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Retrying compost  RSS feed

 
Grace Gierucki
Posts: 34
Location: Southern Michigan
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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
 
Joel Bercardin
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Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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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.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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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.
 
Tom Rodgers
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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.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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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: 34
Location: Southern Michigan
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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
 
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