• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

New compost idea?  RSS feed

 
joseph angland
Posts: 4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I heard somewhere that many plants over a large area actually share nutrients and minerals and try to distribute them across each other by the root system.
so i had the idea of putting a nice size composting pit right in the middle of all the plants on my farm so that way they would have even access to the compost nutrients and spread them out.
is this a good or bad idea? any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!
 
Harry Soloman
Posts: 92
Location: Pennsylvania, Dauphin County
2
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
yes, this concept is used in the keyhole gardens that have a composting system. 

A basic video of it but you can make fancy too.  


I have not actually worked one myself but I have seen them used on trips and such.
 
joseph angland
Posts: 4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Harry Soloman wrote:yes, this concept is used in the keyhole gardens that have a composting system. 

A basic video of it but you can make fancy too.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykCXfjzfaco


thank you very much! i didnt even know this was a thing people did already. ill look more into it
 
Marco Banks
Posts: 577
Location: Los Angeles, CA
49
books chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur trees urban woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I do it all the time.

Passive composting is very valuable, however, for different reasons than active compost.  Active compost is all about rapid creation of biologically rich/microbial rich amendments for plants.  A passive pile doesn't build a massive microbial community the way a hot pile does, but building passive piles does a number of really important things.

1.  For woody stuff like tree branches or thick stalks from stuff like corn or okra, it assumes that they will take years to break down. Thus, it will continue to feed that area for years.  Things like tomato vines or other vining plants (watermelon, squash, sweet potatoes) are a pain in the ass to try to turn.  They are stringy and difficult to get a fork into.  So piling them in a passive pile is the way to go.  They'll break down within a year, but you don't have a tangled mess to contend with.

2.  It creates a wonderful habitat for insects, lizards, and other helpful biota.  In my garden, the lizards are such wonderful parts of the system.  They don't eat plants, but they keep snail eggs in check and clean up other bugs.  They like to hang out at the base of the bee hives.  When a bee dies and gets carried out by the other bees, they are quick to scoop up the dead bee and eat it.  A big pile of branches and bio mass is the perfect habitat for lizards, over-wintering spiders, and other garden friends.

3.  These piles hold moisture and keep the soil below from being irradiated by the sun.

4.  Passive compost piles with woody stuff are great fungal habitat.  If there is a fungal network throughout your trees/orchard, the pile is a buffet to feed the fungi. 

5.  It's easy.  Sometimes I just don't feel like turning compost.  I don't feel like chopping-up the big stuff.  Lazy is good.  Keep every bit of carbon on site where it can feed the soil.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!