Good Compost recipe for Vancouver BC?

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by recoveryjones, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. recoveryjones

    recoveryjones Member

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    Hi my name is RJ and I'm a new poster here at the forum.I look forward to giving and receiving some great info here.

    I'm attempting to make some compost over the winter for ORGANIC vegetable growing in the summer.

    I have the following ingrediants available to add to the bin.

    -endless amount of vegetable peels from an Organic food store.
    -endless amount of leaves from Stanley Park(will crush the leaves to breakdown)
    -good soil to add to the mix
    -sawdust ???

    Other ingrediants I can get,however not organic:
    -endless amounts of cofee grounds from a coffee shop
    -endless amounts of NON ORGANIC vegetable peelings from an institutional kitchen.

    My questions:
    -If growning organic,will non organic coffee grounds and non-organic vegetable peelings harm/polute the compost, or will the chemicals breakdown and this is nothing to worry about?

    - Is sawdust reccomended for BC's wet generally acidic soils, or are small amounts OK as acarbon source for the compost?

    -What other ingrediants not mentioned are good for an organic compost?

    -Is there an organic "rot it" additive that will speed up the compost making process?

    -What about adding compost worms, bugs etc?

    In Summary:
    I have some experience in compostiong and no how to layer,keep moist,turn over etc etc.
    I also have a fall rye green manure crop growing at present which I will turn over before it reaches 12".

    My main focus is shifting from chemical fertilizers/compost to strictly Organic growing and compost mixes.

    Any help, greatly appreciated.
    RJ

    ps. Any connections to help me get in with any organic gardening groups/organizations in the lower mainland is also greatly aprreciated.
     
  2. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi RJ,

    The best way to speed the decomposition is to turn the pile daily, have a good mix of greens and browns and shred everything as much as possible. Those leaves should be shredded instead of crushed. If you don't have a chipper/shredder you could put them in a pile, put the bagger on your mower and mow over them to chop them up. It will also help to have a mix of two parts dry ingredients to one part wet.

    I can't help you with connections to organic gardening groups on the lower mainland, but here's some sites that should answer your other questions to include the use of sawdust.
    http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/factsheets/orgmatter/index.html
    http://www.helpfulgardener.com/tips/03/compost.html
    http://cwmi.css.cornell.edu/compostbrochure.pdf
    http://vegweb.com/composting/what.shtml
    http://www.gardenguides.com/articles/dynamic.htm
    http://www.compostguide.com/
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/scripts/htmlgen.exe?DOCUMENT_VH019

    Cover crops aka green manure:
    http://www.gardenguides.com/TipsandTechniques/greenmanure.htm
    http://attra.ncat.org/new_pubs/attra-pub/covercrop.html?id=other

    You might find this interesting and helpful reading.
    http://www.organicgardening.com/
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic_Gardening/2006-10-01/Compost_Made_Easy

    You could also start lasagna composting now on the site where you plan to plant.
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic_Gardening/1999_April_May/Lasagna_Gardening
    http://www.bconnex.net/~carolw/lasagna1.html
    http://www.farm-garden.com/cornucopia/introduction_to_no-till_gardening

    Yes, you can use coffee grounds and they don't have to be 'organic' beans.
    http://www.helpfulgardener.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1138

    That should get you started.
    Newt
     
  3. recoveryjones

    recoveryjones Member

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    Wow!. Thanks for all the links Newt, much appreciated.
    RJ
     
  4. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    RJ, you are so very welcome!

    Newt
     
  5. boiler

    boiler Member

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    Daniel I was attempting to help some one with anwers, and in this case pictures if therefor I am not allowed, it's been nice knowing you!
     
  6. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Gee, I didn't know Coffee Grounds weren't organic. I get some from Starbucks and they worked for me just fine.
     
  7. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Karalyn, I think you misunderstood. What I meant is the coffee beans didn't have to be organically grown for them to be used in an organic compost pile.

    Newt
     
  8. boiler

    boiler Member

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    A DIRECT QUESTION to Daniel Mosquin, Newt has suggested some interesting sites above, which contain useful information!! why therefor can I not suggest my site which answers some of the questions above on sawdust, coffee grounds,and many other thigs related to lasagna gardening????? if you even bothered to visit you would find that I am selling NOTHING, just giving advice to help gardeners.
     
  9. Fossil

    Fossil Active Member 10 Years

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    I only just found out that the coffee grounds I always throw in the garbage are valuable as compost. This being the case - can I also use leftover brewed coffee? And what plants should I NOT use coffee on?
     
  10. chemicalx

    chemicalx Active Member

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    Yes, leftover brewed coffee is fine to add to your compost pile - I do that all the time, as well as adding the grounds. I've also heard of people mixing the grounds directly into the soil around plants like tomatoes, but I don't know what the benefits, if any, there are for that - I always compost it first.
     
  11. Fossil

    Fossil Active Member 10 Years

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    The gardening column in our local paper recommended coffee grounds for rhodos as a fertilizer - I wonder if brewed coffee would work for that as well? And does anybody know how often or at what time of year? - the paper didn't say.
     
  12. chemicalx

    chemicalx Active Member

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    Here's an interesting article that gives specifics on the nutrient content of the coffee grounds when mixed directly into soil. The reference to increasing soil acidity may be one reason it's recommended in particular for rhodos.

    http://www.sunset.com/sunset/garden/edible/article/0,20633,1208232,00.html

    It seems to me that the liquid coffee would be no different in application (though my uneducated guess is it would have less of the total nutrients than the grounds, not more, since it's primarily water). And you should be able to add it any time, though probably better to do spring thru fall, during the growing season.
     

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