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Attention Compost Experts: Please Advise... 'Compost' full of 'Roots' - What Would You Do?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So I took 6 months worth of pine shavings and chicken poop from the coop and put it in a cylinder made from 2x4 fencing, with a lot of water added it heated up to 160F.

Then I let it sit for a year...and ended up with this mass of 'roots'.

I surmise they may have come from nearby trees and moved up into the pile from the bottom,

there is no greenery sprouting from them, I actually potted some up and watered them to see if they'd sprout.

 

Anyway instead of luscious soil, which I may have had if I had tended the pile more, but I've got this and not sure what to do with it.

Basically it is organic matter, but not sure I should use it in a raised bed(mixed with some other soil of course) to grow veggies or toss it out into the woods.

Not sure if they would decompose into a nice soil component or 'grow' into a larger mass.

 

So..... what you would do with it?

 

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #2 of 8
I'd cut the roots where they enter the compost pile-wait a few months and use in the garden.
post #3 of 8

If you need to use it soon, I would sift it through a piece of hardware cloth to remove the roots and larger clumps. Alternatively you could leave it and let the roots compost, after moving so that the roots are no longer connected to the tree/plant they came from.

Breeds I raise: Easter Eggers, Naked Necks, PROJECT white d'Uccles, Mille fleur d'Uccles, RI reds, Barred PR's, Assorted Cochins, GLW's, Sexlinks, Mutts, and one Lavender Orpington!

Turkeys: Bourbon Red ~ Standard Bronze

Ducks: Blue ripple and black Muscovys

 

 

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Breeds I raise: Easter Eggers, Naked Necks, PROJECT white d'Uccles, Mille fleur d'Uccles, RI reds, Barred PR's, Assorted Cochins, GLW's, Sexlinks, Mutts, and one Lavender Orpington!

Turkeys: Bourbon Red ~ Standard Bronze

Ducks: Blue ripple and black Muscovys

 

 

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post #4 of 8

Tree roots travel far, and suck the nutrients out of the soil they move into.  I had an issue in my old garden with roots moving into my beds, and turning the whole bed into a mass of roots like you show, if I didn't get into it with a tiller at least once a year.  If you can pry the compost out of the ground, you might try putting it on some surface that the roots can't penetrate, or move it to a different location, perhaps even putting it in trash bags to break down over the winter.  Do you have a tiller?  If so, you could perhaps break the compost up with a tiller.  I doubt that those roots would sprout into anything, but you can be pretty sure that the nutrient in your compost is nil at this point.  Still worth using for it's humus content, if you can get it loosened up.  

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lazy gardener View Post
 

Tree roots travel far, and suck the nutrients out of the soil they move into.  I had an issue in my old garden with roots moving into my beds, and turning the whole bed into a mass of roots like you show, if I didn't get into it with a tiller at least once a year.  If you can pry the compost out of the ground, you might try putting it on some surface that the roots can't penetrate, or move it to a different location, perhaps even putting it in trash bags to break down over the winter.  Do you have a tiller?  If so, you could perhaps break the compost up with a tiller.  I doubt that those roots would sprout into anything, but you can be pretty sure that the nutrient in your compost is nil at this point.  Still worth using for it's humus content, if you can get it loosened up.  

That is exactly what I was thinking.

 

I have been able to loosen it up some, just need to add some 'live' soil to it.

Planned to put it into some raised beds, see what I can grow next spring.

 

My gardening life is often just a science experiment...lol.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #6 of 8
Yeah, that’s one reason to not put a compost pile under a tree. Of course that’s exactly where I put mine, under a big elm.

One problem, you left it too long and gave the roots time to get firmly established. You did not turn it often enough and you should have harvested it a long time ago. That’s me all over. I never turn it enough and always wait too long to harvest it.

Those roots will have sucked some of the nutrients out of that compost, but they will not have totally destroyed it. It still has a lot of value. A lot of the nutrients are still there plus it will greatly improve the tilth of your soil.

Like MYMillefleur I sift mine through hardware cloth to get out the bigger chunks and the roots, then store it in old plastic chicken feed bags until I use it. If you put it into paper bags it will continue working and compost (rot) those paper bags away. I built a frame out of 2x4’s and ½” hardware cloth and rub the compost through that into a wheelbarrow. Anything that goes through the hardware cloth is considered compost. Anything that doesn’t go through goes into the next batch, which I won’t turn enough and will wait too long to harvest.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I've sifted this stuff out of a load of garden dirt I bought years ago...but this time I'm just going to add some good soil to it and let it go.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #8 of 8

Chicken Juggler  you made me laugh.  Not at you but perhaps if we put our "science experiments" together, perhaps we could come up with a great garden.  :)

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