Elementary Steps on How to Start and Continue Composting

Ladies-Eight

Crowing
Feb 23, 2018
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Hollister, Florida 32147
:he I have read a lot on composting on BYC. @jthornton

I am confused as to where to start and what to do.

I need someone to guide me through the way of doing this as a kindergartener.

Where do I put the compost pile, how do I keep it going, what are the items I need to set it up, and etc.?

Help from anyone would be greatly appreciated.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,390
19,103
867
St. Louis, MO
:he I have read a lot on composting on BYC. @jthornton

I am confused as to where to start and what to do.

I need someone to guide me through the way of doing this as a kindergartener.

Where do I put the compost pile, how do I keep it going, what are the items I need to set it up, and etc.?

Help from anyone would be greatly appreciated.
You can put it anywhere that is convenient. I have a 3 bin system right next to one of the chicken coops.
You need brown waste and green or high nitrogen waste. As regards nitrogenous waste, you can equate nitrogen to protein. Brown waste (mulch, shavings, sticks, dead leaves, etc.) needs to be the primary component. The more brown, the more nitrogen needed by bacteria to break it down.
Feeding plants requires a lot of micronutrients but NPK are the primary needs of plants. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. In a nutshell (kindergartener) Nitrogen is for green growth, phosphorus is for flowering and potassium is for root growth. The latter two have overlapping roles in plant growth.
You want to get a soil test kit or have it professionally tested. The thing is that nitrogen leaches from soil (and compost) quickly. So even though you may introduce an ingredient high in nitrogen (like chicken manure) to your compost, the nitrogen will leach quickly as well.
I hope this gives you a starting point.
 

BirdsBeesTrees

F.R.O.G.
Premium member
Mar 10, 2019
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Iowa
You can put it anywhere that is convenient. I have a 3 bin system right next to one of the chicken coops.
You need brown waste and green or high nitrogen waste. As regards nitrogenous waste, you can equate nitrogen to protein. Brown waste (mulch, shavings, sticks, dead leaves, etc.) needs to be the primary component. The more brown, the more nitrogen needed by bacteria to break it down.
Feeding plants requires a lot of micronutrients but NPK are the primary needs of plants. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. In a nutshell (kindergartener) Nitrogen is for green growth, phosphorus is for flowering and potassium is for root growth. The latter two have overlapping roles in plant growth.
You want to get a soil test kit or have it professionally tested. The thing is that nitrogen leaches from soil (and compost) quickly. So even though you may introduce an ingredient high in nitrogen (like chicken manure) to your compost, the nitrogen will leach quickly as well.
I hope this gives you a starting point.
I put in my wood shavings in my bin last summer from my chicken pens. It smelled freaking discusting like vomit. I heard it wasn't supposed to smell, what should I add to it?
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,390
19,103
867
St. Louis, MO
You need to turn it more frequently. Oxygen has to get to it to nurture the aerobic bacteria. If it gets too wet and isn't turned frequently, anaerobic bacteria rather than aerobic bacteria will take over and that is what smells. A properly functioning pile should have a sweet smell or no smell at all depending on one's olfactory senses.
 
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ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,390
19,103
867
St. Louis, MO
What temperature should it be?
Target temperature is 150F.
Below 135F is likely too cool. If it gets over 160F I start worrying about it inhibiting the bacteria.
I meant to add that you need a large pile. The minimum size for hot composting is 27 cubic feet. A small pile may heat up for a bit but won't continue to effectively decompose the material.
A pile large enough, hot enough, turned often enough can create usable soil in 4 weeks.
Brown material, green material and soil (to add microbes) are the 3 necessary components along with moisture and oxygen. I've found it necessary to cover piles with tarps when lots of rain was forthcoming to keep it from getting too wet.
The pile needs to cool down before earthworms can move in which starts happening when the pile gets down to 90F.
A compost bin may be more attractive than a pile but is likely too small for effective composting. Materials will decompose but will take much longer.
Thermoworks has a great compost thermometer. If you don't have one, you can open a hole in the pile, insert any thermometer, cover it back up for a bit and then read the thermos.
 

Ladies-Eight

Crowing
Feb 23, 2018
406
1,660
332
Hollister, Florida 32147
You can put it anywhere that is convenient. I have a 3 bin system right next to one of the chicken coops.
You need brown waste and green or high nitrogen waste. As regards nitrogenous waste, you can equate nitrogen to protein. Brown waste (mulch, shavings, sticks, dead leaves, etc.) needs to be the primary component. The more brown, the more nitrogen needed by bacteria to break it down.
Feeding plants requires a lot of micronutrients but NPK are the primary needs of plants. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. In a nutshell (kindergartener) Nitrogen is for green growth, phosphorus is for flowering and potassium is for root growth. The latter two have overlapping roles in plant growth.
You want to get a soil test kit or have it professionally tested. The thing is that nitrogen leaches from soil (and compost) quickly. So even though you may introduce an ingredient high in nitrogen (like chicken manure) to your compost, the nitrogen will leach quickly as well.
I hope this gives you a starting point.
That is what I like ELEMENTARY. I don't have to look everything up in order to know what it is. Thank you, Karen
 
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