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Old 11-14-2017, 08:43 AM
 
Location: NC
641 posts, read 886,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reactionary View Post
Looks nice nc99.

Is the compost pile near the neighbor's property (I see the fence)? My city has a 5' setback for many things, so I comply just out of caution and civility.
did not know about the 5 feet code...but my neighbor is a super friendly guy, definitely will not mind, will mention to him.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:46 AM
 
Location: NC
641 posts, read 886,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
I like your open air design a lot but I don't think it's going to break down into compost in the same manner as a compacted pile that gets cooking and steaming hot in the middle. However, I think with your design you can still convert it into really good organic material suitable for the gardens with the help of earth worms if you add some.

I don't know how much rain you get where you are but if you don't get a lot you can always sprinkle it with a hose or watering can from time to time. Don't pack it down too tight, water it and let it pack down naturally. Once the leaves have softened and started to break down and go mushy from the moisture you can speed up the process by throwing a few hands full of earth worms into it to break it down further. Just drop the worms down the middle of that chimney and scattered about near the top just under the top layer of leaves so birds don't take them.

The earth worms will start working their way through it and eating the softened leaves and convert them into worm castings. It will be a smorgasbord for them so they will likely stay at all levels in the leaves rather than going down into the ground unless you get below freezing temperatures for an extended time. If that happens they will go down into the ground beneath the pile where it is warmer. You could cover the whole thing over with a tarp or big sheet of plastic if you get extended freezing temperatures. That will help it to stay warmer and protect your worker worms.

(If I was going to try a design like that here where I live and where it's a lot colder climate, I would definitely have to protect it from the cold and winds by covering and wrapping it with a tarp or heavy plastic throughout the entire winter.)

When you go to open it up to turn it later remember to spread a tarp on the ground in front and around of it first to catch the stuff that falls out when you open up the two mesh overlaps. Makes it so much easier to gather it up on the tarp and dump it back in when you're finished turning it.

Good luck with this design, I look forward to an update on this thread after you turn the contents.

.
Thanks for all the great feedback. Still have not added the green dead plants...live in NC, it does not get too cold, i can add the tarp though. will keep updating with pictures...
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:47 AM
 
Location: NC
641 posts, read 886,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastwardBound View Post
I've found the easiest and best system so far to be four pallets with the back and sides tied together with wire twine, and the front leaned to, to keep domestic pets out. The front can easily be moved aside to get in there and turn it.
a picture will be great
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:27 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
5,305 posts, read 5,355,857 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastwardBound View Post

I've found the easiest and best system so far to be four pallets with the back and sides tied together with wire twine, and the front leaned to, to keep domestic pets out. The front can easily be moved aside to get in there and turn it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nc99 View Post

a picture will be great

Pictures: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=pallet+compost+bin&qpvt=pallet+comp

I have used pallets that way as well. If you look at the pictures above you'll see how most of the pallet designs allow for some air flow. Also some of them have added smaller mesh chicken wire on the outside of the pallet frames to keep animals out.


.
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Old 11-15-2017, 10:55 AM
 
2,153 posts, read 717,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nc99 View Post
Thanks for all the great feedback. Still have not added the green dead plants...live in NC, it does not get too cold, i can add the tarp though. will keep updating with pictures...
You have lots of greens in your kitchen if you have coffee grounds or tea bags or vegetable peelings. Honestly, those leaves with coffee or tea alone would end up great in spring for acid loving plants like roses, azaleas, etc.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:23 PM
 
Location: NC
641 posts, read 886,983 times
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Made two large compost bins...Saw a landscaping guy with bags of leaves and he was happy to dump them in my backyard . Added some 3- 4 gallons of water to each bin...
Attached Thumbnails
Compost bin ...Will this work ??-img_20171204_154131_01-685x611.jpg  
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:50 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
62,438 posts, read 44,797,451 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nc99 View Post
Made two large compost bins...Saw a landscaping guy with bags of leaves and he was happy to dump them in my backyard . Added some 3- 4 gallons of water to each bin...
Awesome. Post a picture of them in Spring. Would love to see how its doing. Maybe you'll get a long duration snowpack this winter to keep some extra heat deep down inside and keep the pile moist.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
21,495 posts, read 20,534,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nc99 View Post
Made two large compost bins...Saw a landscaping guy with bags of leaves and he was happy to dump them in my backyard . Added some 3- 4 gallons of water to each bin...
That's what mine used to look like.
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:43 AM
 
2,153 posts, read 717,272 times
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OK, but won't leaves and water just make leaf mulch? Don't you need greens to make compost? I have a cage of leaves, but also have coffee grounds and toadstools that sprout after rain.
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Old 12-10-2017, 06:39 AM
 
1,099 posts, read 546,317 times
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Leaves make a fine compost - leaf mulch is just a stage on the path of breaking down. The problem with leaves is that they tend to break down very slowly. One reason is because the top layers of leaves act like shingles, and protect the leaves below them from water penetration - so you can find leaves that are years and years old, but perfectly intact, in an old leaf pile.

One has to mix them up every so often so that this doesn't happen. And that can be a fair amount of work. Even when I put just a few leaves in my kitchen mulch pile, it seems to me they take longer to decompose than the kitchen waste. Mechanically breaking up the leaves greatly accelerates the decomposition process - but little backyard-type chippers and shredders don't do a very good job of that in my opinion. My lawn mower does a good job, but the leaves have to be spread thin for it to pick them up. I've wondered if maybe one of those lawn-vac mower type machines might do a decent job.

Leaf mulch is already well along the road to compost. Adding green material, or kitchen waste like melon rinds, aids the overall process because they already contain water.

I have enough space that I just make big leaf piles at the edge of the woods. Maybe I go in there once a year with a garden fork. After 2-3 years some of it will be useable. Sometimes I will add some to our regular compost piles; which have mostly kitchen, lawn, and garden waste.

Last edited by hiero2; 12-10-2017 at 06:48 AM..
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