Daniel Ackerman

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since Oct 05, 2018
Lehigh Valley, PA zone 6b
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Recent posts by Daniel Ackerman

We have pretty heavy shade around most of the property. 1/3 acre lot, Victorian house square in the middle.

A line of large Norway maples on the south fence line (neighbor’s side, of course), end-of-life sugar maples to the east. Decent sun in the front (west), so that’s where I’m focusing on expanding the square footage for planting.

Comfrey will go in somewhere! Not sure where yet. And we don’t have a trailer, just a Prius and a minivan.
2 weeks ago
I wish I had enough material to make a huge compost pile. No ready access to manure (I’d have to buy it in bags), but I have a decent amount of leaves, and I’ve gotten several loads of wood chips That I’m spreading really thickly here and there on new beds and old foundation plantings. We had a lot of worms last year, although they disappeared late summer. We will see how it does this year.
2 weeks ago
**googles “cleaning with grapefruit rind”
2 weeks ago
Thanks, all! I really appreciate the quality of the information on this site, to say nothing I’d the rapidity with which it was delivered.

I guess my couple of peel pounds a week is pretty small potatoes, compared to most people here. We just have an urban lot of about 1/3 acre....and plans! And compost and a knack for getting fresh wood chips dumped. It’s not a bad start.

Cheers!
2 weeks ago
Hi all. I’m wondering how much citrus one could include in a compost pile before it becomes a problem.

Backstory:
Family of four ..... we looove clementines. In season, we can easily go through a 5-lb box in a day (not that we do every day). We probably eat a box, occasionally three, a week. This year, however, a neighborhood kid was selling citrus to raise money for the high-school band, so we ended up with 25 lbs of grapefruit, and the rinds that go along.

I started a new compost pile at the end of fall, layering  kitchen scraps with shredded leaves and a bit of earth in anticipation of a strong heatup once the weather turns.

We are in eastern PA, zone 6b.

I worry that the volume of citrus will make the pile too acidic. Should I throw a few tablespoons of wood ash here and there? Should I leave it alone, and just keep on with my No Rules 3-bin system?

Thanks!
Daniel
2 weeks ago
That’s encouraging. I have a good-sized brush pile next to the compost bins. And by that I mean a good-sized pile for my 1/3 acre urban lot, heh heh.  Hopefully they’ve moved in underneath there, and once I work out how to get a chipper/shredder to my house, there will be plenty of wood chips for the little guys.
3 months ago
Thanks for the great replies, all. They disappeared before it started getting properly cold at night here, but I can imagine it now. In retrospect, yeah, it makes a lot of sense that they might have moved on as the food was used up, especially if the varmints have been stealing the newer kitchen scraps.

I like the idea of bedding the pile for the winter. I’ll need to keep next year’s active bin accessible, as we manage to generate a lot of kitchen scraps, even in the winter, but I could definitely cover up the finished/finishing compost.

Vis a vie hostile environment and persistent -cides, I wonder... but I’m not sure there’s much to investigate at the point.

All of this does suggest that there’s an argument for keeping an additions and observations log of the compost through the year. Who knows what one might discover?

Thanks again, and now that I’m registered here, I’m looking forward to being a more active member of the community.

Daniel
3 months ago
Hi all. I’ve been hoovering up the accumulated wisdom of these forums for a while now, and I hope someone here can help me with a bit of a puzzle. My compost pile has been really quite healthy for a while now; I’m using a three-bin system, not being terribly stringent on composting principles, but keeping my ratios healthy. It has been full of earthworms all year, but in the last month or so, they’ve disappeared. I didn’t change anything, and while it has periods of higher heat, now isn’t one of those times.

I’m in eastern PA, and it’s been really wet this summer, but I don’t think they’re abandoning my easy-to-move-through compost pile for the clay soil underneath. There’s either a possum or raccoon in the area that needs to be relocated for a host of reasons, and I think it’s been digging in my compost. I covered it with chicken wire, and the digging has stopped. Still, it’s a largish pile,  and I raked it all out to see if they’d moved deeper into the mound. Not a one. I know raccoons and possums can be pretty thorough, but I can’t imaging they snagged every last one.

Any thoughts?
Thanks!
Daniel
4 months ago