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Thread: 2019 Gardening Thread

  1. #191
    Just this guy Inor's Avatar
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    Help me out here guys. I have only been a southerner for just over 3 years and only recently have found myself with enough time to even consider setting up hardcore gardening.

    Is it common to wrap your compost bin in black plastic to capture the heat and make it compost faster or does that just overheat it and catch on fire? (I have to build one of those in the next several months too. That is why I ask.)
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  3. #192
    Anti-social Behavior Slippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inor View Post
    Help me out here guys. I have only been a southerner for just over 3 years and only recently have found myself with enough time to even consider setting up hardcore gardening.

    Is it common to wrap your compost bin in black plastic to capture the heat and make it compost faster or does that just overheat it and catch on fire? (I have to build one of those in the next several months too. That is why I ask.)
    I've never heard of a compost pile catching actual fire!

    Our old piles were just that, piles of grass clippings, leaves, sticks, bark mulch, pine straw etc. About once a year I'd add a few shovel loads to the raised beds.

    The problem was that the piles were not "concentrated" and I don't think we were getting good composting.

    You can buy an inexpensive barrel made of plastic and add your compost materials and it will do fine. But for us, the size of our raised bed gardens will now require a much larger area to produce good compost.

    I plan to add at least 2 more bins the size of the bin that I just made and rotate out the compost.

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  5. #193
    Just this guy Inor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slippy View Post
    I've never heard of a compost pile catching actual fire!

    Our old piles were just that, piles of grass clippings, leaves, sticks, bark mulch, pine straw etc. About once a year I'd add a few shovel loads to the raised beds.

    The problem was that the piles were not "concentrated" and I don't think we were getting good composting.

    You can buy an inexpensive barrel made of plastic and add your compost materials and it will do fine. But for us, the size of our raised bed gardens will now require a much larger area to produce good compost.

    I plan to add at least 2 more bins the size of the bin that I just made and rotate out the compost.
    Oh God! Funny story!

    About 20 years ago Mrs Inor had a bunch of hot peppers planted in pots. We bought some kind of super compost shit at the garden store that was supposed to do amazing things. One day I came home and she was just madder than hell at me for no reason. She would not talk to me, wouldn't even look at me. After about 2 hours of the silent treatment, it came out: "YOU PUT YOUR STOGIE OUT IN THE PEPPER PLANT AND IT CAUGHT ON FIRE!!!!"

    "Sorry dear, it was not me. I had been gone from the house for more than 4 hours before the fire started."

    It turned out, the super compost we bought was flammable enough that even being in the Minnesota sun for a few hours in black pots heated it up enough to start on fire! I laughed my ass off as I picked pre-roasted peppers from her plant!
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  7. #194
    Super Moderator TJC44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slippy View Post
    I've never heard of a compost pile catching actual fire!

    Our old piles were just that, piles of grass clippings, leaves, sticks, bark mulch, pine straw etc. About once a year I'd add a few shovel loads to the raised beds.

    The problem was that the piles were not "concentrated" and I don't think we were getting good composting.

    You can buy an inexpensive barrel made of plastic and add your compost materials and it will do fine. But for us, the size of our raised bed gardens will now require a much larger area to produce good compost.

    I plan to add at least 2 more bins the size of the bin that I just made and rotate out the compost.
    I thought the air circulation helped the material break down. What's the logic behind covering a pile? It's dirt, or future dirt. Rain isn't going to hurt it, and again, speed up the process?
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  9. #195
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    You're supposed to wet the pile down occasionally. There was a compost pile (huge) that caught fire internally and spread to burn down more than 10 homes and outbuildings in Casper, Wyoming, I read about it in the Star Tribune. Those things do catch fire. The pile in Casper was mostly wood chips, leaves and yard waste.

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  11. #196
    Just this guy Inor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJC44 View Post
    I thought the air circulation helped the material break down. What's the logic behind covering a pile? It's dirt, or future dirt. Rain isn't going to hurt it, and again, speed up the process?
    It holds the heat in. In MN, if you did not cover it to generate more heat, it took forever to compost.
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  13. #197
    Anti-social Behavior Slippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJC44 View Post
    I thought the air circulation helped the material break down. What's the logic behind covering a pile? It's dirt, or future dirt. Rain isn't going to hurt it, and again, speed up the process?
    In the Southeast, we get plenty of rain so moisture is more of a negative than a positive in composting here. Too much rain will "cool down" the composting process. The lid will keep some of the rain out but not a blowing rain.

    Air circulation is important too but most important is the Mix of GREEN items and BROWN items to compost. shootbrownelk mentions, compost piles can get HOT and ignite. But I suspect thats usually in drier areas.

    Our old compost piles (just piles over in the open) never got steaming hot and I think I never was able to get a good mix of greens and browns. I'd get lazy and blow my leaves into the piles or add too much grass clippngs and it just became a big mess. Plus critters would raid the pile and steal all of our kitchen scraps. Pain in the ass.

    So my new Bins will be more secure and I plan to take more care in how much of what I add.

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  15. #198
    Anti-social Behavior Slippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inor View Post
    Oh God! Funny story!

    About 20 years ago Mrs Inor had a bunch of hot peppers planted in pots. We bought some kind of super compost shit at the garden store that was supposed to do amazing things. One day I came home and she was just madder than hell at me for no reason. She would not talk to me, wouldn't even look at me. After about 2 hours of the silent treatment, it came out: "YOU PUT YOUR STOGIE OUT IN THE PEPPER PLANT AND IT CAUGHT ON FIRE!!!!"

    "Sorry dear, it was not me. I had been gone from the house for more than 4 hours before the fire started."

    It turned out, the super compost we bought was flammable enough that even being in the Minnesota sun for a few hours in black pots heated it up enough to start on fire! I laughed my ass off as I picked pre-roasted peppers from her plant!
    Funny! And a bit scary too. Glad all is well.

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  17. #199
    Anti-social Behavior Slippy's Avatar
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    Compost Bin Complete

    Used some leftover roofing from the barn, built a simple frame, added hinges and a handle and the top of the compost bin is complete. Mostly built from material that I had in inventory. Fun little project.

    Looking for the next project!

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  19. #200
    Just this guy Inor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slippy View Post
    Used some leftover roofing from the barn, built a simple frame, added hinges and a handle and the top of the compost bin is complete. Mostly built from material that I had in inventory. Fun little project.

    Looking for the next project!

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	8988

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nicely done!
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