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When my compost is ready to use?

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#1 locopao

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:40 AM

Hi all

I decided to make some small compost bins with some 5 gallon buckets, about 5 months ago.

Right now my "compost" is dark black, i can see some little branches and definately smells like... nothing! (not bad, not good).

So when my compost is ready to use?

What will happen if i use it before it's ready?

I took some of it outside spreaded under the hot sun to get it dry and see how it's look like and i am thinking of using it as a soil topping in my peppers. Is there a possibility to hurt them?


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manolo

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#2 MGOLD86

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:31 AM

Edit:  misread. 

 

I hope your compost doesnt get "frothy".  lol!


Edited by MGOLD86, 20 May 2013 - 02:47 PM.

Stop asking and just eat it!


#3 compmodder26

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:35 AM

Hi all

I decided to make some small compost bins with some 5 gallon buckets, about 5 months ago.

Right now my "compost" is dark black, i can see some little branches and definately smells like... nothing! (not bad, not good).

So when my compost is ready to use?

What will happen if i use it before it's ready?

I took some of it outside spreaded under the hot sun to get it dry and see how it's look like and i am thinking of using it as a soil topping in my peppers. Is there a possibility to hurt them?


---------
manolo

If it is black, and doesn't have much of a smell then it is probably ready to use.  You may want to screen it to get rid of any large pieces that need further composting.



#4 Jetchuka

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:23 PM

.Right now my "compost" is dark black .................... definately smells like... nothing! (not bad, not good).

Agreed with compmodder, black non-smelly compost is normally considered a good thing.



#5 Cayennemist

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:40 PM

If it is black, and doesn't have much of a smell then it is probably ready to use.  You may want to screen it to get rid of any large pieces that need further composting.

 

Yup

 

I made a little frame and stapled on a peice of 1/4" mesh. I throw all the stuff that is too big back in to the pile. This is also a good way to get the grubs out, and find worms. Burn the grubs, and reapply the worms to your pile.

 

 

One of these days I'll make my self a electric tromel to sift it out with ease.

 

Something like this


Edited by Cayennemist, 20 May 2013 - 12:44 PM.

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#6 Bob_B

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:55 PM

I don't think 5 gallon buckets gives you enough "critical mass" for composting. I use large garbage cans (plastic) and drill 1inch holes all around the circumference. You need water, oxygen, and organic stuff (plant matter) to compost. That way, everything oxidizes properly.

Don't dry compost in the sun as it removes the water.

I know my compost is ready when it smells good - kind of forestry.

Another point maybe counterintuitive - human urine is great to activate the breakdown. Just don't tell the wife.





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