a fertilizer and spread thinly?
Time to start over! Thanks everyone
 
Posts: 281
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
21
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm clueless as to what you may have on hand to put with it.  When you say "smooth" I'm assuming it may be a bit like moist clay (not very porous, retaining a lot of moisture) — almost a kind of mud?  It should be able to aerate pretty well when mixed with some coarser material.

I'll just mention how I successfully mixed materials for some raised beds in out greenhouse.  I had compost, and we've got lots of extremely sandy soil on our place.  Up the highway about 5km there was a guy who was trenching a field of natural sedge-peat soil and making pick-up loads available for an affordable price.  So I made up our beds from a combination of those three materials.

That's just a "for instance" so I'm not sure how it will help you.  There was certainly a lot of organic material in the mix I made, so to it I just added amendments like green sand (for potassium), gypsum (for calcium), and some volcanic rock powder (trace minerals).  Though I was making a limited amount for the beds, a mixture of this type could act as a (somewhat non-specific) "fertilizer" worked into the upper layer of garden soil.
 
garden master
Posts: 3442
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
277
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • X Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hau Grace,  It sounds like you had an anaerobic compost heap there. That will make it a biological bomb for your soil without spending some time turning it to aerobic prior to use in the garden.

Hopefully you can get hold of a large quantity of "browns" to mix with what you now have, that will be a good start to remediating that stuff.

If you need to use it as is, I would turn it into a TEA and Oxygenate it quite well.
 
Posts: 19
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would get it cooking and add biochar 50/50 if possible, but I have ultisol soil and the same rules may not apply to your soil type.
 
gardener
Posts: 1668
Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
122
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi hugelkultur solar trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

If you need to use it as is, I would turn it into a TEA and Oxygenate it quite well.

  I second this suggestion from Bryant.  You will best transform the facultative biology (which can switch from anaerobic to aerobic).  This is best done by heavily oxygenating a water solution (tea).  You could also

add biochar

to the mix which would inoculate the char with oxygen rich waters and the amazing aerobic bacteria community.
 
Grace Gierucki
Posts: 39
Location: Southern Michigan
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Roberto pokachinni wrote:

If you need to use it as is, I would turn it into a TEA and Oxygenate it quite well.

  I second this suggestion from Bryant.  You will best transform the facultative biology (which can switch from anaerobic to aerobic).  This is best done by heavily oxygenating a water solution (tea).  You could also

add biochar

to the mix which would inoculate the char with oxygen rich waters and the amazing aerobic bacteria community.



These ideas both sound amazing, unfortunately I'm out of time and money for new projects at the moment but I'm going to try both of these next year, for now I'm going add this anaerobic mud to fresh wood chips and hopefully use it this fall.   Thank you
 
I'm full of tinier men! And a tiny ad:
Composting Chickens Comic (e)Book - The Ulitmate Guide to Compsting with Chickens - Digital Download
https://permies.com/t/66064/digital-market/digital-market/Composting-Chickens-Comic-Book-Ulitmate
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!