forum: Gardening / Growing

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#1 Wed 06 Oct 10 7:04pm

RobinMcaf

Member
Member since Fri 17 Sep 10

Composting

I've just got home from building four huge compost containers in London. Phew! Exhausting but satisfying. If anyone is around do ask me questions because I'm online for the next hour.

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#2 Thu 07 Oct 10 9:54am

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Composting

I have a question ...
In my very small garden , I have 2 compost bins ( black plastic darlek shaped things that were bought from the local council )
We alternate using then , so each your one lies dormant , sitting there and quietly doing it's stuff , making some mega compost for the garden whilst we use the other bin.
These compost bins are like 'black holes'
They seem to devoure what ever veg matter is put into them and still not fill.

My question is ... I have been told yhat no cooked vegetables should be added tooth composted .
Why is this ?
Or is this misinformation and cooked veg are ok to be added.



I always feel a bit guilty when I make a vegetable stock and then have to put the cooked veg remains into the bin rather than the composted ( feels like I'm cheating the composted out of a good meal !)

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#3 Thu 07 Oct 10 10:03am

Poor Old Al

Member
From Melbourne, Australia
Member since Sun 25 Jun 06

Re: Composting

I don't know about compost, but worms seem to be comfortable with cooked veg.

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#4 Thu 07 Oct 10 10:18am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: Composting

Throw in the cooked veg! It will help make good compost!
Anything that has been alive can go in! (you do need to worry a bit about meat, but definitely not cooked veg!)
And don't forget to put equal quantity dry leaves, straw etc, that will fill it up and get it smelling beautiful!

BTW We have a big tree carpeting the concrete at the back of the flats with a carpet of small flowers. How the compost loves these! They act really quickly and get it hot and steaming! I sweep up a bucketful or two each day at this time of year! smile

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#5 Thu 07 Oct 10 10:44am

snowyhunter

Member
Member since Thu 07 Oct 10

Re: Composting

Hi, whenever I take the lid of my compost bin, I seem to get swamped with fruit flies - is this normal?  Thanks.

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#6 Thu 07 Oct 10 10:58am

cengland

Forum champ
Occupation teacher
From Darwin, Australia
Member since Wed 08 Sep 10

Re: Composting

I read in a book by Jackie French, an Australian gardening writer, that anything organic can go in the compost, 'even a dead cat'.

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#7 Thu 07 Oct 10 11:41am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: Composting

The fruit flies (really vinegar flies) are common around compost bins and do no harm. They indicate that your bin is on the acidic side. Adding more brown  (leaves, straw etc) and turning often will rebalance it and get rid of them!
Cheers! smile

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#8 Thu 07 Oct 10 10:37pm

RobinMcaf

Member
Member since Fri 17 Sep 10

Re: Composting

Hi Mummza,

That's a really interesting question. One argument against cooked vegetables is that if they've been cooked in lots of oils, they are more likely to attract vermin than raw vegetables. However, in practice, unless you added tons of very oily cooked veg I don't think this would be a problem. I certainly add cooked veg and haven't noticed a problem with rats.

I wouldn't however add dairy or meat (certainly not a dead cat) because this will attract rats, flies and smell horrible.

Hope this helps. Love to hear how it goes.

Robin

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#9 Fri 08 Oct 10 1:55am

cengland

Forum champ
Occupation teacher
From Darwin, Australia
Member since Wed 08 Sep 10

Re: Composting

I think Jackie French was joking (exaggerating) about an actual dead cat.  She's rather humorously quirky.

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#10 Fri 08 Oct 10 5:08pm

dapuna

Member
Member since Fri 08 Oct 10

Re: Composting

I have three raised beds in my back yard that gives a lot of vegetables.  Even living in the city, I have five chickens. When the first frost occurs, I pull the dirt to one side in the garden and place all the dirt, poop, and tattered straw from the chicken coop in the bottom of the vegetable beds, recover with the dirt and let rest during the winter. In the spring, I mix it up well and cover with the black barrier cloth. I poke holes in the cloth to plant (no weeding, year).  My garden produces large healthy vegetables, more than you would ever guess.

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